Befriending and Family Care
G&TC is a time-banking scheme with the ambition to become embedded in society long-term. G&TC is made up of CareGivers and CareReceivers; both of which are called Partners.
G&TC delivers volunteer befriending support through existing charities, encouraging regular one-to-one support visits which can become long-term, meaningful friendships. We believe this will improve the quality of care for many older adults by increasing connections with others and providing additional support with day-to-day activities.
The scheme is also available to people in existing family care arrangements, enabling family carers to bank some caring time for their own futures.
Central to the scheme is the Care Savings Account, a personal account where CareGivers record the hours of care they give to elderly people. In the future, when CareGivers reach age 60, they can become CareReceivers and ‘spend’ their credits to gain the support they need. In this way, G&TC gives something back to those who volunteer for the elderly in their local communities.
The G&TC Care Savings Account helps CareGivers to plan for their own future support needs.
People who provide care for an older person under the scheme. CareGivers must enrol on the scheme through an associate charity in their area. CareGivers will either be volunteer befrienders offering to support someone in their local community, or family carers already supporting a loved one; both can use the scheme to build up a Care Savings Account.
CareGivers who offer volunteer befriending must be 18+. They will specify what skills they can offer and their availability and the Locality Manager will match them with a CareReceiver.
People who receive care from a CareGiver on the scheme. CareReceivers can receive befriending support in their local community once matched with a local CareGiver. In most cases, CareReceivers must be 60+ to access the scheme.
CareReceivers can also be those who are receiving informal care from a family member. For family CareReceivers, there are no restrictions to just befriending activities.
Existing family care arrangements can be banked if both CareGiver and CareReceiver join the scheme through an associate charity and agree the number of hours they wish to bank. Family CareGivers can bank up to five hours per day. This is simply an upper limit, family care Partners chose the number of hours they will be banking. E.g., they may decide they wish to bank one hour per week or one hour per month.
Being a CareGiver and a CareReceiver at the same time
It is possible for people over 60 to be a CareGiver and a CareReceiver at the same time. This is most likely to happen when people wish to volunteer to help someone with certain activities (E.g. company), but may themselves need help with different activities (e.g. lifts to appointments).
Vetting of CareGivers
All befriending CareGivers must be appropriately vetted and provide identification before they start providing care under the scheme. A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required as well as a suitability assessment. The Locality Manager oversees this process.
See Caregiver Vetting– for further info
The Locality Manager is central to running G&TC in the community. Employed by the charity, the Locality Manager is based at the associate charity’s office Monday-Friday and is the main point of contact for the scheme. Partners sign up to G&TC via the Locality Manager who will ensure that Partners receive all correct paperwork and information.
The Locality Manager is the person to whom CareReceivers can request the support they are looking for and when it is needed. Similarly, CareGivers inform the Locality Manager what support they can offer and their availability. The locality Manager uses the G&TC matching database to match CareGivers and CareReceivers according to skills, needs, availability and proximity.
Once both parties confirm they are happy with support arrangements, they notify the Locality Manager who will log the number of hours being exchanged.
The Locality Manager:
- Ensures that befriending CareGivers are vetted before they begin giving care (DBS)
- Conducts an initial home visit to discuss CareReceiver needs
- Conducts an initial suitability assessment of CareGivers
- Ensures that all befriending CareGivers are trained in Adult Safeguarding
- Responds to requests to change Partner matches or arrangements
GATs are time credits
GAT stands for Give and Take, and GATs are the currency of hours credited into or spent from a Partner’s Care Savings Account.
1 GAT = 1 hour of care.
By receiving an hour of befriending support per week, a CareGiver will save four GATs a month into their Care Savings Account.
GATs are not refundable and may not be exchanged for cash. They can either be transferred to another person signed up to the scheme, donated to the charity, or cancelled entirely if a Partner chooses to terminate their G&TC Care Savings Account.
Transfer and gifting of GATs
There are currently two ways in which Partners may transfer their GATs. 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 as they cannot support them directly. G&TC is a new project which aims to expand across the UK. As we grow and establish the scheme in new areas, the options to transfer GATs to a different location will increase. We can only offer the scheme in areas where we are active and running via associate charities. Please check where we are available if you are planning to transfer GATs. GATs can also be transferred to a family member.
Type of support available
One-to-one befriending support
Befriending care is regular one-to-one support where a CareGiver visits a CareReceiver, usually in their own home. Befriending support varies but often includes the following types of activities:
Keeping someone company
Making cups of tea/coffee
Helping around the house, cleaning, tidying
Giving lifts to appointments or for shopping
Assisting with reading or writing (not with financial affairs)
Accompanying for walks or socialising
Walking the dog
Befriending activities do not involve personal care. Personal care is an activity which must be carried out by qualified care professionals only, regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Group befriending involves a CareGiver volunteering with a local associate charity. Many charities that support the elderly run day centres and group activities such as lunches, outings, support sessions, etc. CareGivers who help with group activities for the elderly can sign up to G&TC through an associate charity and bank these hours into their Care Savings Account.
CareGivers are in no way contracted or obliged to undertake any arrangements they do not wish to do. They are not employees and are not expected to perform any tasks, but are there to support CareReceivers in their free time. However, the spirit of the scheme is to establish regular, friendly contact for elderly people and therefore improve their quality of life through long lasting friendships. We therefore encourage Partners to sign up to the scheme with a view to committing to regular arrangements on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, so that friendships can grow.
Admin fees & membership fee
G&TC are working to make the scheme sustainable long term. To do this, we seek to be independent from the state, business and charity funding. Therefore, the costs for running the scheme must come from within.
There is an admin fee of £1, to be paid for every hour of 1-2-1 befriending care exchanged under the scheme. This payment is not for the care itself but used to sustain the scheme through principles of circular economy. The CareReceiver pays the admin fees either through a pre-paid GAT Plan for a number of GATs or through monthly direct debit.
The admin fee enables G&TC to keep the system going, employ the Locality Manager, record Partner GAT exchanges, maintain the IT system and promote/expand the scheme. A proportion of fees are returned to our associate charities to pay for the work of the Locality Manager. Longer term, we hope there will be enough Partners exchanging care and support, such that charities may use the fee income to run the scheme independently in the community.
All CareReceivers pay a £5 membership fee when signing up to the scheme.
CareGivers by supporting a CareReceiver, ‘bank’ their GAT hours into their Care Savings Account. When they reach 60 and wish to become CareReceivers and ‘spend’ their GATs, they too will pay the membership fee and £1 per GAT for the administration of the scheme.
Our associate charities will have details on the pre-paid GAT Plans.