The care system is broken! It’s time to create Cooperative Alternatives

Join us on 10th June to hear Sarah Pollard (Shepshed Carers workers’ Co-op) and John Roberts (North West Care Co-op) talk about their care cooperatives and what they’ve learnt about building carer organisations based on fair pay, cooperation and worker and service-user democracy.

Please register on eventbrite. This event will take place on Thursday 10 June 2021 from 7pm on Zoom.

As the third national lockdown is easing, it’s worth remembering how hard care professionals have been working. But the same workers that have been caring for us have been subject to huge amounts of stress and unfair treatment during this preventable national crisis. Sadly, this isn’t simply because of the pandemic. For decades, care work has been undermined and undervalued. And, unlike other forms of healthcare which we rightly expect to be provided by the NHS, care work has been increasingly turned into a exploitative and profit-making enterprise for businesses.

But could we replace the current care system that relies on underpaid and overworked carers, with an alternative that’s built on worker and service-user democracy, fair pay and cooperation? Come hear how Shepshed Carers workers’ co-op in Leicester and North West Care Cooperative in Chester are doing it!

Cooperatives in the care sector function similarly to other care agencies. The real difference is that the organisation is owned and managed by its members – in Shepshed’s case, the members are the care workers themselves. Shepshed has been going for over 27 years and has over 50 workers!

In North West Care Cooperative, a newer organisation, there are three types of member – the carers, the service users and the parents of the service users. In both co-operatives, the members have a say in decision making, pay structures and how care is provided. You can change the organisation to work how you want it – you just have to decide on it together. There are already many examples of care cooperatives in the UK, and the number is growing…

Could such a care co-operative exist in Brighton & Hove? There will be time at the end to discuss the possibility of a local care co-operative being set up

Please register on eventbrite. This event will take place on Thursday 10 June 2021 from 7pm on Zoom.

Please note: We recognise that the vast majority of care work is unpaid. We understand the importance of systemic change around the labour of care. In this event we have narrowed the parameters to explore how paid care work could be arranged through a cooperative model, that is, where the carers and cared for have a say in the running of the organisation. A care co-op looks like carers and the people they care for being co-owners of the organisation and thus prioritising each of their needs over profit.

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