Read about how Tribe is helping councils and communities mobilise support to help the most vulnerable.
When North Yorkshire County Council mobilised to help support the community during the initial Covid-19 lockdown, Tribe allowed it to coordinate a large and successful volunteer effort that would ensure the wellbeing of its most vulnerable residents across the county.
As England’s largest county by area, the council has the added challenge of some of its most vulnerable people living in sparsely populated rural areas.
Little or no access to transport, coupled with social isolation, can lead to these individuals struggling to access the support they need and requiring the services of an already stretched care system, often to perform jobs that could be fulfilled by volunteers.
In March 2020, when the nationwide lockdown began, North Yorkshire County Council needed a way to manage, coordinate and communicate with a large number of volunteers over the lockdown period.
Council employees who were unable to do their usual jobs due to lockdown became volunteers, with 279 council staff members responding to the ‘call to arms’ put out through the council’s intranet, and they joined several volunteers already working for community support groups around the county.
With an army of willing volunteers and several hundred residents identified as vulnerable, the job of managing and coordinating the volunteer effort was central to the running of the council’s Covid-19 response.
By using Tribe to coordinate its volunteer effort, the council was able to monitor the wellbeing of its population through proactive measures, such as conducting welfare checks across the county at the start of lockdown. In these visits, the volunteers would check the wellbeing of the resident and ensure they had access to everything they needed, such as food and medicine.
Volunteers would log any jobs identified by these welfare visits on the app, where they appeared alongside volunteer jobs identified by the council’s call centres and by community support groups.
Tribe proved such a success for NYCC’s volunteer effort that it is now embedded inits business plans for continuing support across the community.
Tribe helped us with the fulfillment of multiple activities and managing our volunteer base. The Tribe portal and app has been extremely flexible and coped with large-scale demand with relative ease.
Jobs completed by volunteers through the Tribe app include food collection and deliveries, medicine deliveries, and transport to health appointments. Volunteers are also helping with small but no less helpful tasks such as walking dogs or simply providing company for those who are socially isolated.
Thanks to the Tribe app’s intuitive user interface and easy-to-access request process, the volunteers are able to easily see all available jobs within a certain radius of their location, and the council can group similar tasks within specific areas for ease of use. The app’s messaging function allows volunteers to clarify details of the needs of the user as required.
Logged jobs are also added with a time frame, either by posting a job with a scheduled time for completion or as ‘asap’ for more urgent needs. This function also helps the council to triage incoming requests to ensure more urgent jobs take priority, and that volunteers can respond accordingly.
So far, Tribe has helped NYCC to support over 1000 vulnerable individuals across North Yorkshire.
With a difficult winter ahead as the pressures of a pandemic combine with other seasonal challenges such as adverse weather, loneliness and isolation, the council has developed a strategy to increase coverage and is recruiting further volunteers to the app to meet the predicted demand in coming months.
NYCC is looking forward to exploring Tribe’s micro-provider care functionality to help address the challenges around commissioning care into deep rural areas. They plan to work closely with health and adult services to provide more non-regulatory care to individuals through Tribe, thus taking the pressure off these public services and ensuring all members of their community get the support that they need.