Steve Allen – Chief Executive

I joined Friends of the Elderly as the Group’s Chief Executive in the Spring of 2014 and take much pride in working with a diverse and talented team to help deliver our strategy in support of older people – in sustainable, personal, and innovative ways.

As a healthcare entrepreneur, I founded Prime Care Community Services (2001-2011), which provided award-winning social care services to adults and older people through the South East of England.  Prime Care employed over 1,000 people and became the first social care enterprise in the UK to achieve Investors in People Gold accreditation and win the National Training Awards outright.

I served, pro-bono, as Vice Chair (2011-2019) of the Government’s Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), formed to help drive the economy of the South East of England.  I also chaired the LEP’s Enterprise Zone and the region’s Digital Catapult Centre, bringing digital services and products to market – and sat on the Board of Transport for the South East.

I am a former board member and Vice Chair (2008-2015) of the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA), now the Homecare Association.  I served (2017-2020) as a board member of the National Care Forum (NCF).

I enjoyed being part of the national Leadership for Empowered and Healthy Communities programme, sponsored by the Department of Health (2013-2014).  I have equally enjoyed the Charity’s leadership development work with the Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Bayes Business School (formerly CASS); City, University of London, during 2017 & 2018.

I hold a post-graduate Diploma (PGDip) in Risk Management from Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics (1989-1991, with Merit) and an Executive Master of Science in Leadership and Strategy (Executive MSc) from Bayes Business School (2020-2022, with Distinction).  I am a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts.

A former UK Police Officer, I have also worked to resolve sensitive operational situations around the world for multi-national companies, government departments and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs); latterly for a decade as a director of Europe’s leading risk management consultancy, sold to Control Risks Group in 2000.  During this time, I qualified as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Certified Protection Professional (CPP).

In 2022, I became a Specially Appointed Commissioner, an HM Government Public Appointment, to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of the Chelsea Pensioners.   As a member of the Board of Commissioners, I also serve on the Health & Wellbeing Oversight Committee.

In my spare time I have served for eight years as an Ambassador to the Sussex Community Foundation (2012-2020), part of the Community Foundation Network, where I helped raise funds in support of community groups and small charities and established three flow-through funds.  I have also volunteered as a mentor to the Frank Longford Charitable Trust (2021-2023), supporting serving prisoners through to their release, and integration with society.

I am motivated by putting together the best people with the right structures and systems so that older people can be supported to remain safe, and flourish; living as independently as possible in their own community, surrounded by familiar faces and settings.  I believe that social care can be better connected and more innovative – something I am keen to deliver on behalf of Friends of the Elderly to the people who use its services.

I am a keen walker, having trekked to Everest Base Camp (2012); and a qualified Offshore Yacht Master (2002) who enjoys the sea in all its elements.  So, when I am in my eighties, I want to be able to continue to walk for miles and see, hear, feel and embrace the changing seasons around me.