In For Care

In For Care partners visit Drenthe

01 October 2019 - Published by Ragni Leifson
The Dutch region has been working hard to put informal care on the agenda of employers and SMEs. On their visit in September, In For Care partners learned more about approaches to combining work and caregiving.

Hailing from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Great Britain, In For Care partners gathered in The Netherlands 17th to 19th of September.

Around 50 delegates joined a bus tour through the province of Drenthe to meet authorities, volunteers, care organizations, managers and employers and see how they were raising awareness of informal care.

Many initiatives

Drenthe is a certified caregiver-friendly organization. This means paying a lot of attention to the potential mental and physical burden of combining work with caregiving tasks. Among other things, Drenthe has been running an awareness campaign directed at smaller businesses, helping them to develop their current policies. For the campaign, Drenthe shot a number of short film spots to trigger employers to have a conversation with their employees if needed.

A study from the region shows that a quarter of caregivers feel overburdened, while the self-employed are particularly at risk.

The awareness campaign for working caregivers has paid particular attention to sustainable employability. The partners visited Business Park Emmen for an official launch of the website Mantelzorginfopunt. The aim is to create a first stop where entrepreneurs and employers can find information on informal care.

Here you can see some of the other initiatives in the region:

Development of informal care policy in an SME:

Voluntary care – Day centre for the elderly & buddy project:

Vital informal care – Fun activities and free gym subscription:

Informal care consultant – Task force care for the elderly:

Inspiring presentations

The partners visited several other locations during the week, giving each of the Drenthe partners the opportunity to showcase their activities in the project.

At the Community Centre Markehuus in Grolloo, village coordinators Siny and Roelof presented the value of volunteers, a central meeting point, coordinators, and creating a strong sense of community support.

In the village of Exloo the project visited a small-scale care initiative for elderly with dementia, and heard how local volunteers have been recruited, strengthening social cohesion in the area.


In the City of Hoogeveen, mayor Karel Loohuis opened a full morning session accommodated by the Municipality. Here, the project was given inspiring presentations on the work of the Caregiver’s consultant, the Buddy initiative, and the importance of respite care and organizing activities for those with intensive or long-term caregiving tasks.

The personal stories from young caregivers underlined the need for openness and support. As one speaker said: “We need to get beyond the front door to help”.