UnLtd is delighted to announce our new pilot programme targeting social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to some of the UK’s tough social care challenges.

Under our ‘UnLtd Care’ initiative we’re offering cash awards of up to £20,000 to 10 individuals from across the country who have great ideas for products or services that will prevent loneliness and social isolation among older people.

The competition for UnLtd Care Awards is open to applicants from across Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales. We will support ideas for products or services that will make a real difference to the lives of older people and generate revenue to cover their costs.

With health budgets and local authorities facing the squeeze, radical new approaches are needed to address the challenges involved in preventing social isolation among older people.

People in later life are particularly vulnerable to loneliness which reduces their quality of life and wellbeing, and directly harms their health. Finding ways to keep people connected has a huge personal benefit. People in strong social relationships are more likely to remain healthy and independent, and live longer.

Preventing isolation also has benefits for the immediate community. Well-connected people in later life are more likely to volunteer or provide support to others. It also benefits the rest of society. Lonely and socially isolated people are more likely to have early admission to residential or nursing care, and to suffer from mental and physical illness. So keeping older people connected can reduce demand for costly health and care interventions.

We are looking for enterprising ideas that aim to make a big difference to the social care sector; ideas with strong potential to generate income and become sustainable, as well as delivering high social benefits. We will prioritise ideas that focus on older people and preventative services.

UnLtd Care is offering a range of Awards for social entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey, whether they’re starting out or scaling up:

Do It Awards
(up to £5,000) – for an individual with an idea for a new venture who needs cash and support to get started.

Build It Awards
(up to £15,000) – for an individual who wants to build their venture. They lead a dynamic and successful venture that has been running for at least one year. They need cash for living expenses to free up your time to grow their venture to a local or regional level.

Fast Growth Awards
(up to £20,000) – for an individual who wants to rapidly grow their venture. They lead an early stage social venture and need cash for living expenses and one-to-one business support.

As well as cash each UnLtd Care Award Winner will get:

  • access to expert advisors who are familiar with the social care sector
  • support from an UnLtd Award Manager who can help them to develop or grow their venture
  • access to business support and powerful connections; and
  • and peer-to-peer networking and support from experienced entrepreneurs.

If you’re interested in applying for an UnLtd Care Award you should complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) form. The form and more information about our Awards are available on our website at www.unltd.org.uk/social-care

The deadline for EOI applications is 5pm on Friday 28 February, 2014.

If you would like further guidance on the UnLtdCare programme, please call Sharmilla Nannra on 0121 766 4570 or email your question to care@unltd.org.uk

Join the conversation on Twitter at #UnLtdCare

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