Call us crazy but we found our way to the seaside and the Old Neptune Pub in Whistable for a day in the middle of the cold snap to get some time together.
Mid-way through one of my colleagues shared how they felt their stress just melting away. I hope that's the feeling that we're able to give all the carers that come to us for support. Which is now an incredible 8,015 people. I just have to blink and the user numbers go up!
It's been a lot of pressure this year to create a week-on-week increase in users and break bookings whilst withstanding huge funding challenges and changes in the team. My colleague Peter has been so solid in setting a rhythm for this delivery and I really appreciate how we've each played to our strengths in such an unspoken way.
If there's one common theme that runs through the people at Carefree, it's that we're all observers. Peter naturally perceived that I would need to step back from the delivery and service design elements that I so enjoy to get us on the straight and narrow financially. Likewise, our colleague Sarine has eyes in the back of her head when it comes to watching over the wellbeing of our community partners. Luckily we have some great new features planned for them next year 👇
We'll also be running a new project funded by The Prudence Trust to get more young carers access to breaks that we're really excited about.
Recruitment is top of the list for Q1 too. We're opening applications for a new Operations Manager role funded by The Fore. If you're someone who wants to build your own social enterprise or charity in the future - this is a great role for training you in all the gritty things that go with it. Check it out and apply here: https://caref.re/3WxWwpf
My big New Year's wish is to be able to provide a higher level of leadership for the organisation. I'm pretty weighed down by doing all the things we don't have anyone else on hand for but I've also had a pretty rough few months in my own caring journey that's kept my brain a bit too tightly wound for free-wheeling on where to take the organisation next.
The future is looking bright though! Here are some highlights from the last three months:
- Scooping the Travolution Award for Best Technology Project with Impala
- Raising over £26k through The Big Give Christmas Challenge (Shout out and thank you to everyone that donated!)
- Securing new/renewed support from The Carte D'Oyly Charitable Trust, The Fitton Trust, The Fore, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Postcode Innovation Trust, The Prudence Trust and The Rayne Trust. After two years of nos from so many funders, this feels absolutely amazing.
- Miruna Harpa joining as our new Hospitality Partnerships Manager and speedily getting out over 100 personalised reports to all the hotels that have donated this year
- Breaking the 2000 breaks threshold 🏅 🏅
Thank you to everyone who's helped us in big and small ways this year, and we can't wait to take our work forwards with you in 2023.