In the social care world, there’s a movement towards encouraging and empowering people and communities to care for themselves and each other. Personal care budgets – that allow service users to choose and pay for the services that best suit their needs – is one element of that. What is often found, though, is that local and community-based initiatives can be far better at “looking after their own” than the ‘block services’ that local authorities and health services deliver.
These locally-delivered services often access previously untapped skills, knowledge and experience from the community, resulting in services being delivered by enthusiastic, community-minded people. This sense of inclusion in their community can dramatically improve service user’s quality of life, health and wellbeing, and independence.
A community of people who interact, trust and look after each other has what is known as “social capital” – and this is more and more being seen as a hugely valuable resource in the delivery of social care.
Mindings, at its core is all about nurturing social connection:
- We help grandmothers see daily pictures of their grandchildren who live so far away and rarely visit.
- We help sons and daughters set up daily schedules and reminders to help their parents live independently.
- We help granddads be included in the social media loop, without having to learn how to use a computer.
- And, we’re working on a new concept “Virtual Befriending” in which we can gather a varied group of befrienders and help them share pictures and messages with people who have no family, friends or community – using Mindings as a digital social hub.
On the Disruptive Social Care Podcast I present with social care advocate Shirley Ayres, our guest Dominic Campbell, founder of FutureGov, discusses austerity-led innovation, social capital and why he looks towards innovations like Mindings for interesting takes on social capital.