Social care innovator Ted Hare dies aged 79

Ted Hare pictured in a white hat and sunglasses

Ted Hare (pictured), social care innovator, has died aged 79 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

An innovator in social care in Norfolk and with a lifelong passion for creative solutions to help people, Ted Hare, has died aged 79.

When poor health ended his career prematurely after 30 years, Mr Hare had been Norfolk’s director of adult social services.

However, four years later, in 1999, he had quadruple heart surgery and made a complete recovery.

With renewed enthusiasm, he spent the next 25 years as a nationally respected healthcare and social care consultant.

He became heavily involved with Norfolk groups and charities including serving as chairman of Thornage Hall Independent Living, near Holt, and vice-chairman of Aylsham and District Care Trust.


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Born Edward Joseph Hare, in Downham Market in 1941, he was the youngest of three. After attending Lyng Church of England Primary School, near Reepham, he passed his 11+ and went to City of Norwich School at Eaton.

After working for the Inland Revenue, where he met his wife, Rosemary, they married in 1963.

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Edward joined Norfolk County Council as a mental health worker in 1965, covering south Norfolk, completed his training and was awarded a certificate in social work.

Rapidly promoted, in 1972 he became one of three team leaders for the City of Norwich, responsible for older people and those with physical difficulties.

He pioneered daycare in residential homes, introduced short-term respite for the elderly and encouraged volunteers to provide transport and support.

Studying part-time at Cranfield School of Management in 1975/76, he was awarded an MSc in social administration.

At a Norwich care conference in May 1978, he highlighted Norfolk’s emerging challenge of an increasingly elderly population, which would be more dramatic than anywhere else in the country.

His practical “can-do” approach was crucial in delivering successful developments for the most vulnerable in the community. His watchword: “There’s no limit to what can be achieved as long as you’re prepared to help others take the credit.”

He was always reluctant to be in the limelight but was a driving force for change.

For more than three decades, he worked with health care organisations and housing associations and encouraged planners to provide purpose-built assisted housing.

The Lawns, Great Yarmouth, was a successful model, which others copied.

Benjamin Court in Cromer was another joint initiative, this time with the National Health Service and Broadland Housing Association.

He encouraged learning disability projects to enable people to play a more active role in society. Another passion was developing independent living opportunities for those with learning difficulties such as at Thornage Hall.

A flagship scheme, St Michael’s care complex in Aylsham, which has a 86-bed care home with nursing and mixed tenure housing, was just one of his many hugely successful projects.

He was asked to advise on many schemes including successful projects in Newark, Nottinghamshire and a conversion of a Victorian house in Worcestershire into a 42-bed assisted living residential complex, including day care centre for dementia.

Closer to his home in Old Catton, Norwich, he led the development group for Halesworth’s integrated health and social care complex – similar to the Aylsham model.

He was also a trustee of Norfolk’s cancer charity, the Big C, and of Wells Community Hospital among many others.

As an assessor for a charity, Spurgeon’s Child Care, he helped to bring a 14-year-old Romanian girl, Andreea Caprita, for treatment by consultants in Norwich, as the EDP reported in August 2002.

The fourteen year old teenager, Andreea Caprita, has been brought to Norwich from her home in Vaslui

As an assessor for a charity, Spurgeon’s Child Care, Ted Hare helped to bring a 14-year-old Romanian girl Andreea Caprita for treatment by consultants in Norwich, as she could not be treated in own country - Credit: ARCHANT

She suffered from Von Recklinghausen Syndrome, which causes large brown patches all over the body, and she could not be treated in her own country.

His hobbies included surfing and windsurfing and in his seventh decade he took up snowboarding with equal enthusiasm. He was also passionate about wine, especially those from Bordeaux and Burgundy.

He is survived by his wife, Rosemary, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He has two older sisters, one in the United States and the other in Canada.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

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