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News and Views

Close to Hand introduces Home Helper Identity Verification

by Lindsey Nathan on 11 July 2018 15:22pm 1564

Trust and Safety is key for members image

Close to Hand is built on respect for each other and an ethos of helping local people. That’s why we have introduced a Home Helper identity verification process to help keep our community a safe and trusted place.

Trust and safety

Trust and safety are as important to us today as they were the first day we launched last year in our hometown of Tunbridge Wells and will continue to be at the top of our priority list as we grow nationally.

Staunch believers in good old-fashioned community spirit, we want to use technology to bring people together to make life easier and happier.

Building a community of mutual trust

The Close to Hand online platform was set up to make it straightforward for older people and their relatives to find a helping hand locally. We understand that you want to book in a Home Helper that your community knows and trusts and so we’ve introduced measures to check the identity of Home Helpers and to complete background checks against their personal details.

What does it mean to be a Premium Member?

Premium Home Helpers have had their identification verified and have received a background check – you can clearly see when they’ve been through this process as this badge below appears next to their profile and they will be listed higher up in your Home Helper search results.

Premium member badge

Once Home Helpers are verified they will be able to contact you and other members via the site’s secure messaging system. They will also be able to see any messages you send to them through the website.

Don’t worry if a Home Helper is listed but hasn’t yet been verified – some choose to wait until they see a local job that they’d like to apply for first. Rest assured that they will not be able to contact you through the site until they have gone through the verification process. That doesn’t stop you from messaging them though - go ahead and draft them a message and we’ll let them know it’s waiting for them to be accessed once they become a Premium Member.   

Home Helpers will be verified annually to maintain their Premium Membership.

What checks are in place?

All of the details are on our Trust & Safety page, but here is a quick overview:

  • Identification Verification - Every Premium Home Helper on the platform is cleared through an online identity check. These checks look to match the personal details submitted to Close to Hand with details linked to various public databases such as the electoral roll and Post Office, helping to ensure that the Home Helper is who they say they are.

  • Background Check - All Premium Home Helpers listed are also cleared through an online background check. This searches the personal details of the Home Helper and identifies any negative behaviour associated with them. The search cross references various criminal watch-lists and also includes an adverse media check that searches a host of published articles. Please note, these background checks are not the equivalent to a DBS.  If a Home Helper states on their profile that they have a DBS certificate, you should ask to see proof as these are not checked or verified by Close to Hand.

Find out more about trust and safety

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