Councils as conduits for care co-ops

Submitted by Dorothea on Fri, 02/26/2021 - 14:24

Sharing Care webinars have been attended by colleagues from councils around the country who need to ensure high quality social care is available to their residents. They can see that a care co-operative has great potential as a solution that ensures care is tailored to individual needs, promotes better working conditions for staff and is genuinely part of the community.    This blog is our initial exploration of how Sharing Care might develop work with local authorities to enable them to support local care co-ops. Feedback is welcome.

Co-operative Care Colne Valley has benefited greatly from financial and in-kind support from Kirklees Council. Right from the start they responded positively to our ideas and could see the potential. Local councils have a crucial role to play in encouragement and support of care co-operatives. However the membership and management of the co-operative will of course come from the local community. A top down initiative is not likely to be successful. How can the Sharing Care project support this council/community relationship?

Here are some possibilities:

  • Supporting community engagement activities to establish needs and interest. We can talk about our experiences of establishing Co-operative Care Colne Valley from scratch and have honest conversations with local people. 
  • Hosting visits from interested communities to meet established co-ops (virtual and face to face, once that’s an option)
  • Providing tools and templates to assist developing co-operatives so that getting set up is less daunting
  • Advice and guidance from our experienced team
  • Informal and friendly advice from existing care co-ops, and signposting to other sources of support
  • We can involve and draw on the lived experience of our user and staff members as well as management.

We want to continue dialogue with local authorities about what they need and what we could help with so that we can shape this offer.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch. Send email to or call Graham Mitchell on 07421 765329.


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