A new service developed in Dundee will connect requests for help from vulnerable people during Covid-19 with approved volunteers.
GetLocalSupport.org has been developed by Dundee tech firm GoRoadie and is backed by Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action.
Requests on the website can be made by the vulnerable person or someone acting on their behalf.
It could be for tasks such as doing shopping or a picking up a prescription, walking a dog or even just looking to chat with someone.
The task is then assigned based on the location and the type of request and the local volunteer will make contact to arrange the details.
GoRoadie co-founder Michael Carr said he had taken his company’s experience of matching driving instructors with those seeking lessons to apply to the new platform.
He said: “As we saw those around us struggle with getting help when they needed it and not knowing where to turn, we also realised that volunteer organisations are overrun with people wanting to help.
“We have done similar work on GoRoadie, so we wanted to build a service that can examine requests from vulnerable people and automatically match them with the right volunteer – allowing more people to be helped and faster.”
Michael and his business partner Barry White partnered with Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action (DVVA) who piloted the system with an initial 50 volunteers.
DVVA have been utilising the system to ensure prospective volunteers have uploaded personal identification so that they can be verified, giving peace of mind to vulnerable people using the system to find assistance.
Anita Jamieson, volunteer and organisational development manager at DVVA, said: “We know that this time can be unsettling for people and it can feel like it’s not clear what we can do to help.
“From delivering groceries to a vulnerable person or having a chat over the phone we know that volunteers can make a massive difference and we’ve been delighted to see how many Dundonians want to get involved.
“GetLocalSupport.org will allow even more volunteers to get involved as well as crucially more people being supported.”
The system offers a feedback mechanism so that those accessing support are able to provide feedback to GetLocalSupport.org and DVVA about how they found using the service, at any time.