Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care


How We Started


The Relatives Association – founded by Dorothy White OBE.

Dorothy White

Dorothy had been a key player in the team setting up the NHS and had a lifetime’s experience in social administration, but when her mother needed nursing home care she found the process surprisingly stressful. Dorothy was dismayed to find herself obstructed at every attempt to become involved in key decisions concerning her mother’s welfare. So if she, who knew her way around the care system, had problems, how difficult must it be for everyone else?

Her independent charity was born ‘to help relatives and friends to work with Homes to ensure the highest possible quality of life for all older residents’. Employing professional staff and attracting volunteers with knowledge and experience, as Founder President till her death in 1998 Dorothy continued to assist on the Helpline, setting the standard of shared understanding and commitment which remains at the heart of the Association.

Where now?


The Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) – renamed to emphasize its focus

R&RA’s current Chair, Judy Downey, shares Dorothy White’s public service commitment, her comment increasingly sought by news media on issues of concern over provision, training and funding of elderly care.

Now a nationally recognized independent voice that can challenge, provoke and insist on higher standards, the R&RA attracts the attention, the funding support and the active collaboration of charitable foundations, academic institutions and a range of organisations providing services for older people. It continues to extend its network of professional experts and advisers to ensure that the advice and information it gives and the good practice it recommends is accurate, useful and up to date.


If you approve of what we do and are able to contribute to the funding of the R&RA please consider making a donation or becoming an R&RA member to help us continue this vital work. Thank you!

We have no endowments or guaranteed funding so rely on the loyalty of our members and the support of our generous donors to continue our work.