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Co-operatives UK invests in new tech platform ready to “radically reshape” UK social care system

A pioneering West Yorkshire enterprise crowdfunding to launch a “revolutionary” way of delivering social care, will receive investment of £170,000 from Co-operatives UK.

The Equal Care Co-op, based in Hebden Bridge, is raising upwards of £300,000 through a community share offer to develop the UK’s first social care ‘platform co-operative’, inviting individuals, businesses and institutions to back their innovative plans.

Says Founder Member, Kate Hammon: 

“Equal Care Co-op exists to put the relationship between the person giving care and the person receiving care at the forefront of every single decision that we make. We want to radically reshape the UK’s broken care system.”

The £100,000 minimum target was reached within weeks (nearly £330,000 has been invested to date) which unlocks match-funding of £173,870 from Co-operatives UK, the trade body for co-operative businesses. This includes £73,870 from an emerging fund set up to support platform co-ops, thanks to funding from Open Society Foundations and £100,000 from the Community Shares Booster Programme, funded by Power to Change.

Before launching the share offer, Equal Care Co-op also received business support and mentoring from The Hive, Co-operatives UK’s co-op support programme funded by The Co-operative Bank, and UnFound, an programme for platform co-operatives in the UK.

Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, Ed Mayo, says:

“We are proud to support Equal Care Co-op with this significant investment. As the first UK social care platform co-op they are paving the way and creating a replicable model to change the face of social care delivery. We hope their success will encourage and inspire other tech or social care companies and entrepreneurs to explore co-operative ways of working.”

Equal Care Co-op is set up as platform co-operative – a business that operates on or through a digital platform, offering democratic ownership to its users, workers and investors. It uses online technology to take an innovative approach to social care by giving greater control to the care givers and receivers.

Read more about Equal Care Co-op's journey on www.unfound.coop.

The share offer has been extended until 14 August 2019. Find out more at www.ethex.org.uk/equalcare 

See also www.equalcare.coop or tweet @equalcarecoop

Written by Leila O'Sullivan
Updated: 19/07/2019