Abbeyfield Society chief executive David McCullough dies aged 61

Care home operator Abbeyfield Society has announced the death of its chief executive officer (CEO) David McCullough.

McCullough, 61, who was a former deputy CEO of Oxfam and CEO of Royal Voluntary Service before joining Abbeyfield Society in August 2017, died suddenly on 8 February.

Abbeyfield Society chairman Ian Plaistowe OBE said Abbeyfield Society had lost “a true friend.”

“David was incredibly dedicated and passionate, with great empathy for others. His leadership and strategic thinking were a true asset to Abbeyfield, bringing a fresh approach to the way we work and showing tremendous drive to move the organisation forward,” he added.

“David’s priority was improving the lives of older people and exploring ways of keeping them connected to their communities. His kindness, warmth and humour will be sorely missed by those who knew him.”

Abbeyfield Society said McCullough had a deep understanding of the needs of older people, and promoted the strong legacy of Abbeyfield founder Richard Carr-Gomm in serving local needs and alleviating loneliness through volunteer-led services.

During his time at Abbeyfield, McCullough oversaw the completion of an organisational strategic review that will “continue to inform Abbeyfield’s commitment to supporting an ageing population through the provision of appropriate housing and care,” it added.

Plaistowe said: “We will continue taking David’s work forward to ensure it is a lasting tribute to his inspirational leadership. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Abbeyfield will make a decision on succession planning in due course.