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News | [The Guardian] Payment insurance co-ops popular in Netherlands are reaching UK shores

Monday 15 December 2014

Since the first bread fund was launched in 2006, the idea has caught on in the Netherlands but can trust-based income protection take off in the UK?

[The Guardian] Payment insurance co-ops popular in Netherlands are reaching UK shores ScaricaAlta definizione

After Jackie Smeets suffered a stroke in September 2012, she was left with speech difficulties that meant she was unable to continue working as a freelance journalist and events producer. For many freelancers with no income protection insurance it could have meant financial disaster. However, within weeks, money began to trickle into her bank account from more than twenty individual donors, giving her the €1,000 a month she needed to survive.

Just three days before illness struck, Smeets had become a founder member of a broodfond (bread fund) – the Dutch name for a group of self-employed people who make monthly payments into a fund to provide a basic income for anyone in the group who becomes too ill to work. “I was a bit ashamed to apply so soon,” she says, “but I was astonished at the support I got from everyone. Because of the fund, I could take the time I needed to fully recover.”

Since the first bread fund was launched in 2006, the idea has caught on in theNetherlands and there are currently 113 funds operating in the country, with more than 4,000 members in total.

There are now moves to bring the model to the UK. In June, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation provided a £30,000 grant to Radical Routes, a network of co-operatives, to enable it to commission market research and look at the feasibility of replicating the funds here.

See the full article at this link.