North East Dartmoor Care is a true community project. It came about after local people approached the Moretonhampstead Development Trust, (a local charity) with concerns about a lack of social care in the north east Dartmoor area - particularly for older residents needing help to stay at home.
This was just as the local cottage hospital lost all of its beds, compounding the existing problem of a lack of local services.
The Trust discovered that the issue is so bad that the area is described as being in market failure for adult social care. This means that many of the areas’ most vulnerable residents are going without vital support at home, or are often stuck in hospital for weeks at a time, because of the lack of local home-care.
NEDCare Community Interest Company (CIC) was set up to tackle these issues, with the aim of meeting local care needs into the long term.
Our vision is that everyone in North East Dartmoor who needs social care can get the care that they need - where and when they need it.
Currently the CIC runs a Carer Introduction Service, to help people find self-employed carers and to encourage more people to think about working in care. But the real issue is the lack of regulated care available.
NEDCare is fundraising in order to:
- Recruit a specialist ‘Registered Manager,’ to put all the required policies, procedures and plans in place, and to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC);
- Launch new, regulated home-care services;
- Provide working capital to support the initial start-up phase.
Funds raised will also go to maintaining the Carer Introduction Service which provides a vital service making 1-2 care matches every week.
With full funding of £80,000 for the start-up phase, once services are launched NED Care will be a community-owned business that is viable on earned income alone – without a need for ongoing fundraising.
Our Crowdfunding target of £6,000 will make up a part of the funding mix. Moretonhampstead Hospital League of Friends have pledged a further £30,000. Further fundraising is aimed at the BIG Lottery, alongside other public/trust funders and social investment.
We continue to work with a number industry specialists and advisors to support the process and are participants on the fantastic Seedbed social investment programme http://seedbedenterprise.co.uk/ which is sponsored by the Cabinet Office.
What is social care?
Social care is the extra care or practical support that some people need due to their physical condition. It includes residential care and home care, the last of which enables people to lead an active life, to remain in their own homes and to retain their independence and dignity, particularly in later life.
Support includes personal care, such as help with getting out of bed, washing, dressing, feeding and medications. It can also be practical support such as preparing food, shopping and housework.
Who receives it?
People receiving care can be anyone in the community, including you and me. There are basically two groups:
- Those who, due to a medical condition or infirmity, need help with everyday tasks in order to remain independent and living in their own homes.
- Those who have been in hospital for a specific problem and need care at home for a limited period of time after discharge.
Who provides it?
Social care is provided in two ways. 1) The most vulnerable people get support from the Social Services department of Devon County Council, which contracts directly with commercial care agencies that are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. 2) People who aren’t eligible for this high level of support are responsible for organising their own care. They can use any willing provider of care services – be that a family member, friend, a regulated agency or a self-employed carer.
So what is the problem?
Our nearest regulated care agencies are some distance away, in the large towns around the moor – Okehampton, Exeter and Newton Abbot. For commercial agencies it is simply not economic to send staff a long way into our area, often for short visits, due to travel costs and time. As Social Services have told us, ‘the care runs out as you go north up Bovey Straights’.
As a direct result of this situation we estimate that over 200 people a year from this area are struggling to get the regulated care that they need.
We also know that over 240 hospital bed days are lost each year, just by people from this area having to stay in hospital because of a lack of home-care services.
What is the solution?
NEDCare has been set up by the Moretonhampstead Development Trust with a grant of £20,000 from the Moretonhampstead Hospital League of Friends.
We aim to establish a non-for-profit and regulated care agency to cover the North East Dartmoor area - the catchment area of the GP surgeries of Cheriton Bishop, Chagford and Moretonhampstead.
The NEDCare agency will be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC,) the regulator for social care, who have strict standards for social care providers. Registration is vital, to ensure that we can support everyone – including the most vulnerable people whose care is managed by Devon County Council - but also to ensure that our services are safe, effective, caring, responsive to peoples’ needs and well-led.
Where are we with the solution?
We have analysed the situation, have a robust business plan in place and aim to set up the agency within the next 6 months, subject to funding. Once launched, the enterprise will be viable on earned income alone, without a need for ongoing funding.
With start-up funds in place, we will appoint a specialist manager to take us through registration with the Care Quality Commission, recruit and train a team of carers from within our communities and launch the business.
What are we asking from you?
We are confident, from the research that we have completed, that once the agency is set up it will be financially self-sufficient. Even if we only meet 18% of the current demand in the area we would be financially viable – though of course we plan to do far more than that.
However, we do need financial contributions for the set-up period, during which we have expenses but no regular income. The League of Friends have already given a generous start-up pledge of £30,000 and we are also in the process of securing;
- £10,000 social enterprise loan from the Cabinet Office sponsored Seedbed programme.
- £35,000 through grant-making trusts and other public funders.
- £6,000 in public donations from the community.
How can you help?
There are two ways in which you can help;
If you feel able to make a donation to NEDCare, we would be very grateful.
- You can do this by donating through this Crowdfunder.
- Or, if you prefer, you can write a cheque out to NEDCARE CIC and send it to NEDCARE, Green Hill, Fore Street, Moretonhampstead, Devon TQ13 8LL.
- By becoming a champion for your area
If you are interested in what we are doing, would like to find out more and possibly be a champion for your area, then we would be delighted to meet with you to discuss further.
Please phone Julia 01647 640722, and come and meet the rest of the Board members.
Finally, thank you for taking the time to read this. We hope that you will share our view that this is a valuable community project which will be of direct benefit to the residents of North East Dartmoor. None of us can know when we might need social care support, and building up to becoming self-sufficient in care would make our communities stronger, safer and healthier places to live.
If you have any questions or comments, please do get in touch. Thank you.
Because of the nature of the NED Care project, we are not offering rewards during this Crowdfunding campaign.
All money raised will go directly towards recruiting the specialist staff we need to get NED Care registered with the Care Quality Commission and to launch new home care services.
We will be thanking all donors individually.