Operating in 20 different areas around the UK, Cool2Care is both a recruitment and care organisation with a difference. It recruits, trains and then screens people who want to work with disabled children, matching them with a family that has a disabled child. The family then becomes their employer, sorting out a suitable working arrangement and rate of pay.
In total, just 20 per cent of Cool2Care’s income is generated from grants and fundraising activities. The remaining income is generated through local authority contracts and the families using Cool2Care (placement and match fees).
Founded in 2007 by Phil Conway, a devoted father whose eldest son is severely disabled, Cool2Care has grown rapidly, training close to 1,000 carers or ‘Personal Assistants’.
“Having a child who is severely disabled can be very stressful in many ways” explains Conway. “We spent a long time trying to come to terms with our son’s condition and make sense of everything. After a few years I became involved with the charity Contact a Family, which provides support and information to families with disabled children.
“I soon became aware of the issues that other families face, who are in a similar situation. It was clear there were definite gaps in the service provision on offer.”
Conway was convinced that no organisation was delivering the service his family needed. “It was at that point I decided the answer was to set up Cool2Care,” says Conway.
The organisation is a CIC limited by shares. “The CIC structure suits us as it combines the flexibility of running a business with an underlying social ethos,” says Conway. “It also allows us to attract investment, which is integral for growing the business.”
Recent investment from Big Issue Invest, CAN and Venturesome has meant Cool2Care has been able to diversify, dramatically increasing the number of people being trained as carers, as well as investing in the development of new products and services.
“Our primary achievement is to be able to deliver the service to support families and disabled young people. More than 500 disabled children will be receiving care this year as a direct result of our work, providing real support for both the child and their family,” says Conway.
||CIC limited by guarantee
|Community interest statement
||To support families with disabled children and young people.
Find out more about Cool2Care