What are the main benefits of the scheme?
Gives volunteer befrienders something back for their time – the Care Savings Account.
Generates more befriending support for older adults – reduces loneliness.
Gives family carers a way of making some provision for their own futures – the Care Savings Account.
Enables charities to run a befriending service – Locality manager funded for an initial term.
Provides charities with a bespoke befriending matching/recording IT database.
Longer term, the scheme may be sustainably run through charities.
How long will G&TC fund the scheme?
We are currently funded by Innovate UK (the government’s innovation agency) to pilot the scheme until 28th February 2018. We will, therefore, fund the Locality Manager and provide equipment to operate the scheme until 28th February 2018.
We are actively seeking continuation funding and will update the website once we have news.
Where is the scheme currently operating?
We have an operating Locality in Wokingham (via Twyford & District Age Concern), where we have set up a befriending scheme from scratch.
We have an operating Locality in Slough, Berkshire (via Slough Age Concern), where there is a strong need for befriending services.
We have an operating Locality in Rochdale, Greater Manchester (via HMR Circle), who have a demand for befriending services.
I am concerned that the principles of volunteering are not about personal gain. How do we overcome this?
There is no obligation or pressure on volunteers to join the G&TC scheme if they do not wish to. Some volunteers may feel it goes against their principles of giving their time and efforts to others without expecting anything in return.
The aim of G&TC is to address the crisis of an increasingly ageing population and a lack of resources to adequately care for them. We will all age sooner or later and need support from others. It is unclear what peoples’ money pensions will afford them when they need it and we know that public services are being cut back. We, therefore, believe that the G&TC scheme is a way for people to work together to help each other now and alleviate loneliness and isolation.
The G&TC scheme will not be for everyone, it is simply an additional service that charities can offer to befriending volunteers and family carers. However, our feedback is that many service users who have support from volunteers, want to be able to give something back as a ‘thank you’.
What happens if the scheme does not last, and CareGivers lose the hours they have banked?
We cannot guarantee the scheme will remain available long-term and that CareGivers will be able to use their hours in the future. However, we strongly believe that if enough people take part in the scheme, we will have a good chance to be sustainable in the future.
With sufficient numbers taking part, we will offer a genuine solution to loneliness and isolation and everyone stands to gain from the benefits (CareReceivers, CareGivers, associate charities, the wider community). We are working to promote the scheme through the media and in our operating Locality communities to recruit Partners and have the best chance of success. We believe the key to solving our community problems is by all of us working together.
How would we communicate the scheme to our members?
G&TC is presented as an additional service that is available to all those involved in befriending or family care arrangements, who wish to use the Care Savings Account. The Locality Manager will be trained to explain the benefits of the scheme and how it works. G&TC will work closely with you to provide information materials and advertisements to promote the scheme. G&TC will also run a launch event in each new Locality to raise awareness.
Who do we contact to discuss working together to deliver the scheme?
If you are an age or care-related charity or organisation and you wish to discuss collaborate with us to deliver the scheme, please contact us by email HERE.