I founded Close to Hand back in 2017, seven years after setting up a care agency with my mother and sister providing live-in home care to older people.
During that time I could see that although there was a need for advanced care services, and always will be, there was a real need in our communities for ad hoc, flexible home help that didn’t involve professional care but some companionship and a little helping hand with small jobs around the home, such as housework, gardening, shopping, going on errands and meal preparation. I was also struck by the high levels of loneliness facing our older communities and felt compelled to bring local people together.
I am also a mum to two young children and many of my friends were telling me just how hard it was to find local, flexible work that they could fit in around the school run and family life.
Close to Hand was a way to meet both these needs.
I have created an online community that quite simply matches people looking for help to local helpers seeking flexible work that serves a purpose in their local community.
The service was originally launched to connect older people with local home helpers, but it has naturally evolved to provide an extra helping hand to people at every stage of their life as and when they need it; following surgery, hospital treatment or a fall, to provide help to those living with a chronic condition, following the birth of a new baby or those coming to terms with a bereavement.
I am a believer in good old fashioned community spirit and I am using technology to bring local people together when they need it most.
Close to Hand is an online community that connects you with local people who can lend a helping hand. We make it easy to arrange practical help and companionship at the same time as enabling local people to find flexible work with a purpose. In our experience, it's smiles all round.
We realise that there are many reasons people look for help at home, at different times throughout their lives. Most of us have either been in a situation where we've needed a helping hand or, at the least, we can picture a time when we'd appreciate another person around to offer assistance.
Close to Hand is different to an agency; in fact, it's not an agency at all, but an online platform matching local home helpers with anyone looking for an extra pair of hands on an ad hoc, short term or regular basis. Close to Hand Home Helpers set their own availability and hourly rate which can be viewed on their profile, typically between £8-£12 per hour, meaning it's an affordable and flexible option.
We bring people together by building a community based on trust and support. All members of our community connect directly with each other via our secure messaging service.
Close to Hand is built on trust and an ethos of helping local people. To keep it that way it’s important to put safety first for both parties.
Always carry out your own checks and references. Carefully evaluate Home Helpers and those asking for help to identify the best fit for both of you.
Review profiles and read reviews
2. Meet in-person
Conduct phone interviews, then meet in-person and have a trusted friend or relative with you for that first meeting
Get a second opinion from your friend/relative and check references