Guild Care has improved pay for carers in a bid recruit more staff.
Like many other providers in the care sector, the Worthing-based charity has struggled over the past few years to attract sufficient staff to run its services.
Recruitment has been especially difficult in Worthing, as the town has a high employment rates at present.
Suzanne Millard, chief executive, said: “We know that the only way we can recruit the numbers of dedicated and committed staff we need is to ensure our terms and conditions of employment are amongst the best within the area.
“This year, we committed to improving our hourly pay rates for lower paid care staff and other workers.”
She was speaking at the recent annual meeting, attended by Worthing mayor and mayoress Paul and Sandra Baker.
During speeches reflecting on an incredible 85th anniversary year, it was said more than 3,500 people of all ages were helped by Guild Care during 2017/18.
More than 60 people gathered at the Guild Care Centre in Worthing on September 26 to hear about the charity’s key achievements and its plans for the future.
Chairman Allan Reid said: “This was a significant year for Guild Care, which saw momentous change and growth for the organisation.
“We had to dispose of Irene House following its closure at the beginning of 2017 and at the same time we took on the management of Worthing Scope.
“I would like to thank my fellow trustees, staff and volunteers for their commitment and support during this time.”
The full merger of Guild Care and Worthing and District Scope took place on Monday.
Suzanne said: “The full merger will make little immediate difference to how the services are run at Scope and the Worthing Scope name will continue as a trading name of Guild Care for the next few months, until we have agreed how the brand should move forward.”
Care homes are a major part of Guild Care’s business activity and continuing to improve the services has been made a priority.
There has been a major refurbishment of all its homes every ten years and this year’s focus has been on Linfield House.
Another key area of work has been completing the Dementia Care Matters project at Haviland House and achieving a Level 3 Butterfly kitemark by the end of the year for two of its households.
Guild Care continues to run more than 30 diverse community services, including dementia day services and home care.
In June, it was awarded £440,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to redevelop part of its headquarters to include new services for people with mental health needs. Working in partnership with Coast West Sussex Mind, the new centre is due to open next summer.
Suzanne concluded: “Guild Care is a very dynamic organisation and able to work with local partners during times of stress and change in a manner which few other charities or public bodies are able to do.
“I believe Worthing as a community is very fortunate to be able to benefit from having a charity like Guild Care, which supports local people in a manner which recognises and responds to their changing needs, moving with the times by always providing services that are relevant for today.”