Care network in the ‘cloud’ hoping for a kick start from the public.
A Coventry-based social enterprise is appealing for help from the public to try to boost its plans to launch a cloud-based platform supporting thousands of carers across the UK.
The Nic’s Legacy campaign has been launched by Coventrian Jamie Rogers and has enlisted the support of Coventry University and its Health Design & Technology Institute – but it is hoping a Kickstarter campaign can raise the £18,000 it needs to run a pilot project.
Jamie, who lost his wife Nic to cancer in 2008, came up with the idea of an informal online care network based on his own experiences caring for her during her illness.
With his business partner Helen Brewster – who runs a Coventry-based IT company and lectures through the University’s Institute for Applied Entrepreneurship – Jamie is developing the online platform to help patients and carers around the country link themselves into a local, non-professional care network.
The platform will help people plan, communicate and share the day to day care of a friend or loved one, whether it’s coordinating a visit or doing a simple task such as picking up some milk from the shop.
Jamie was recently invited to speak about his idea and his experiences at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, where he took part in a Q&A session with cabinet cinister Esther McVey.
Jamie, who is now writing a book about ‘Nic’s Legacy’, said: “The initial feedback we’ve had around the idea has been really positive, and the research that HDTI carried out for us showed that there’s real interest amongst carers in this kind of online platform which would make asking for support that bit easier.
“It’s timely in a way because the NHS’s ‘Five Year Forward View’, which they published last week, outlined the various strains on health and care services. It’s this kind of initiative that could go at least some way to alleviating the pressure on parts of the NHS, so we really hope this campaign can generate some support to get it off the ground.”
Helen Brewster, who was also a close friend of Nic’s, said: “Caring for someone either part-time or full-time can often take its toll, so one of our key priorities with Nic’s Legacy is to help reduce the amount of carers who become ill themselves while shouldering these responsibilities. In a recent report by Carers UK, 87% of carers said caring had a negative impact on their mental health†. When the situation is that bad, something has to be done.”
To find out more or to donate to the Kickstarter campaign – which has just two weeks left to run – please visit its page at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1563808388/nics-legacy-innovative-carers-software-platform.
Front page pic: Jamie Rogers and Esther McVey at the recent Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.