Valuing staff and providing security: Social enterprises in social care

From a startup tackling isolation among the rural elderly population in Devon, to a veteran organisation working in a number of northern towns and cities, social enterprises are playing a part in meeting the growing need for social care services across the country. In a recent survey, 10% of social enterprises listed social care as their principal activity. But why are they involved, and what are the benefits for staff and service users?

Many say it’s because of financial and demographic pressures, but also policy changes in recent years, notably trends towards personalisation and social value. Leading Lives, a Suffolk-based co-operative and social enterprise, won Social Enterprise UK’s Health and Social Care Award in 2015 and provides care for adults with learning disabilities. It was formed in 2012 in response to the county council’s decision to move from being a service provider to a commissioner.

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