Sharing is caring: how one tech-powered charity is evolving the share economy
Posted on October 1, 2017 by 0 comments 0 likes
There are 7 million unpaid carers in the UK providing 80% of all home care. Often sacrificing their own wellbeing, unpaid carers are the invisible backbone of the health and social care system, providing an estimated value of £132bn to the UK economy – the equivalent of the the entire NHS budget. But with the escalating number of older people, systematic transformation is urgently needed, before ageing creates a sustainable development issue for future generations.
By 2030, there will be a staggering 56% increase in old people making them the largest generation, globally. Already, the UN has identified unpaid caregiving as one of the most important social and economic policy issues worldwide. Inevitably, the viability of the social care system is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of carers, but 83% of unpaid carers experience health problems as a direct result of their caring role.
October 1 is International Day of Older Persons. This year, alongside recognising the contributions that older people add to our society, we must also celebrate the quiet yet critical achievements of unpaid carers. Motivated by love and kindness, the sad reality is that almost 50% of all unpaid carers suffer isolation and loneliness. The unpaid care burden is so huge, and provision of services so limited and unaffordable, that 68% of unpaid carers will not take a break this year.
Enter Carefreebreaks. This dynamic charity has a high-impact, tech-powered, innovative solution. An intelligent airbnb-style platform, Carefreebreaks matches the demand for carer breaks with a supply of accommodation donated free-of-charge by owners during the low season. It’s simple yet powerful, and set to transform support for unpaid carers, providing them with the critical respite they so desperately need.
Founders James and Charlie Ricketts explain,“We initially started as a voluntary project, but now Carefreebreaks has proven viability and demand. We’ve already run successful pilots by facilitating 60 holidays breaks with Carer Services, holiday accommodation businesses and individual property owners.”
The Rainmaker Foundation is proud to be working with Carefreebreaks during the #CharityAccelerator programme. As a participant of the programme, Carefreebreaks will grow through membership of the Rainmaker Foundation’s ecosystem: scaling their tech products and applying entrepreneurial approaches to increase charitable impact.