Inspiration

I had a conversation with my brother about wanting to hand out leaflets to people who may need help in the area and he said people were already doing it and sent me a template. We are both type 1 diabetic and are vulnerable ourselves I was saying I'm concerned about mental health and people being isolated along with possible home break-ins in a month or so. If the police or NHS are overrun then people may not get the help they need there and then or have access to the internet to find a local group to help.

What it does

It has a helper and needs help registration area where a user can sign up to volunteer or for help. The user volunteering then can log in and generate flyers for there postcode. This postcode is coded into a digit code and the flyer has a Twilio number to call on it. The person needing help can call this number to enter the digit code and we log a call with there postcode and long, lat.

A question is then asked for the type of help they need on the call, we then log the status of needs callback and send a bulk SMS notification to users within the distance of the person needing help (the volunteer has the option to set how far they are willing to travel.)

If no one is nearby then we have a fallback service going to the closest care agency in the area or charity.

We then run a cron job every 10 mins to see if someone has been called by a local volunteer if not we notify the local care/charity closest to them.

If a volunteer is ill they can still help by signing up to be someone to talk to on the phone as someone like myself may still want to help and feel like they can't.

There is no personal data shared between either party the calls are triggered within a dashboard, using twilio's service.

How we built it

We built this using WordPress and PHP along with composer packages for a quick turnaround as I wanted to get this done prior to lockdown, unfortunately, I hit some hurdles this was started last Thursday and has taken a week to produce something for testing!

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge was working out how to get someone's location without a mobile device, say, only a landline. This is where I came into the idea of the reverse lookup from a code generated after making this I demoed to my brother who then did make a great suggestion of doing QR codes so the user dropping off the leaflet could scan the code being putting through the code and we gather there location.

Another challenge was GDPR and having a user call without seeing the phone number! Thank you TWILIO! Along with having a special code for the 'fallback' care as they would not have a log in so they can just get a text/email and click to call from the website using an md5 hash verification code.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

I really think this use case could work well across the globe, I have spoken to many individuals who are willing to help such as sales staff from Twilio!

What we learned

I have learnt it's difficult to test if you stuck inside and creating a location-based website!

What's next for Find Local Help

I need this to be tested everywhere over the UK and help marketing it along with trying to get a postal company on board for delivery of the leaflets and codes. If we have this kind of access to the council it can become self-running and bring everyone together by using technology!

If you do login please do test there is another video on how to test the website.

Thank you for this hackathon I had been trying to get people together but didn't have the coverage I hope you see this as a viable project and we can help those in need over the next few months!

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