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Prevention service description

The scheme uses a time-banking model in which younger volunteers (CareGivers) provide befriending and support for older members of the community (CareReceivers). This typically involves companionship, practical help around the house, or helping with transport. For each hour of care that a volunteer provides they receive one care credit, which can be exchanged for care at a point in the future when they may need support themselves (normally once they are over the age of 60). By increasing the numbers of regular one-to-one support visits the scheme aims to enable the provision of high quality, person-centred care. It is also hoped that these care arrangements will lead to long-term meaningful friendships and reduce the need for traditional domiciliary support provided by social services in an increasingly sparer way due to cut in the social care funds.

CareGivers and CareReceivers are recruited via local charities. A bespoke IT system is used by the Locality Manager to match CareGivers and CareReceivers according to their compatibility, skills and needs, availability, and geographical proximity. For each hour of care they receive, CareRecivers pay a small administrative fee of £1. This contribution is expected to make Give&TakeCare sustainable in the long-term and eliminates the need for external funding to support befriending services. The largest proportion of this fee is returned to the charities with whom Give&TakeCare works.

Intervention/service type:

Support at home; Befriending, mentoring and peer support; Community services; Low-level support; Carers support; Community capacity building

Target client group(s):

Older people; Carers; Vulnerable adults

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