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Insurtech exec's Helping Hand Project expands across the UK

Insurtech exec's Helping Hand Project expands across the UK | Insurance Business

Insurtech exec

The Helping Hand Project – which began in Newcastle to provide a secure way of connecting people in isolation with those who can help – will now be rolled out across the UK.

How it works is isolated people, particularly the elderly, just have to register by texting the word “hand” to 07723496916. This will provide them access to a growing list of volunteer groups and the likes of foodbanks and take-away services that can offer a hand.

The service, which is the brainchild of ThingCo chief technology officer Jonathon Valentine (pictured), is being launched in Wolverhampton this week.

“It is early days but the response has been fantastic,” noted Valentine. “We’ve got several partners onboard now and we’re launching consumer outreach programmes this week. I’ve had an MP reach out and is now connecting me to their director of public health this week about the scheme.

“In addition, the Department of International Trade North East has reached out given their involvement with the food industry. Restaurants have been in touch and Lea Hodson from RS Connect has offered his fleet of 300 drivers and vans for to help with deliveries across the UK.”

The CTO said he is also keen to link with local and national mental health charities to provide support, books, and conversation to those who’ve lost their connection with the outside world amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“This started as a local project to help the older and more vulnerable people in Newcastle, where ThingCo’s IT centre is based, but COVID-19 has turned the initiative into a far more urgent and vital service,” he noted. “I am sure this is just one of many examples of how people and businesses in data and technology are applying their expertise to help people in need at this extraordinary time.”