In an exciting new collaboration, voluntary organisations in Basildon in Essex will now be able to use the Novoville GetVolunteering app created by GovTech startup Novoville.
It will help connect Basildon Council community support officers and other support services operating in the borough with those needing additional support to ensure their wellbeing is being launched by Basildon Council. The app has been designed in collaboration with Basildon Council according to the identified needs of the community, to access Basildon Council’s Our Community service and provide ongoing befriending support to some of the borough’s most vulnerable people.
The new app will enable the Our Community team to deliver the Council’s befriending service to more residents and to expand the level of support it can provide through working with other organisations in the borough. Approved users will be able to work collaboratively on a secure platform to better identify the individual needs of residents and increase the speed at which they can act upon those needs.
Commenting on the roll-out of the Novoville GetVolunteering app to be used to access the Council’s Our Community service, Cllr Gavin Callaghan, Leader of Basildon Council, said : “Our Community Hub was the first in Essex to launch in March 2020 during the first national lockdown. Along with food and prescription deliveries, our befriending service has been a lifeline for our more vulnerable residents, and the team have made more than 18,000 calls to residents.
“In the last year we have also seen an increase in the number of people wanting to volunteer to help in any way they can. It is envisaged that through using this technology we can better employ the efforts of staff and the good will of volunteers working in the borough, through working in collaboration to further support our community. Social isolation was an issue for many of our older residents before the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to be even as restrictions start to ease. By embracing new technology, we are able to support more people who need a befriending service and make it easier for our volunteers to be there on the end of the phone.”
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Commenting on the collaboration with Basildon Council, Fotis Talantzis, CEO of Novoville, said: “We are very excited to be supporting Basildon Council in their ambition to create a ‘volunteer community’, which will help make a big difference to the mental health and wellbeing of the borough’s vulnerable people.
“The challenge for most authorities in the past has been assessing and managing a large pool of volunteers in tandem with delivering their own initiatives to support the community, to better utilise the resources available as well as matching them to the specific needs that individuals have. Our technology has been designed to mitigate this exact challenge, and to ensure that vulnerable people are supported during and after the crisis.”
Figures show that more than ten million UK adults have been volunteering during the coronavirus crisis – and most say they will carry on after the lockdown ends.
Since the crisis took hold, Britons have been serving as an informal “volunteering army”, whether it is befriending a vulnerable person, helping with grocery shopping for others, picking up prescriptions, ringing up people living alone, or helping out at a local food bank. The app will support the Council’s and that of the third sector efforts to continue this amazing demonstration of community spirit in action, and help ensure that this additional support remains in place as the people of the UK look to recover from the crisis.
Novoville GetVolunteering and the functionality it provides has helped play a key role in this national emergency and will continue to help revolutionise volunteering long after the pandemic ends. It was recently selected through the national TechForce19 challenge, led by NHSx, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government.