The UK faces a number of challenges, one of which is the increasing number of elderly people who require care, ranging from company, domestic assistance, and personal services to simple medical procedures, but who want to live at home. It is also certain that the government will not have the economic recourses to meet even a fraction of the demand.
GATC proposes that charities supporting elderly people should make an optional offer to their members to become Partners of the GATC pension scheme, which is based on the number of hours of service they give to GATC. In principle, every hour spent on the care and support objectives of the organisation earns a “care credit” which is deposited in a special bank account, using an alternative currency called GATs. This currency has no monetary value, although it can be gifted to family or friends or returned to GATC for an emergency fund. The primary purpose is to build up a balance of GATs over a period which, when the need arises, are used to service a care pension for the Partner.
The scheme, which has a national H.Q., is totally independent of the state, business, or charities. Mutuality and independence from government, charity or business support are the basic principles that make GATC care pension sustainable and not subject to any external policy change.
The basic principles of GATC reflect the triple bottom line framework whereby social, environmental and financial resources are innovatively integrated to maximise the benefits for all three:
- Social: GATC makes the community better integrated by not simply promoting volunteering but asserting that ‘looking after each other is the only way forward’
- Environmental: The local provision of care represents an option that can be close to be carbon footprint neutral
- Financial: GATC is sustainable by promoting intergenerational reciprocal care that is not subject to inflation and does not weigh on the government expenditure.
The IT infrastructure required by the project will be developed in collaboration with the East of England Co-op. GATC has also received a Smart Lab Innovation award from Sheffield City Council where GATC is likely to launch.
A scheme of this nature may be the only way in which our society will be able to safeguard the quality of life of an ageing population, in a climate of increasing requirement, adverse economic conditions and the erosion of money provision by inflation.
Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project
Dr Gabriella Spinelli - Dr Spinelli researches and explores resilience as the outcome of the interplay between technology, health and wellbeing, and communities. With a background in Computer Science and Information Systems, she analyses, evaluates, and redesigns complex systems and products from technology platforms enabling civic participation and community development to medical products to improve care outcomes, patients’ experience, and sustainable healthcare. Through a socio-technical approach Dr Spinelli focuses on the development of innovative technology and products that are intuitive and effective by supporting people in representing, and processing information, to make decisions and execute tasks. She is an international expert in participatory design engineering methods that enable consensus creation early in the innovation cycle, leading to design interventions that are understood, supported by shared values and more likely to be adopted. She has delivered against large multidisciplinary projects funded by several UK and international research councils, adopting a people-centred ethos to ensure research integrity and inclusion. In 2016, together with late Professor Heinz Wolff, she funded Give and Take Care, a Community Interest Company that received in excess of £1M funds to rethink social care models in communities. Dr Spinelli teaches Human Factors, and she leads a collaborative design engineering programme, Design for Health and Wellbeing, with the NHS. This programme has generated more than 60 new clinical products that have attracted awards, grants and investments.
Dr Spinelli has several responsibilities outside the University. She is a member of Home Office Scientific Advisory Council (HOSAC), a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine ( FRSM) and of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
Partnering with confidence
Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.
Project last modified 12/10/2023