Leonard Cheshire has been awarded a £1m interest free loan from the Welsh government to expand a social care solution that gives people more choice and could save money for charities, councils and beneficiaries.
The charity has developed a web tool which allows users to pool direct payments for care and book group activities. It increases social benefits and reduces the cost of one-to-one care hours, and has helped more users find work.
It has been trialled in Anglesey where participants pooled their funding to access activities like drama workshops and photography sessions, and will now be rolled out to the rest of Wales over three years.
In the medium term the charity is looking to use blockchain technology to support development of the platform.
Glyn Meredith, Wales director for Leonard Cheshire, said that groups had pooled their resources to access training in health and safety and food hygiene, which had led to members of the group gaining employment.
"Other members reported improved confidence and self-esteem by having choice and control over their own support and how and where this happened,” he said.
He added that the system was being designed in a way to be “user-led” and put people “fully in control” as well as encourage people to connect with others who share similar interests.
Funding has been awarded Welsh government’s Innovate to Save programme which is being delivered by Y Lab, the public services innovation lab for Wales, which is a partnership between Cardiff University and Nesta.
Co-Lead and head of programmes at Y Lab Rob Ashelford, said: “Leonard Cheshire has embraced both the opportunity and the programme, developing exciting ideas into tangible opportunities that can be implemented to improve the service they offer. We look forward to continuing their journey as they put these ideas into practice.”