At a time when social care staff face a number of challenges, a new project is giving the Duchy's care workers wellbeing and mental health support free of charge.

The Care Coins scheme, operated by Red Umbrella, has been introduced by Cornwall Partners In Care and received funding from Cornwall Council.

The service is for all social care staff working in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and provides a flexible way for people working or volunteering in the social care sector to access expert advice, information, and specialist counselling and support that can be tailored to their needs.

Care Coins can be used to book free and fully-accredited professional one-to-one therapy, counselling and coaching, as well as individual mental health assessments.

Each ‘coin’ represents one session with a qualified counsellor or therapist.

Registered care home managers can also use Care Coins to book sessions for groups of staff to provide support around a specific issue such as bereavement or coping with stress and anxiety.

Tim Ladd, Managing Director of Red Umbrella said: "What's so great about this scheme is, if you've got a 'pot of Care Coins,' so to speak, it means as individuals approach you for help or to be a mental health first aider, it's all ready to go and paid for and can be done anonymously.

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"One of the reasons why sometimes people don't come forwards and ask HR or their line manager for help is because they don't want to have to explain to them what it is that's going in their life for various reasons.

"What we'll do is listen to individuals and then match them to the appropriate therapist and they'll get underway immediately."

Richard Monk, Executive Officer of Cornwall Partners in Care, said: "They're like a virtually currency, if you will.

"Anyone that wants to access free support can do so via the website where there's a button that says 'How to Book' and they can choose whichever service they want.

"We have already supported a number of individuals with one-to-one sessions thanks to the Care Coins project.

"There is a need and demand for it."

Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Social Care, added: "With Covid having a huge impact on care workers and care homes over the past two years, the Care Coins scheme is a fantastic way to support them and show how much we appreciate the incredible work they do in such difficult circumstances."

For more details about Care Coins and how to book them and support slots head to