Give & Take Care is a non-technological approach to solving the workforce shortage and providing care for the future older population. Based around the idea of volunteering, it is an initiative of time exchange that hopes to be revolutionary. Last Friday I attended the Give & Take Care launch in The Piggott School in Twyford to try and understand more about this innovative scheme.
What is Give & Take Care?
Give & Take Care is the brainchild of Emeritus Heinz Wolff and Gabriella Spinelli of Brunel University. Like CHIRON, their project is being funded by Innovate UK’s Long Term Care Revolution and began in February 2016.
The idea is of mutual exchange; ‘support provided by me now, in return for support for me later’. Essentially the idea means a future where some of your care may be paid for by your time, instead of by your money. It is an idea which aims to improve how we care for older people across the UK.
The scheme provides a ‘care pension’ account, logging the hours of care you give to others, for you to access the same hours of care later in your life. Time is measured by something called GATs – these are credits of hours that are banked when you give care to another. 1 hour of care/support = 1 GAT. For example, if you give 5 hours a week of befriending care to Mrs Jones, your account will be credited with 5 GATs for that week. It aims to create more person-centred care for the elderly, that will hope to reduce loneliness, and build community support networks while also helping NHS expenditure, by mobilising society at large to work together to help solve the current care crisis.
Who is organising the scheme?
Collaborators on the project are The East of England Coop Society & Brunel University London. Prof Heinz Wolff conceived the idea of reciprocal care that underpins Give & Take Care. Heinz is an inventor, a scientist and an entrepreneur. He spent his professional life working for the Medical Council, The European Space Agency, the BBC, Brunel University London and many other prestigious organisations. Dr Gabriella Spinelli is a Reader in Design Innovation at Brunel University, specialising in design for ageing. Her passion is to help shape society such that people have a graceful and full life well into old age.
Innovate UK is funding the first 25 months of G&TC-CIC. For more information please go to https://www.giveandtakecare.co.uk