A Northern Beaches mum has launched an app to help connect volunteers with those needing help.
One Another Community is the idea of Manly Vale’s Lisa Hollinshead who saw the need for a social kindness platform first hand when she found herself stranded in Europe when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Ms Hollinshead, who came to Australia from the UK twelve years ago, won flights to Berlin in March 2020. Fortunately, she was able to shelter with family in Spain as the European lockdown hit.
“It got me thinking, what would I have done if my grandmother didn’t have support? Or if I was stuck in an unfamiliar hotel room with my son without assistance, for weeks on end? These were unprecedented times,” said Ms Hollinshead.
“One of the only bright spots throughout this entire experience were the acts of kindness we were witnessing.”
After her initial return flights were cancelled, Ms Hollinshead was fortunate to be able to reschedule an immediate return to Sydney in the early days of the pandemic and set about turning her insight into action.
One Another Community is a social kindness platform that matches people who need help but do not know who to ask, with those who have skills and tools but do not know how to match them to those in need.
Having previous experience in Sydney’s technology startup community, Ms Hollinshead reached out for support with her idea.
She was overwhelmed by the support she received, with over one hundred skilled professionals in marketing, development, user experience, human resources and design coming together to help her create the service.
People can register and connect with members of their local community by offering or requesting assistance.
“One Another Community is where kindness and action come together,” said Ms Hollinshead.
Asked why One Another Community is different to using an existing social platform such as Facebook, Ms Hollinshead explained that One Another Community maximised the value of the contribution to the giver and the receiver.
“As a marketing professional, I am in a position to offer someone in need a few hours of a very high value service. People wouldn’t know where to look for that kind of service pro-bono,” she said.
“Likewise, without knowing where to apply my skills to someone in need, I may end up door knocking for a charity, which may be useful but isn’t ultimately as fulfilling for me or as valuable for them.”
One Another Community also provides the ability for people to upload certifications such as police or working with children checks to enhance safety and provide assurance.
In addition to individuals connecting via the service, One Another Community is working with charitable organisations who can reach out to make connections on behalf of vulnerable people and also with large organisations whose employees may wish to volunteer expertise.
One Another Community launched on the Northern Beaches this week, with the aim to grow the service to a national, and ultimately international, footprint.
If you are interested in offering help, or if you need help, register at https://app.oneanother.community/
Image: Northern Beaches Advocate