Happy 10th Birthday First Community!

Image celebrating First Community's 10th Birthday
Published on Wednesday 6 October 2021

Colleagues from across First Community Health and Care came together to virtually party today (Wednesday) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the organisation’s formation.

The exciting milestone was marked with an online party where staff past and present, partners and a variety of stakeholders shared their thoughts and anecdotes of First Community’s evolution and wishes for the organisation’s next 10 years and beyond.

Cake, drinks, and chat box challenges all formed part of the online party and the celebration of course concluded with a resounding rendition of Happy Birthday to us!

Sarah Billiald, chief executive of First Community said: “I cannot believe First Community is 10! Although we couldn’t be together in person, it was fantastic so many colleagues were able to join us to celebrate the organisation reaching this landmark moment."

To commemorate this important milestone in First Community’s journey, our Council of Governors – the employee representatives elected by staff to provide a link between employees as shareholders and the Board – unveiled the new shareholder badge for the first time (see below).

An image of the new shareholder badge

Designed by two members of staff, the new badge will be given to shareholders at our upcoming annual general meeting next month.

“As part of the celebration and to really embrace and understand from our staff why working for an employee-owned social enterprise is so fantastic, we’ve been holding a series of conversations which for me has perfectly summed up the essence of First Community over the last 10 years," Sarah continued.

“We support one another; we are empowered to act; we listen; we get together as teams; but we also take personal responsibility; we recognise we are human, and importantly, we eat cake! And what I’ve learned is this First Community way will continue to be at the heart of our delivery of outstanding, first-rate care by our first-rate people going forward. So happy birthday to us and here’s to the next 10 years!”

First Community officially turned 10 on October 1. It was formed in 2011 by a group of visionary local NHS clinicians and managers, who bravely decided to develop a business case under the right to request to become a social enterprise that would take on the responsibility of delivering community health services in east Surrey.

The fearless group of colleagues, many of whom still work for the organisation today, were excitingly awarded the contract and became the new provider of choice, and with 350 co-owners, began delivering a wide range of services to the residents of east Surrey which First Community continue to be responsible for today.

Lee Davies, associate director for unscheduled care and a founding member of First Community, said: “In the beginning we were a little naïve, but with our brave and gritted determination we started building the business. At that point we had an amazing workforce, and this has always been one of our successes and things we are proud of.

“We wouldn’t have been able to grow and deliver without our staff, their support and energy; and whilst it’s impossible to detail all the highlights for clinical services over the last 10 years, what I will recognise is the positive impact our services have, and continue to have, meeting the changing needs of our patients and families, which as a founding member of First Community makes me incredibly proud.”

Watch the video below to hear what some of our stakeholders have said about working with us over the last 10 years.