Caring Co-operatives: Co-operatives in Social Care

With the fourth webinar of the series ‘The Transformational Power of Co-operatives’, we are delighted to introduce to our audiences two excellent co-operatives that have transformed the way we can deliver social care.

The Great Care Co-op is Ireland’s first homecare co-operative led by migrant women. Great Care Co-op is 100% owned by its carers. Their holistic care approach focuses on the individuals in their homes and concentrates on combating isolation through promoting and maintaining the persons’ social roles, activities and independence.

Great Care Co-op re-invest any surplus into the development of carers and the co-op. Aofie Smith, one of the founder members, told the reasons why embracing the idea of a co-operative model for protecting the work and the  dignity of the workers, came after years of working promoting workers’ rights. The workers start to experience real change, according to Shane Liz Andaloc, another founder member, when the traditional system of providing social care was ‘overturned’ and workers’ needs and voices were put at the top of a new and radical care model. Shane’s first hand experience added to the explanations. You can view  Aoife and Shane’s presentation here:  Great Care Co-op Presentation Nov 2020

The Equal Care Co-op was the first co-op in the care sector to use community share to raise the fund for their co-operative. The interesting ownership structure and business model have given new meaning to trusted caregivers relationships, new jobs and decent wages. The co-op builds ‘a relationship of equals’ between caregivers and those receiving care and this creates a lasting, respectful, quality care. Emma Back and Kate Hammon presented their journey from how did they fund the co-op with community shares to their governance model.

You can view the (partial) recording of session on Co-operative Alternatives YouTube channel at Co-operatives in Social Care – Webinar 4