What are GATs

GATs are credits of hours that are banked when a CareGiver provides support to a CareReceiver. The CareReceiver ‘spends’ their GATs when they receive support from a CareGiver.

1 hour of support = 1 GAT.

CareGivers build up GATs in their Care Savings Account which they can use to gain support under the scheme when they are over 60.

GATs are not monetary, they simply represent hours of care exchanged. GATs do not have any commercial value and cannot be sold or redeemed.

What are Partners

G&TC is made up of CareGivers, and CareReceivers; Both of which are called Partners.

There are two types of Partner arrangements: befriending care and family care.

Befriending care arrangements are where CareGivers and CareReceivers register for the scheme and are matched together to begin exchanging GATs.

Family care arrangements are for people already giving care to a loved one in their family; they can register for the scheme and bank some of their care hours.


People who receive care from a CareGiver, who have registered with an associate charity and enrolled on the G&TC scheme. A CareReceiver could be someone receiving befriending support from a volunteer via the scheme in the local community, or someone receiving informal support from a family member.

CareReceivers must be aged 60+.

CareReceivers who register to receive befriending from a G&TC CareGiver will be asked what type of befriending support they need and when. They will be assessed for suitability by the Locality Manager (which will involve a home visit), and then introduced to a suitable CareGiver by the Locality Manager.


People who provide support for an older person and have registered with an associate charity and enrolled on the G&TC scheme. CareGivers are those who offer volunteer befriending support to people in the local community, or those who already give care to a family member. Both volunteer befrienders and family carers can join as CareGivers on the scheme and start to build up a Care Savings Account.

Volunteer befriending CareGivers must be 18+.

A volunteer befriending CareGivers will state what skills they can offer and when. They will then be introduced to a suitable CareReceiver by the Locality Manager.

All volunteer befriending CareGivers will be DBS vetted and assessed before they can start giving care. They will also receive Adult Safeguarding training within 6 months of joining the scheme.

How do Family Care arrangements work?

People who offer care for a loved one over the age of 60 are eligible to join the scheme. To do this, they must join through an associate charity in their area, and both CareGiver and CareReceiver must agree to the terms of the arrangement.

The scheme allows Family CareGivers to bank some of the hours of care taking place into a Care Savings Account. Family CareGivers can only bank a maximum of 5 hours per day. CareReceivers must understand and agree to pay the membership fee and administrative fees. Both Partners will need to sign up to the scheme, complete all paperwork and agree on the number of hours they wish to bank.

In family care arrangements, carers may be providing a full range of care including aspects of what is deemed personal care, but which when carried out between family members, does not need to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission. On the G&TC-scheme, family members do not need to declare what activities are taking place or when they simply notify the Locality Manager how many ‘GATs ’ per week they wish to bank.

Can I be a CareGiver and a CareReceiver at the same time?


Many people are over 60 and want to offer help to support a CareReceiver, whilst also getting support themselves. This is most likely to happen when people wish to volunteer to help someone with certain activities (e.g. keeping someone company), but may themselves need help with different activities (e.g. lifts to appointments).

It is possible to register as a CareGiver and a CareReceiver at the same time on the scheme. In these cases, individuals must complete sign-up paperwork for both types of Partner, and ensure they are appropriately vetted and undertake the Adult Safeguarding training. They will also pay the membership fee and admin fees as a CareReceiver.

Who pays the membership?

All CareReceivers pay a membership fee when they sign up to the scheme. This is only paid once upon initial registration. This fee is the same whether CareReceivers join under the direct debit scheme or the GAT Plan pre-paid scheme.

How are the admin fees paid?

There is an admin fee of £1 to be paid for every GAT hour exchanged under the scheme. The CareReceiver pays the admin fees. The fees are to run the scheme and to make the Care Savings Account possible for current CareGivers in the future. The fee is not to pay for the care itself.

Admin fees can be paid for by monthly direct debit, or through the pre-paid GAT Plan.

Monthly direct debit

To have admin fees collected by monthly direct debit, CareReceivers will complete a Direct Debit Mandate form with the Locality Manager when they sign up. Admin fees are collected on approximately 27th of each month.

 GAT Plan

The GAT Plan is a pre-paid option for CareReceivers to purchase a bundle of befriending GAT hours in advance. Then the Locality Manager will log the GAT hours being used as they receive care. This is a way of paying the admin fees upfront to receive the support as arranged afterwards.

The GAT Plan means paying the charity membership fee, G&TC membership fee and the bundle of GAT admin fees in one go.

Each associate charity may offer different bundles of GAT hours to be purchased on the GAT Plan. GAT Plan hours will have an expiry date, also set by the associate charity.

How can I transfer GATs to someone else?

There are currently two ways in which Partners may transfer their GATs to another person.

GATs can be:

Gifted to a friend or relative

– Left as a legacy in a will

In time, CareGivers may wish to gift their GATs to support someone who lives in another part of the country. G&TC is a new project which aims to expand across the UK. As we grow and establish the scheme in new areas, there will be more options to transfer GATs to someone in a different location. We can only offer the scheme in areas where we are operating through our associate charities. Check where we are currently available here

At what age can I access my GATs and become a CareReceiver?

CareGivers can become CareReceivers when they are age 60.

To become a CareReceiver after having been a CareGiver, the applicant needs to complete the correct forms with the Locality Manager, pay the one-off membership fee and admin fees for all GATs.

Who has to be DBS checked?

All CareGivers in volunteer befriending arrangements must be DBS checked before they can give volunteer befriending support to any CareReceiver on the scheme. G&TC is committed to safeguarding older adults and therefore DBS vetting is an important process.

The Locality Manager will advise CareGivers how to provide a DBS check and at what level, and check all certificates and ID documentation.

No individuals will be accepted onto the scheme as CareGivers if they are known to be on the Barred List from working with vulnerable adults. If a DBS check results in any information which indicates an applicant poses a risk of harm or a concern to vulnerable adults, they will not be accepted onto the scheme or be able to continue on the scheme.

Locality Managers will consider applicants with unspent convictions carefully and safely in accordance with government guidance (Rehabilitation of Offenders Act). Decisions about unspent convictions are based on the following:

  • How long ago the offence occurred
  • How old the person was at the time of the offence
  • If there is one offence or a series/pattern of offending
  • The relevance of the offence(s) to the CareGiving role
  • The circumstances of the offence(s) according to the person
  • Any other information giving an informed view of the applicant’s offence(s)

The Locality Manager will then make an informed decision as to whether the applicant may become a CareGiver and the nature of activities they can perform under the scheme. CareReceivers will not be advised about any DBS information on CareGivers as this is confidential.

The Locality Manager will refer any CareGiver to the DBS if they:

  • remove them from the scheme for harming a child or an adult
  • remove them because they might have harmed an adult or child
  • were planning to remove the individual from supporting CareReceivers but the individual left first.

This is called ‘Duty to Refer’ which is a legal obligation and overrides CareGiver confidentiality rights. In such cases, all care arrangements will be stopped.

In addition to DBS vetting, our associate charities may have other vetting procedures such as reference checking and interviews, to ensure suitability for volunteering. These will be specific to each charity and explained by the Locality Manager.

What is the Adult Safeguarding training for CareGivers?

All volunteer befriending CareGivers will be required to undertake Adult Safeguarding training within the first 6 months of being matched. This is to ensure that they are knowledgeable about spotting any signs of abuse or neglect. This will either be at the local Council office or delivered at the associate charity office by the Locality Manager.

How will my personal data be used and stored?

G&TC will collect, use, share and store certain necessary personal information about all Partners in order to run the scheme. Both G&TC, G&TC’s bank and our associate charities are committed to handling personal information in accordance with data protection legislation.

Due to the long-term nature of the scheme, we will retain Partners’ personal information for as long as you wish to participate in the scheme. This may be for the duration of your life so that you may access the service as intended, or until any request is received to cancel your registration.