Skip to the content

Bury and Rochdale launch new Covid-19 volunteering app


Mark Say Managing Editor

Get UKAuthority News


Two councils in Greater Manchester have begun to use a new app developed to help match volunteers with vulnerable people in need of support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bury and Rochdale have launched the Community Hub Application, which they developed with partner organisations ANS and Microsoft and with support from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority using the Greater Manchester Digital Platform.

It provides a platform for access by all parties involved in logging, assigning and volunteering, helping to coordinate contact between centres, hub managers and volunteers. It also helps to collect the required information to match appropriate support to citizens and their needs.

There is also a dashboard providing the councils with data on volunteer deployment, the pace of activity and changes in demand for support.

The system is hosted on the Greater Manchester Digital Platform, which has been created recently to support information sharing in health and social care in the city. Earlier initiatives using the platform include the development of a reporting system to monitor stocks of personal protective equipment in the city’s care homes.

Timely access to information

Councillor Daalat Ali, deputy leader and cabinet member for resources at Rochdale Borough Council said: “It has been pleasing to see such strong support from our communities during the pandemic and I welcome this new digital platform that will provide timely access to the right information when it is most needed.  

“Volunteers provide a lifeline to so many residents and making sure they are working as effectively as possible has never been so vital.”

Programme manager Nicky Parker from Bury Council said: “It has replaced the need for manual spreadsheets and lots of pieces of paper and enables the hub staff to track progress with a job. We can see how many jobs are completed or outstanding and look at the volume of requests across Bury.

“It also helps us to match volunteers with residents on a repeat basis so that new relationships can strengthen. We are developing new ideas all the time about how we can add more functions to the app as the nature of support from the community hubs changes over time and into the future.”

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.