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Fit for the future



Community Care Connect (CCC) provides advice, resources and tailored support to community anchor organisations and local authorities, supporting them to develop their own, place-based Carer Introduction Services.

CCC’s online platform enables people seeking care to find and employ their own care and support workers, manage their rotas, communicate with their care teams, engage in peer support and utilise safe billing and payment processes.

Using funding from Power to Change, Community Care Connect adapted and developed a rapid prototype platform in partnership with Made Open, who operate a similar community-based matching program. This platform has proved popular, particular for its potential to address significant gaps in care and to help build local care capacity:

We were making, on average, 1.6 care matches a week and within 8 months there were 1,000 hours of care happening every week, which we directly facilitated. It had so many other brilliant impacts as well. We started off with 4 or 5 carers on our database, we ended up on 40.

Community Care Connect intends to sub-license its community-focused platform to connect organisations and different elements of the care system (such as peer networking, good practice advice for carers, and training). This could improve the resilience and reach of voluntary sector social care by improving connections between local networks and the breadth of services offered.

The platform is currently being rolled out to new communities who want to develop their care provision and build better social care than is being provided by larger, profit-driven communities.

Bristol City Council want to roll the approach out across Bristol … they want to move away from commissioning large profit-driven multinationals to deliver their social care and  start building up the capacity of the community sector to be able to move into that space, which is going to make their voluntary community more viable and make the whole system just a bit more resilient.

Evidence of impact in Bristol and other areas will be instrumental to Community Care Connect’s growth. Now the concept has been proven, the next step is finding investment to build a bespoke platform.


We used ‘linear regression’ to identify patterns between community business confidence over the next 12 months and other survey responses. You can find out more about linear regression in the technical appendix.

Community businesses who took, or plan to take, certain actions expressed higher confidence than other businesses:

• Took action to boost trading revenue from existing sources in the last 12 months
• Plan to increase efficiency or reduce costs in the next 12 months
• Expect income from trading and/or grants to increase in the next 12 months.

Younger community businesses also expressed higher confidence than respondents from established businesses. We found no statistical relationship between confidence and total income: higher turnover community businesses are no more confident than those with lower turnover. Additionally, we found that neither size (by number of paid staff) nor scope (groups of people that benefit from the business’s services) influence confidence.[3]

We’ve just had an electricity bill actually and it’s more than doubled … So, yes, we’re just beginning to think, What do we do about that? 

Hale Village Hall

Community businesses also struggle to increase staff pay to reflect the cost of living. For example, one wanted to offer staff the National Living Wage, but trustees felt unable to in the current economic conditions:


We’re now a couple of years behind the London Living Wage which I actually feel very uneasy about from an ethical point of view. I feel like we should be paying the staff the London Living Wage. [A senior manager] is leaving because she is a single parent and she is going to a job where she is paid more. The cost of living is having an impact on staff and she has had to make that choice … So it’s really having an impact on our team and then consequently the organisation.

Walthamstow Toy Library

In response to rising costs of food, energy, and other running costs, many community businesses reported reducing their services and increasing prices. One café, for example, simplified its menu and sought to minimise ingredient costs. Some reluctantly passed costs on to those using their services.  


We’ve had to tell people that we’ve had to put our prices up. Because we can’t do anything else, if we run at a loss, then the charity won’t last.

Hour Community

Even though they knew it was unsustainable, a few relied on reserves to cover rising costs temporarily. 

If we have to continue with an increased cost of living going on, and increased support for some of the projects we’re working for, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t diminish our reserves. In the longer term, it’s just not viable...

Kimberworth Park Community Partnership 

Not only did interviewees describe how rising living costs were already directly affecting their community business, they also anticipated future struggles when local residents’ disposable incomes fall, particularly those whose revenue mainly comes from the community.

The cost-of-living crisis has only just really begun to be felt. I think this is going to be a very difficult winter. I think projects like ours are going to be needed more than ever, just to be there for the community, but it’s how we fund that. I see these type of projects as being like the life rafts […] More and more people are going to want to jump on as things get bad, but we have the difficult job of staying afloat during this time and still being there for the community.

Community farm

We’re starting to dry up for community group hires going into the latter part of the year […] When people start paying their heating bills and what have you, that’s when we’ll really start to notice it.

Kingsclere Community Association

One community hub felt clear about the scale of the challenge: 

We haven’t even scratched the surface. As far as I’m concerned, this is 100 times worse than the pandemic, or [is] going to be.

Hour Community

People chat at a Leading the Way cohort meeting