Uber for Volunteering

onHand – Uber for Volunteering: Creating an uber or Airbnb for volunteering on a national scale – making it easier for vetted volunteers to give help, while making it quicker and cheaper for older people to receive help.


Covid Fast Response

Lead Organisation

BeOnHand Ltd


South East England


Social Support Connections

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About the project

onHand’s mission is to create an Uber or Airbnb for volunteering on a national scale – making it easier for vetted volunteers to give help, while making it quicker and cheaper for people to receive help.

Launched in 2018, onHand matches vetted volunteers with older adults and vulnerable people (including those self-isolating) who need help with simple tasks such as shopping, medicine collection/drop offs, urgent errands and other essentials. By tapping into the sharing economy we can address one of society’s most pressing issues, at a fraction of the cost of today’s solutions, and when NHS resources are most strained.

onHand is already operating successfully in London with positive feedback from both volunteers and older people who have used the service and app. Given this new investment, onHand will be able to launch into new locations starting with Newcastle, in partnership with the National Innovation Centre for Ageing, and with a view to becoming a national service before the end of the year.

We have an ageing population, where 24% will be age 65 or over by 2035. Over half of all people aged 75 and over live alone, and startling research shows that levels of loneliness are increasing. No one should have no one, and onHand helps combat the loneliness epidemic for both older and younger generations.

In this time where we have all been told to protect the NHS, onHand does just that – volunteers provide care before professional and national services need to be drafted in.

As an innovative yet small team, onHand needs investment to scale and help more people. We want to invest in our technology, and launch a pilot scheme outside of London in Newcastle, with a view to replicate our successes across the UK. This development will take us from helping 100’s of vulnerable older adults to enabling help for 10’s of 1000’s.

In a post COVID-19 world, we hope that onHand can resume providing a larger variety of tasks for older people who need help, including closer contact and in-home support such as light gardening and simple tasks around the house (like changing lightbulbs and taking the bins out) plus basic companionship, all with a network of new volunteers who continue to give their time even after COVID-19. These are the types of services we successfully provided prior to the current crisis, delivering 1000’s of hours of help in the last year.


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