A Day in the Life

Nikki Moss is the General Manager across our seven Sussex properties. We caught up with her to find out more about her new role.

Nikki Moss – General Manager, Abbeyfield South Downs


1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Polegate with my husband of 30 years and our Jackawawa ‘Boo’ Precious the cat, two guinea pigs, two chickens and a tortoise. We have one daughter who lives in Leeds.

Ken has an allotment, but he has no idea how many courgettes and broad beans two people eat! Known to some of our friends as ‘Tom and Barbara’ [Goodlife ref], it is only relevant to anyone around in the 70s. But every year, I revisit 101 ways to use his produce.

I love theatre, particularly musicals. I will head to the West End at every opportunity, but only to visit. I love living near the coast and regularly walk along Eastbourne Seafront.

2. How long have you been working for Abbeyfield South Downs?

I started with the National Abbeyfield Society in 2012 and moved to Abbeyfield South Downs in 2014.

3. What made you want to work for Abbeyfield South Downs? How did you get involved?

All my work has been in social care in different environments (community care, care and nursing homes, and hospitals with a particular interest in End-of-Life Care). I was the Registered Manager of a Care Home for older people for ten years and volunteered with the Age Concern advocacy service.

I met Nolan Taylor (retired CEO of Abbeyfield South Downs) and his wife when their family member lived in the care home I managed. When Nolan heard I had left that role, he asked me to apply for the position with the National Abbeyfield Society. Looking for a new direction; I thought, why not? I liked the ethos of Abbeyfield and its history, and it was the ideal mix of my social care experience and the new challenge of housing in the not-for-profit sector.

4. What does your new role as General Manager involve?

The General Manager's role is to oversee the running of the business and be accountable for its operational performance.  Advising the board of directors and achieving compliance laid down by our regulators.

5. Can you talk us through a typical working day?

There is no typical day in an Abbeyfield service! 

The day can start with allocations, lettings and pre-tenancy checks; recruitment and supporting house-based staff for elevenses; rent and housing benefit management, budgets, finance and payroll for lunch... Then on to Health & Safety, compliance, property maintenance and repairs for afternoon tea - and a Board report for dinner! 

Abbeyfield South Downs has grown significantly in the last two years, which has presented many challenges. Time management is essential with competing priorities, but I like to be busy and enjoy the variety of the role.

6. What do you enjoy most about the role?

Visiting houses, it never feels like work. Spending time with tenants and staff is the only way to know if my job is worthwhile. Many fantastic staff work very hard to provide our tenants with the Abbeyfield service. ASD house staff are very special people. They must be able to multitask in their varied roles and are the people who make a difference to our tenants.

Plus, I will say that a sense of humour is essential, but I will keep those stories to myself for now, until I publish my memoir!


People who show kindness to others and work to improve life inspire me. Those who overcome significant personal challenges but are still generous with their spirit, time and care for others are truly remarkable.

7. What are the biggest challenges?

Rising costs have been our biggest challenge in recent years, as for any business.

We must balance this with our charitable purpose of providing homes that are affordable to the people who need them. Although Abbeyfield has evolved over the last 70 years, its founder, Richard Carr-Gomm, set out to help people with the least, and this ethos remains important to Abbeyfield South Downs. 

8. What are some of the key goals you hope to achieve in your role as General Manager?

My first goal is to bring about the management restructure by recruiting additional staff due to the organisation’s growth. This will enable us to support our staff and tenants in the best ways we can.

I would like to focus on developing our staff teams and providing our tenants with comfortable, well-maintained homes that remain affordable, particularly to older people on a low income.

9. Are there any specific initiatives or projects that you're particularly excited about?

We have the opportunity to develop a small scheme in the Worthing area. This could offer a ‘traditional’ small community with meal provisions by on-site staff, which is currently provided in an Abbeyfield house, with the benefit of modern self-contained accommodation. It would be exciting to be part of this project and still achieve our aim of homes that remain affordable, particularly to older people on a low income.

10. How do you see the role of Abbeyfield South Downs evolving to meet the changing needs of older people in our community?

I don’t know how it will evolve, but I know it definitely will! We only need to look at the last 70 years to know that. From a single house in Bermondsey for two people, with an outside loo, to modern apartment schemes like Holdenhurst.

11. Is there a particular person or mentor who has inspired you?

Many people have inspired me in small but significant ways over the years. Celebrities and people of status are one thing, but people who show kindness to others and work to improve life inspire me. I believe that people who overcome significant personal challenges but are still generous with their spirit, time and care for others are truly remarkable.

Thinking of moving?

We are open to new residents! Are you thinking about making a move into one of our houses? Our friendly team are on hand to support you every step of the way.

We currently have places at Abbeyfield House in Tunbridge Wells, Kent