Olly Carter

Olly Carter (Geography 1992) is Founder and Managing Director of Kingsway Care, an independent home care provider in Brighton and Hove. They provide temporary or long-term care to older or disabled clients to allow them to stay in their homes and maintain their independence.

Image of Olly Carter smiling

Olly's story

After graduating in the 1990’s, Olly enjoyed a successful career working in IT. A personal family experience led to a significant career change after he began providing care for a close relative. While he had a great experience with their CareGivers, he was shocked by the disorganisation and poor management of their Care Providers. He felt so strongly that social care provision should be done differently that in January 2021 he founded Kingsway Care.

What made you choose Sussex?

Brighton was always a fun destination for family days out and to celebrate birthdays. The main attraction though was the University Of Sussex’s world class reputation and excellent academic standing. The University was (and still is) known for being unique, bold, inclusive and multicultural, attracting creative and free-thinking students and academics.

What was it like studying at Sussex in the 90s?

We studied and partied hard – and loved every minute of it. I lived in York House on campus between 1992 and 1993 and really enjoyed having the South Downs on my doorstep as well as the beach. What hasn't changed is that our city is still vibrant, diverse, colourful and there is always something happening!

I know that every generation favours the music of their youth, but I think that everyone enjoys '90s music and culture. I had a typical "centre parting curtains” hairstyle, thinking that I was ever so cool but have long since lost my hair!

Olly Carter pictured with 9 of his friends in their kitchen in York House in the 1990s.

Olly Carter with friends in their kitchen in York House in the 1990s

What made you make the switch from working in IT to working in social care?

I was always very close to my late Great Aunt Lily, a fiercely independent and strong woman. After she was widowed at the age of 90, she broke down in tears during one of my visits, upset about the difficulties of living alone. That summer she came to live with me and my partner in Hove. What started out as companionship, with a bit of help with laundry and sharing meals soon became much more intense.

We had no experience of care. It was incredibly hard to juggle her intense needs with the demanding job I had and maintain any kind of personal life. As the end of Lily’s life approached, we aimed to ensure she was treated with dignity and respect, surrounded by love, and supported to the highest standards. As she passed away peacefully I understood the power and importance of big-hearted and competent professional home care.

We want to change perceptions around working in social care, which is often massively misunderstood.”

Are you able to tell me a little bit more about what services Kingsway Care provides?

Kingsway Care is an independent Home Care Provider supporting clients in Sussex to live in their own homes. We offer everything from complex care to companionship and everything in between.

There is no better way to get a feel for Kingsway Care than by watching this film, made and produced by Katy Lock (English with French 1992) at KADA Media. Another Sussex alum, Katy was my next door neighbour on my corridor at York House. Her work captures the essence of what it's like to work in social care in general, and for Kingsway Care in particular. We want to change perceptions about working in social care, which is often massively misunderstood.

Kingsway Care has received awards including Employer of the Year 2023 at the Sussex Business Awards. What makes the company unique?

  • The CareGivers! It is such a responsible and privileged role making a difference to the lives of those that we support at home. And we work hard to recognise our team, for example through the Kingsway Care Awards celebration dinner for staff and their guests.
  • Our CareGivers use a mobile phone app that gives them information about their rosters, complete with all the necessary details about the client, location, and care plan. Equally, clients and their families (by consent) can be updated in real time about our visits, sharing full care notes. This is one of the reasons we were selected for a ground-breaking collaboration with the Sussex NHS Frontrunner Pilot, as the only UK Home Care Provider working on solutions for the safe expedition of hospital discharges.

What would make up the soundtrack to your time at Sussex?

Ebeneezer Goode by The Shamen; Dreamer by Livin Joy; Not Over Yet by Grace; It's My Life by Dr Alban; What is Love by Haddaway and All That She Wants by Ace Of Base take me straight back to my Sussex days.

Favourite place in Brighton and Hove?

I have always loved our beach. It may not be the Costa Del Sol, but I love the dramatic storms over the sea in the winter and lazy beach days in the summer. My favourite building is the Brighton Pavilion, which perfectly sums up Brighton for me. It has history, it’s unique, colourful, kitsch, flamboyant, fun and beautiful.

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