An innovative pilot scheme, which supports unpaid carers to pursue a career in local care homes, will be launching in Lancashire and South Cumbria in June this year.
‘Dare to Care’ is a free 12-week training programme that provides unpaid carers – including young carers aged 16-18 years old – an opportunity to develop new skills, receive training certificates and build confidence to become a volunteer and potentially job-ready for a career in the care sector.
The ‘Dare to Care’ programme has been developed by the Integrated Voluntary Services Project in partnership with the Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster University, Lancashire County Council and Healthwatch in Blackpool (Empowerment Charity), and Healthwatch Lancashire.
Maggie Asquith, Integrated Voluntary Services Project Lead for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership, said: “The Dare to Care project is a brilliant example of organisations working in partnership across Lancashire and South Cumbria, I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of the programme so far.
“The course has been created specifically with carers in mind, we believe that many people who are carers already have the existing skills, experience, and values to start a career in social care. So, I would encourage anyone interested to get in touch to find out more.”
Graham Gooch, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The tireless and outstanding commitment of our social care and healthcare workers over the past year is the best possible advert for the profession. We know that many people have been inspired by the work of people providing frontline care to vulnerable and elderly people during the pandemic.
“This course provides unpaid carers with the perfect opportunity to develop new skills and the confidence to pursue a career in the care sector.”
Yunus Giwa, Senior Work Programmes Officer for Sanctuary Care supporting Guy’s Court Residential Care Home in Fleetwood, said: “As part of the Dare to Care programme, there is a six-week volunteer placement in a care home which provides a real insight into what it’s like, and the wide variety of opportunities on offer. No two days are the same. During this placement, volunteers will help to run creative and social activities and support residents in a number of different ways.
“Through the Digital Buddy scheme, participants are paired with residents who need guidance and support to use technology. Apps such as a FaceTime call to their grandchild can help them connect and stay in touch with family.”
Trish Hothersall, Volunteer Co-Ordinator, N-Vision, the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Society for the Blind supporting The Princess Alexandra Home, said: “The programme is set up with flexibility in mind to ensure that the hours people volunteer can easily fit around their existing responsibilities and family commitments.
“When you work in a care home you are making a real difference to people’s lives. The Dare to Care programme is a great initiative and I hope it will encourage unpaid carers to consider a highly rewarding career in care.”
20 volunteers are being recruited to participate in the two pilot schemes launching in Fleetwood and Blackpool. The pilot is planned to be rolled out across the whole of Lancashire and South Cumbria.
Healthwatch Lancashire is leading on recruitment and coordinating the training and placements of participants. If you are an unpaid carer and are interested in joining the pilot, or a care home that would like to take part, please contact:
Healthwatch Lancashire by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01524 239100.