EMPOWERing individuals & communities to manage their own CARE | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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EMPOWERing individuals & communities to manage their own CARE

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner

The Health and Europe Centre






Project budget

6 836 395

ERDF amount

4 101 837

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    The 2 Seas area faces a common problem - rising demand for health and social care services by a growing older population - creating a pressing need to find new approaches. 
    In 2013, the over 65s made up 18.2% of the European population; 19.4% in France, 18.6% in Belgium, 18.7% in the Netherlands and 18.2 % in the UK. These figures are set to rise to a staggering 28.7% on average by 2080. With the cost of care for older people increasing, it is necessary to integrate these groups more closely with their communities, keeping them healthier and in their own homes safely for longer. 
    The challenge Empowercare tackled is related to the fact that the 2 Seas area will run out of resources if we don’t change the ways citizens are involved in their own health and wellbeing. Traditional services are already at capacity and the present system pushes people to the default point of safety (hospital).


    Main Achievements

    EMPOWERCARE launched at end January 2020, but Covid-19 meant no further in-person meetings were possible for over 2 years. From 2021 there was accelerated progress, with enthusiastic engagement at pilot sites getting ready to steer the EMPOWERCARE Strategy. Stakeholders and end-user groups were worked with to identify needs and preferences, and technologies were procured for testing and piloting began. An Annual Event was held online over two days, with workshops, tech demos and plenaries, which was very successful in disseminating project achievements to a significant number of participants. The peer support training programme began its pilot. An innovative animated video was created to promote the project. Evaluation work was highly productive.

    2022 and early 2023 saw all key elements of the project finalised, tested, refined, formalised and embedded; and the whole project was evaluated fully.

    The preliminary results were shared in a well-attended Final Conference in January 2023, and the legacy is available for public view & use on the project webpages.

    The Strategy reached over 10000 policymakers, professionals, and service users. The Workforce Development package benefitted over 4500 staff, and delivery partners continue to use it after the project end date. 
    The Technology Blueprint reached over 7000 professionals and service users. It continues to be available and in use in teaching.
    The Evaluation has engaged and/or been made available to over 12000 policy makers and professionals, a number that will grow over the coming years, notably as some themes are pursued in other projects, both EU-funded and otherwise.


    By having the market café open, it gives people the opportunity to meet and to see one another. We’ve noticed that it’s become a regular thing in their lives, their weekly chance to meet each other.

    Sofie Vanmarcke, Projectcoördinator Empowercare, Provincie Antwerpen



    Zorggroep H. Hart

    Kent County Council

    Solidarity University

    Conseil Départemental du Nord

    Provincie Antwerpen

    University of Brighton

    Canterbury Christ Church University

    VZW Wieltjesgracht

    Familiehulp VZW

    BOONE N.V.

    Samenwerkingsverband Welzijnszorg Oosterschelderegio

    VITO (Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek)


    Output title
    URL / Download


    Thema: Innovative social servicesHealth care

    Evaluation report on the EMPOWERCARE approach: Strategy, Workplace Transformation and Technology Blueprint

    Type: Feasibility study
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities


    Thema: Innovative social servicesHealth care

    Empowerment strategy to deliver what matters to individuals and communities in order to manage their own care

    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities


    Thema: Innovative social servicesHealth care

    Package of resources to enable transformation of the workforce

    Type: Method/service
    Target: Health institutions


    Thema: Innovative social servicesHealth care

    Technology Blueprint on initiatives and technology that support enablement at individual and community level

    Type: Method/service
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities