About our care and support
It’s a relationship of equals. Independent caregivers and receivers choose one another for the best chance of creating lasting, respectful, quality care and support relationships. Each role – giving and receiving – has control over what’s important to them.
All those giving support go through a full recruitment process with application, interview and reference checks. We check that it’s safe for workers to give support in people’s homes and that the skill mix is right for the care and support match.
Giving is a natural part of being human. If you get stuck in a role where you’re only receiving
support and services from others this can make you more unwell. We give people receiving care and community volunteers the opportunities and support to help others and to be fairly rewarded for this work.
We remove administrative burdens for care workers and people receiving care and support without compromising on choice, safety, personal autonomy or quality. We do this by giving people on both sides of the care relationship the tools, the skills and the confidence to organise and co-ordinate their support.
We work with the kindness that already exists in communities by developing trusted circles of support around each person and amongst peers.
Using tried-and-tested principles of self-governance
we will enable workers to co-ordinate the support they offer without constantly referring decisions up a management chain.
Why are we doing this?
Professional care and support practitioners are paid abominably. Many of them are in working poverty. We think this crucial and demanding job is worth much more than the minimum wage and should stop being rated at the bottom of the UK’s wage scale.
In the absence of more money available we’re setting out to pay as much as possible to workers, passing on the maximum income to them whilst remaining sustainable at normal market rates.
Social care is full of inequitable relationships: between council and provider, between provider and worker, between people getting support and all of those. When you are stuck in these types of low-status, high-stress relationships you get ill and you get sad.
We are a co-operative. We’re using alternative governance structures to share power. We’re transparent. Joining us means you see where the money goes, who’s being paid what and you participate in the decision-making.
The vacancy rate in social care is already massive.
And it’s getting bigger and bigger as we all get older.
We’re working on making the job much more attractive through higher rates of pay and real choice. We’re introducing an alternative currency to facilitate voluntary work from people receiving support themselves and community members. We want to help redefine care and support as an abundant resource that we (i.e. all us humans) can all contribute to and benefit from.
Care and support technology is developing at a crazy pace. But shiny software doesn’t remove intrinsic biases. Much of the tech on the market prioritises the manager’s perspective and a surveillance, ‘regulation-first’ culture. The companies selling it are also mostly subject to the high-growth, fast-exit rules of venture capital culture.
We think that co-operatively owned technology that is co-created by and accountable to members will go a long, long way towards tackling these problems.