Digital toolkit launches to help develop care and wellbeing co-ops

Wales Co-operative Centre has developed the Care to Co-operate online toolkit after new legislation offered more control to service users

A dedicated website has been launched to help local communities and voluntary groups in Wales to develop personal care and wellbeing co-ops.

The Care to Co-operate online toolkit provides advice and resources to groups who want to set up or run care and wellbeing services in a more collaborative, co-operative and inclusive way.

It has been developed by the Care to Co-operate project, which is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre and funded by the Welsh government.

In 2014, the Welsh government passed a law giving people who use care and wellbeing services more say in how they are run and what they offer. It wants more social enterprises, co-operatives and user-led organisations to deliver these services.

The toolkit includes resources for people who use care services, as well as their friends, family, professional carers and neighbours, so they can think about ways to work co-operatively, develop ideas, and think about how to manage services so that everyone has a say in how they’re run.

The interactive online toolkit will help people take the first steps in setting up their own co-operative and features animation, information, quizzes and activities.

Adrian Roper, chief executive of Cartrefi Cymru Co-operative and chair of the Social Co-operation Forum, said: “Social care is often in the news for depressing reasons, so it makes a change to report that something positive and new is happening in social care and that Wales is at the forefront of its development.”

Donna Coyle, project manager of Care to Co-operate said: “The toolkit can help people and communities develop their ideas into a successful service. It can also help organisations already delivering services to involve the people who use those services in how they are run.

“Alongside the face-to-face support available from the Care to Co-operate team, we believe this toolkit provides the resources needed to grow the co-operative care sector in Wales.”

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