Carefree was started in the summer of 2016 by two brothers – Charlie and James Ricketts – following a series of illnesses in their own family. Having tested the concept in Cornwall they moved the operation to London in early 2017 and began looking for funding. In July 2017 they were awarded one of ten places on the Rainmaker Foundation accelerator for charitable ventures with outstanding potential. Having secured initial seed funds, work on the technology began in November 2017 and the charity was officially incorporated a month later. The first automated pilot took place from February to May 2018 with more than a hundred carers enjoying breaks in hotels and holiday cottages from Cornwall to the Highlands of Scotland, a tenfold increase from the first manual pilot. The final pilot will take place from January to June 2019 with hundreds of breaks on offer throughout the UK. In late 2019 a fully automated booking engine will be launched featuring self-enrolment technology and integration with channel managers to enable real-time availability and booking at scale.


Charlie Ricketts
(Co-Founder / CEO)

Charlie spent 28 years working for a number of leading financial institutions. In 2014 he established Crix Capital, an investment consultancy and venture philanthropy business through which he managed the launch of Woodford Patient Capital Trust, the largest Investment Trust IPO of all time. In addition to providing funds for Carefree, Crix Capital has also initiated an early detection breast cancer research programme at the University of Nottingham. Charlie is also a director of two FTSE 350 companies and Chairman of Privatus Club.

James Ricketts
(Co-Founder / CMO)

James has worked in film and TV production for the past 28 years including posts as Marketing Director of Stillking Films (Mission Impossible, The Bourne Identity, Casino Royale) and Executive Producer at TAG Worldwide (Unilever, Coca Cola, Jaguar Land Rover). Previous experience in the non-profit sector includes the design of a funding platform for high impact social interventions and strategic communications consultancy for an international NGO being taken to scale.

Charlotte Newman
(Development Director)

Charlotte has launched impact initiatives across the Middle East & Asia working with businesses, donors and governments to strengthen the socio-economic integration of minority groups. Since moving into the tech sector two years ago she has helped charities reshape their infrastructure and delivery processes and implement sustainable models of social intervention. Charlotte’s role at Carefree has focussed on shaping its Theory of Change model, product development, establishing core operational processes and implementing its business development strategy.

Linda Whittaker
(CSO Manager)

Linda worked in IT for 20 years before switching to the voluntary sector in 2006, initially as a Senior Business Analyst/Consultant for the National Trust and subsequently as Executive Director at Cornwall Community Foundation, Project Manager in the NHS and Operations Manager at Cornwall Carers Service. In 2019 Linda will be rowing the Atlantic Ocean with four other women from the South West to raise money for charity.

Chris Knight

Chris spent several years working as a hardware/software developer on space and defence projects before founding CKG Group to help AI, Quantum Computing & Autonomous Vehicles solve real world issues. Chris and his team of developers have generously given their time pro bono to build the technology that powers the Carefree booking engine and mobile app.


Sarah Philbrick

Sarah is a former Director of HSBC Investment Bank. She has also held positions as Development Director for Computers for Youth (NY) and latterly the Royal Academy of Engineering. She currently holds a number of non-executive directorships in the charity sector, including the Dolphin Square Foundation and Jurassic Coast National Trust.

Elizabeth Blewett

Elizabeth qualified as a solicitor before moving into the third sector. She is the former CEO of Reaching Out East, a London-based charity working with over 2,000 socially isolated and disabled people and their carers. She previously served as trustee of Waltham Forest Carers Association and is a qualified psychodynamic therapist, providing counselling for people with enduring mental health issues.

Sanjeev Gandhi

Sanjeev is a partner at M&G LLP, which provides funding and strategic advice for UK-based small cap businesses. In 2003 he left his post as Strategic Director for Yahoo! Europe to set up Reach to Teach, a charity that provides high quality primary education for children in marginalised rural communities in India. It is now being taken to scale with the backing of Larry Ellison, the billionaire founder of Oracle.

Douglas Sloan

Douglas works as an Investment Manager for Big Society Capital (BSC). Initially joining on secondment from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 2016, he subsequently became a full-time member of the investment team in 2017 after helping to shape their new strategy. At BCG he worked with media, finance, healthcare, energy, consumer and social impact clients on a range of strategic and operational projects. Douglas has also mentored and provided strategic advice to a number of social enterprises and charities.