Value of EU Grant - €7.3 million

Name of funding programme - Interreg 2 Seas Programme

Start and end dates - September 2019 to March 2023

The EMPOWERCARE project is a 2 year technological and social innovation research project. The project aims to create resilient communities and reduce individual frailty and loneliness.

To do this, they will be developing an approach using research based solutions and technology to address gaps in the care of the target groups of those aged 65+ and those aged 50+ with at least one chronic condition.

The project will address the issues facing the care of our ageing population. It will combine the work of several existing and tested partner solutions from across the 2 Seas area and ensure that older people are at the forefront of improved technology and better cared for within their communities.

To implement this project in Kent we have:

  • worked in partnership with organisations to improve the digital skills support available for the older population, to help improve social isolation through technology
  • showcased relevant technologies through digital hubs.
  • ran a 12- month pilot Digital Ambassador programme, training volunteers from the local community, including professionals and peer mentors, to sustain the growth of digital skills. Our Digital Ambassadors offered support with digital skills via group sessions, one to one or remotely. Between June 2021 and June 2022 EMPOWERCARE trained 22 volunteers who supported over 80 people in Kent with Digital Skills. The scheme has now been handed over to Digital Kent to continue the fantastic work
  • employed 2 Technology for Independent Living Facilitators to support the Adult Social Care workforce with digital solutions to care. Email ASCTechFacilitators@kent.gov.uk with any enquiries.

To find out more email us at empowercare@kent.gov.uk or call us on 03000 42 21 22.

The project is a cross-border partnership involving 13 organisations from across the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The project has been approved and funded by the Interreg 2 Seas Programme (co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund) and has a budget of more than €7 million.

EMPOWERCARE final conference

Join us on virtually on 25 January for the EMPOWERCARE Final Conference

The conference will share our main project outputs:

  • An empowerment strategy to deliver what matters to individuals and communities in managing their own care, and a workforce transformation package to upskill the adult social care workforce.
  • A technology blueprint on initiatives and technology that support enablement at individual and community level. Informed by partners testing different technologies in co production with target group.
  • All of our findings will be analysed in a comprehensive evaluation of the EMPOWERCARE approach run by Canterbury Christ Church University to outline the benefits and key outcomes our project will create.

See the full agenda and sign-up (PDF, 195KB)

Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeen EMPOWERCARE European Regional Development Fund

  • Care Group H Hart (BE)
  • Kent County Council (UK)
  • Solidarity University (NL)
  • Nord Departmental Council (FR)
  • Province of Antwerp (BE)
  • University of Brighton (UK)
  • Canterbury Christ Church University (UK)
  • Not for profit Wieltjesgracht (BE)
  • Family Help NPO (BE)
  • Boone NV (BE)
  • SWVO (NL)
  • VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) (BE).

Observer partners

  • University of Exeter
  • ViaZorg Foundation
  • Centre of expertise on Dementia Flanders
  • Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)
  • HZ University of Applied Sciences
  • Kent Surry and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSSAHSN)
  • Help for older and disabled people

  • Develop a holistic approach focussing on three areas of activity: empowerment, technology strategies and workforce development resources.
  • Promote a person-centred approach to care and technology knowledge transfer between people whilst reducing isolation/ loneliness and increasing solidarity amongst older people.
  • Capture what matters most to local communities by harnessing skills and expertise of local people, co-creating innovations that make a real difference to lives, health and wellbeing.
  • Empower people to take responsibility for their own care using technology and local services to keep them in work, healthy and motivated, having control over decisions that affect their health and wellbeing.
  • Learning networks will enhance shared learning amongst professionals and families to ensure durability and transferability.