Close to Hand is a website that helps people find local support by connecting them to people who can lend a helping hand. Sometimes this help is voluntary, but some help is paid for.
Close to Hand’s webpage lists support, including companionship and support for an ageing relative, shopping, laundry, housework, gardening, running errands and pet care. Help can be a one-off request, or on an ongoing basis.
Close to Hand has two types of membership. Its basic membership is free and allows you to register, create a job post detailing what help you’re looking for and search local Home Helper profiles. Premium membership will also enable users to make contact and connect with Home Helpers directly through the site by sending messages via a secure messaging system. Premium Members can boost a job post to appear higher up in search results.
Premium membership is usually £12.00 per month, but Close to Hand has made it free until the end of May 2020 to help during the coronavirus outbreak.
Home Helpers need to go through a verification process before they can become a Premium Member, apply for any job posts or receive and reply to any messages. A Premium Home Helper has had a background check and that appears on their profile.
The website also has reviews or references from people who have used the Home Helpers for others to view before they select someone.
Requests for support are made via the Close to Hand website where you register, look at what local support is available or list a request for a job you need assistance with. The organisation will notify anyone local who matches the requests. Once matched to a helper, contact is made through the secure messaging service on the website.
At Technology for Life, members of the team have found the Close to Hand website works with both Apple's VoiceOver and Google Assistant. It reads all the links and information and gives easy access to the text fields when completing support requests.
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 01892 337225
Author: Joanne Wilson, Technology for Life coordinator, Northern Ireland
Members of The Technology for Life team at RNIB are early adopters of new technology and are sharing their own experiences with the most interesting and useful apps in this series of reviews. This is not an official accessibility review or audit, nor reviewed the site for any security or compliance with data processing law. For any issues concerning accessibility please raise these with the developer via its website.