Finalist category: Digital Volunteer Award
Digital Volunteer Award, Winner, 2020
At the start of the coronavirus crisis, I wanted to use my tech skills to help others. But I wasn’t sure what I should be working on, so I created Covid Tech Support, a tech helpdesk for charities and non-profits who needed digital support because of the pandemic.To begin with, it was a Google Form which brought you to me, and I used my tech experience to help as best as I could. It didn’t take long for the number of requests for help to become overwhelming…I was soon getting requests for developers, managers and designers and more. Demanding bigger commitments than solving standalone problems. And increasingly, charities and non-profits trying to take their services online and not knowing where to start. So I started to build a community of technologists like me who wanted to help and called it code4covid. What set this group of people apart was that it was filled with highly skilled individuals: developers, designers, marketers, project managers, entrepreneurs.
I began matching community members to help requests, connecting those with the specific skillsets needed by organisations seeking support. But I soon reached a point where I was becoming the bottleneck in keeping things running. So I built an internal team of volunteers to help out. With their help, we now have over 1500 volunteers from all over the world which we’ve successfully matched to over 200 projects. For instance, we put together a team of web developers to help Crisis build a ‘free webstore’ for homeless shelters in 1 week. One of our designers helped Mencap design an accessible directory for local disability support services. An amazing product manager led a team that prevented Afyah from closing down and raised funding so that it could continue to support underprivileged women. We believe that through the efforts of our community, we will have indirectly impacted thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of the most vulnerable people during the crisis. You can read more about our story and the Digital Home Front here https://blog.marcsloan.ai/rise-of-the-voluntrepreneur-covid-19s-digital-home-front-heroes/