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Creating Retirement Communities That Enrich Quality Of Life

John Tonkiss

John Tonkiss



Following the appointment of John Tonkiss, as McCarthy & Stone’s new Chief Executive Officer in September, we speak to him about his vision for the future.

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and outline my vision for our organisation. 

First, I would like to say it is a privilege to take on this new role. McCarthy & Stone has a great history and has enriched the lives of many thousands of people since we built our first development 40 years ago. As the UK’s population ages, retirement living is becoming critically important, and I believe we play an essential role helping our customers to live healthier, happier and longer lives.

I have seen these benefits first hand over the four years I have been with McCarthy & Stone, having previously been Chief Operating Officer.   

We have wonderful customers and it is always a delight to speak with them to find out what they are doing, whether it’s enjoying their apartment, spending more time getting out in the local community, or enjoying the wide range of activities in our developments, from the weekly coffee mornings to fish and chips suppers on a Friday. We also have superb staff on site who help our customers each day.

In my time at McCarthy & Stone I have also seen how we could make our services even better. Following my appointment, l was pleased to launch our new strategy last month that will create even deeper and longer relationships with our customers.  

We want to create retirement communities that enrich the quality of life for our customers and their families, and we will look to respond better to our customers’ evolving needs. We will be trialling many new activities in the coming months, and one that I hope will be of particular benefit to existing customers is the potential expansion of our care offering into Retirement Living developments. We will also look to develop a range of ‘Club’ activities to allow customers to benefit further from being part of the McCarthy & Stone group.

We also announced in September that our development business will take a new approach. With the more challenging market conditions that we have experienced in the last two years, we have not been able to grow as quickly as we would have liked. As a result, we will seek to maintain the ‘steady state’ of legal completions that we have experienced recently of around 2,100 sales a year. This will deliver many benefits and will put us in a more sustainable position for the future. While it also sadly means we will need to right size part of our development business, I can confirm that it will not impact any part of our Management Services teams across the UK or the services that our customers experience.
Finally, I would like to thank Clive Fenton for his achievements as our CEO over the last four years and wish him well for his retirement. I also look forward to delivering our new strategy and to further improving the services that we offer to you as well as our new customers in the future.

96% of our customers said they feel safe and secure in their new property.

83% of our customers said they experienced a sense of community in their new property. This is compared to just 51% of older people in the general population.

93.5% of our customers would recommend us to a friend. Almost nine out of ten of our customers said their new property improved their quality of life.


We have over 1,350 staff members in Management Services

  • Across 379 developments
  • Looking after nearly 19,000 customers


  • Management Services worked with 1,500 suppliers
  • 1,700 lift services were carried out
  • 730,000 meals were delivered 
  • £2.6 billion portfolio value
  • 307,000 care and domestic support hours were provided 
  • 33,500 social events were held

Providing Outstanding Management Services 

Our catering management and care services are a key part of how we seek to enrich our customers’ lives.

Reliable and cost-effective management and maintenance services are essential to our customers, and we provide peace of mind that we will support them, looking after thier properties over the long term. 

To deliver this we have a large dedicated team of House and Estate Managers, and care and maintenance staff who are on call 24/7 to provide the best service possible.

On our Retirement Living Plus developments our food service teams deliver a delicious choice of meals daily through either a restaurant or bistro facility.  

Helping Keep Heating Costs Down

With the continued increase of gas and electricity by the main suppliers, McCarthy & Stone have recently carried out a new tender process for the right to supply gas and electricity across all our developments. The increase in costs is mainly due to two factors:

  1. The decrease in the value of sterling against the US dollar, which in turn pushes up raw commodity costs.
  2. The UK Government has added additional taxes to the cost of electricity.

As an organisation, we currently spend in excess of £4.1 million a year on both gas and electricity, which means we are able to negotiate the best possible energy prices we can for you, and to make sure you are as unaffected as possible by any further national price increases.

Dave Hockaday, McCarthy & Stone’s Management Services Operations Director commented: “With the winter months fast approaching, it was important that we went through this tender process to make sure that we keep our utility costs as competitive as possible. It also shows the buying power that we have as an organisation to be able to achieve the best possible cost we can for our customers.”

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