Close to Hand is built on respect for each other and an ethos of helping local people. That’s why we have a verification process to help keep our community a safe and trusted place.
Firstly, we are not a care agency but an online service that connects you with Home Helpers nearby; local people who can pop in to help with practical tasks such as housework, shopping, meal preparation and companionship etc. It is important to note that Home Helpers listed on the website are self-employed and have not been interviewed by Close to Hand.
Home Helpers need to go through the verification process before they can become a Premium Member and message other members.
Basic Members can still submit a profile, be listed as a Home Helper and appear in search results however, they will have to become a Premium Member to apply for any job posts or to receive and reply to any messages.
Premium members appear higher up in Home Helper search results and they are clearly identified with our premium Member badge as below.
Here are the verification measures we’ve put in place:
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.
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.
It is not currently a requirement for Home Helpers to have a DBS certificate. However, many of the Home Helpers who register with our platform do hold their own Basic or Enhanced DBS and they are able to send this to us for verification.
Where a DBS certificate has been verified by Close to Hand, you will clearly see a green badge displayed on their profile. We recommend you also ask to view and verify the helper’s DBS certificate during your first visit.
Please refer to our FAQs for further information on our DBS policy.
Star ratings and reviews
Check out Home Helper reviews for recommendations from the community and if a Home Helper is new to the site and doesn’t have any yet then you can always ask them for a reference.
Carefully evaluate Home Helpers 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