In 2011, census records indicated there were 14,000 unpaid Carers across Dumfries and Galloway. However, estimates predict this number will have doubled in the last 10 years.
Despite the record rise in registered unpaid Carers, many do not have the basic information, training, or support they need to take care of their loved ones and themselves, especially if they are new to a caring role.
Cheryl Murray is an Unpaid Carer Manual Handling Lead working in the region. Cheryl and her colleague Lewis Connell, a Business Support Officer at CTC, knew there had to be a simpler way to support unpaid Carers while building a supportive community for them.
So, they had an idea. What if they could create a podcast that would allow unpaid Carers to share their stories, experiences, and advice, building a positive, supportive community in the process?
Through their participation in the Dumfries and Galloway HSCP Intrapreneurship Programme, Cheryl and Lewis gained the skills and confidence they needed to help make their idea a reality. They worked closely with Jenny Coxon, Lead Developer at The Lens, to build a Business Model Canvas that helped them challenge assumptions they had made about their audience’s needs and the costs involved in building the platform. They also built a physical prototype of their idea, which allowed them to see it from a different perspective.
Through Storytelling and Pitching Workshops, Lewis’ confidence really grew. At the start of the Programme, Lewis felt anxious about public speaking, but he soon felt confident presenting and answering questions about his and Cheryl’s idea. They both grew in confidence and competence, and by Investment Day, they successfully secured a £10k investment to turn their idea into action.
“This is a beautifully simple solution to a pressing problem. We see that it has huge potential so be scaled across not only Dumfries and Galloway, but Scotland.” – DGHSCP Investment Team
Now, Cheryl and Lewis are busy preparing everything they need to launch their first round of podcasts. They’ve partnered with Eucho Group, who support unpaid Carers, to discuss initial user testing. They’re also planning to approach GP practices, the local council, and the NHS to spread the word and gain further support to help them scale their idea.
“I think we have both felt just about every emotion going through this process. We are so happy we secured funding and have made some amazing connections along the way.” – Cheryl Murray, Unpaid Carer Manual Handling Lead
“It’s been a truly amazing experience.” – Lewis Connell, Business Support Officer