Equal Care Co-op
Co-op matches those seeking care with care workers and professionally trained volunteers.
Founded in 2018, Equal Care Co-op (Eccoo) is the UK’s first digital platform social care co-operative, owned and operated by the people who receive and give support.
It matches those seeking care with local care and support workers and professionally trained volunteers in the Upper Calder Valley in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. People wanting care can choose who supports them and how, and have control over their data and who sees it. And care and support workers can choose when and where they work.
Eccoo offers an alternative to profit-driven care agencies that pay minimum wage and give workers little autonomy over their hours or job security. In June 2019, it raised over £400,000 through a pioneering community share offer and gained over 150 new investor members. The funds will help develop the platform software through which reports, care plans, appointments and training will be digitised, removing administrative costs and channelling more money to the workers themselves. Eccoo are currently prototyping and testing the platform.
Founder Emma Adelaide Back told the Independent: “We’re not looking at increasing the price of social care, we’re just using the platform as a tool to achieve enough efficiencies so that more of it can go to the worker.”
Tags Worker co-operatives
Find out more
- Can you solve the UK's social care crisis by putting carers and their patients in charge? Independent, 3/07/19
- Pioneering community share offer will help reshape social care. Coop News, 29/05/19
- Unfound: these platform co-operatives are creating the tools for a worker-owned economy. Independent, 05/06/19
- Stocksy United: the stock photo agency where photographers are in charge. Independent, 11/1/19
New rules needed
Policies that can help unleash the potential of this or similar initiatives across the UK.
Launch a Co-operative Development Agency
A network of support and capacity building to develop and extend the capabilities of the co-operative movement.
Promote community wealth building
Support co-ops to thrive in their localities by anchoring them within place-based industrial and community wealth building strategies.
Introduce a maximum pay ratio
Executive pay has become divorced from reality. A pay ratio will spread wealth and reduce inequality.
Start inclusive ownership funds
An economic heartbeat that transfers the ownership and control of businesses to workers and other key stakeholders.
Implement an employee right to own
Co-operatise existing businesses to accelerate new models of ownership and increase the volume of the co-operative sector in the UK.
Introduce a Co-operative Economy Act
A legal framework tailored to the needs of co-operatives and supportive of their future development.
Create new sources of finance for co-ops
Create financial instruments and institutions tailored to the needs of the co-operative economy.