Care Labs are spaces for collaboration and experimentation in social care, created to help communities take more control over their care needs. They are designed to be inclusive and highly participatory, based on community organising and movement-building traditions. The first two pilot Care Labs will take place online with communities in Plymouth and Middlesbrough in the autumn of 2020.
Care Labs are designed for care recipients, care practitioners, carers and active citizens. The Care Lab programme is powered by Future Care Capital with the support of community organising and movement-building specialists, The Social Change Agency.
Care Lab events will be open to anyone to organise in their communities. When the Care Lab Toolkit has been tested and prototyped, communities will be able to use and adapt the tools we have created. The Toolkit will include a set of tools, prompts and facilitation methods to convene a diverse range of voices to devise new initiatives and experiments in social care.
Sustainable social care requires a new funding settlement nationally and locally. This needs to go hand-on-hand with a new conversation and action at a local, community level. New approaches and methods are required, too – a shift of mindset, a new conversation with a diverse range of people, a change in practice.
We believe the social care sector could benefit from convening a diverse range of voices. We believe in taking a “whole systems” approach to social care issues. We believe in the power of those with lived experience of the social care system. We believe in human-centred, iterative design and empowered communities.
Ultimately, we hope that the communities that convene Care Labs will discover new, innovative methods of delivering social care.
Joint our experiment!
When we rebuild after Covid-19 we get to choose how we do it. I hope that Care Labs offer a glimpse of a more inclusive approach to designing care that could be a part of our new normal. Sue Wixley