Cool2Care, a social enterprise which helps families with disabled children and young adults find skilled care to support their needs, is the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award.
Disabled children are entitled to a range of support including Personal Assistants - a dedicated carer to help with tasks from washing and feeding to helping them and their family enjoy a social life. While this provides essential help for the parents of disabled children, many find it daunting to recruit and hire someone to work so closely with their child.
Cool2Care was set up in 2007 by Phil Conway, who as the father of a disabled child saw how overwhelming it could be to hire a Personal Assistant. The social enterprise matches a PA to the needs of the child and family, providing them with ongoing support for a number of hours a week. PAs help to encourage life skills, to increase emotional wellbeing, develop new skills and relationships and give parents are a much needed break.
Cool2Care now employs 50 people nationwide, a quarter of whom are the parents of disabled children themselves. Over the last 4 years Cool2Care has successfully matched a PA with over 1000 disabled children and young adults across the country. As a Social Enterprise any profits generated from Cool2Care are either reinvested for future growth or donated to charities supporting disabled children.
Congratulating Cool2Care on the award, the Prime Minister said:
Getting the right support and finding a carer are really important steps for any family with disabled children, and this service is helping to match thousands of families with the much-valued help they need.
Congratulations to Cool2Care and all the incredible Personal Assistants making such a huge difference to the lives of parents and children around the country - a great example of the Big Society.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow invited Cool2Care to the Department of Health in Westminster to receive the award and take part in a discussion with other charity organisations. He also announced £6.8 Million of funding for charitable and voluntary organisations.
Presenting the award, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said:
Cool2Care has worked very hard to help change the lives of families with disabled young people. Through its work, parents are able to rely on a specialist assistant who is tailored to their child’s needs.
I am very pleased to be presenting them with this award to recognise this and I look forward to seeing how this charity continues to improve their local communities.
Accepting the award, Phil Conway, Chief Executive of Cool2Care said:
We are thrilled to receive this Big Society Award. It is recognition of the hard work we do every day to help families with disabled young people find the support they need. This helps the parents with caring, and enables the disabled young person to build friendships and get involved in community activities. Working with disabled children is a lot of fun - it really is cool to care!