#CharityAccelerator 2017: Carefreebreaks
Posted on July 31, 2017 by 0 comments 2 likes
BRINGING SHARING ECONOMY TO SOCIAL CARE
Carefreebreaks is a non-profit social enterprise that enables unpaid carers to take short breaks in accommodation donated free-of-charge by owners. For the majority of carers a break is a lifeline, not a luxury. For owners, donating weeks during the low season is a generous and worthy expression of community support.
Unpaid carers are the invisible backbone of the health and social care system, often sacrificing their own wellbeing to care for the most vulnerable members of society. There are 7 million unpaid carers in the UK providing 80% of all home care. With an ageing population, rising health care costs and increased occurrence of long-term chronic illness the importance of this voluntary workforce has never been greater.
Founder, Charles Ricketts witnessed first-hand the extraordinary nature of the caring role and the effect that it has on a carer’s life. With brother James, he created this scheme to harness the support of the community at large to address the issue that is likely to affect the vast majority of us at some point in our life.
Once seen as a private matter amongst families, unpaid caregiving has become one of the most important social and economic policy issues worldwide. Carers do what they do out of love, but it takes its toll on their personal lives, financially, socially and on their health.
Charles foresees great success through engaging in the Rainmaker Foundation’s Charity Accelerator programme. “Rainmaker is about challenging business models, about disruptive technologies, about applying entrepreneurial thinking to non-profit organisations wanting –needing- to scale. We are confident in what we have but also very ready to accept change if it will better position us to progress. So success resulting from the Accelerator programme means that we have been challenged, and that we are better equipped to secure (or better still, have secured) funding.”
Started as a voluntary project, Carefreebreaks has worked with Carer Services, Carer Trade Bodies, holiday cottage companies, hotel groups & individual property owners,to facilitate sixty 3 or 7 day holiday breaks and prove their business case, and are gearing up to launch their fully automated ‘Air BnB style’ platform in late 2017.