Work starts on app for carers

12-Apr-2012

Technology will enable carers to juggle home life and work commitments

An innovation company and a national charity are joining forces to create a new app that will help family and friends co-ordinate the care of a loved-one while managing the demands of a paid job.

Through Sidekick School, a project funded by Nominet Trust, Sidekick Studio’s creative design teams will work with Carers UK to produce a tool for the estimated three million people in the UK who combine caring for a relative or friend with paid work. The app also aims to address the trend that sees 1 in 6 people forced to give up work to provide care. Carers UK argues this is simply not sustainable, for the individuals who find themselves struggling financially, for employers who lose their valuable skills and experience, or for the economy, which needs people to work for longer to pay for growing care and pensions bills.

The charity says the principal reason people give up work to care is the stress of juggling multiple responsibilities, often with poor support. The team will now work on an app that gives people more control in planning their lives, co-ordinating work and care and getting the information they need to help with both.

Adil Abrar, founder of Sidekick Studios, said: ‘This funding gives us the opportunity to bring together our creative energy and expertise with Carers UK’s experience to really focus on the challenge at hand. The beauty of it is that we can make a real difference to people’s lives while helping a charity to explore new routes to sustainability.’

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Helena Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, added: “Caring affects us all and we are all juggling increasingly complex and busy lives. As we struggle to balance the many responsibilities in our everyday lives – childcare, work, social and community activities – with support for older or disabled loved ones, we will need exactly the kind of innovative solutions that this partnership offers”

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