Help From Home is a volunteer driven Unincorporated Association that promotes and encourages the public and the voluntary sector to participate in microvolunteering actions. They have been running since 2008, where approximately 80% of the over 800 micro-actions they promote can be conducted online. They use the micro-actions on HFH as a springboard to encourage people to microvolunteer from their:
– home in their pyjamas!
– workplace whilst having a sandwich!
– school without leaving the classroom!
– armchairs in senior citizen environments!
– on the beach or right from the hotel room while on holiday!
– via parties to teach youth microvolunteering is fun!
Currently, Help From Home is the largest database of microvolunteering actions in the UK and one of the richest online resources on microvolunteering providing advice and volunteering ideas to everyone interested. They have been described as being instrumental in establishing the microvolunteering concept in the UK and to a growing extent, around the world. They also provide a unique free microvolunteering consultancy service and serve as a catalyst and network for people who wish to develop their own projects focused on promoting the microvolunteering concept
Who are the e-volunteers?
The majority of e-volunteers are members of the public, who either visit via search engine queries, links from other websites or from the many articles we compose that get published on important media outlets.
To a lesser extent, we receive visitors via the various projects we undertake that specifically target schools, senior citizen environments and employee workplaces.
How many e-volunteers are involved?
Website traffic = 300,000 – 350,000 per year
Whom do they address the project to? Who is the recipient?
– The general public
– The voluntary sector as a whole
– Charities / non-profits
– Specific sectors of society, including students, employees, senior citizens, youth, disabled / socially excluded people
– Public authorities interested in engaging in a more efficient dialogue with the citizens
How do they verify the e-volunteers’ competences before they start the co-operation with them?
Microvolunteering is accessible and popular with the masses precisely because it involves no (or low) commitment, no (or little) training, and no (or little) security checks. The above criteria for a microvolunteering action means that generally peoples’ competencies do not have to be verified, as in practice, most of the organizations offering microvolunteering opportunities have created their own selection methods . As we act as an intermediary between e-volunteers and 3rd party initiatives, our role is to direct e-volunteers to their chosen micro-action, leaving the screening process to the concerned organizations.
With this in mind, we have not set up any methods to gauge a person’s competence, as none are needed. This means that our service is robust enough to be able to know that their level of competence is not a factor as to whether they can participate in an action or not.
How do they ensure the safety and the quality of the e-volunteers’ work?
Help From Home promotes a specific type of micro action where the volunteer has to perform a task in a defined way. Any deviation may mean the action does not get completed. So, the quality of the e-volunteers’ work is controlled without human intervention eg clicktocure.net The organizations promoting microvolunteering have their own criteria for measuring the quality of volunteers’ work. We also developed our own criteria for establishing an organizations’ reliability : http://helpfromhome.org/faqs/suitability-of-an-organisation
The safety of e-volunteers work is controlled by the e-volunteers themselves. Virtual volunteering is generally known to be safe. We primarily promote the action on Help From Home as home based. This is deemed to be very acceptable, as the participants will be familiar with the surroundings they are in. This will also apply to the e-volunteers for our other projects where students, employees and senior citizens should all be familiar with their environment.
Name of the organisation: Help From Home
Project title: Help From Home