- There are many help platforms available online.
However, according to a report published by the Office of National Statistics, 10% of 55-64 years old and 24% of 64+ years old do not use the internet in the UK.
People in need who have no internet access - Difficult for them to know where and how they can request for help
People who can assist, e.g. established charities, newly set-up local volunteer groups - Difficult for them to identify and reach out to those who need help
What it does
- User (e.g. senior citizen) makes assistance request by SMS.
- Charity/volunteer group approves the request in Google Sheet database.
- The interface of the volunteer app is automatically updated.
- Volunteer responds to request on the volunteer app.
- Charity/volunteer group approves the volunteer.
- Volunteer delivers the care package to users.
How we built it
We deliberately chose a low-code way to develop HeroHelper to keep the maintenance minimal for charity/volunteer group.
- Twilio Autopilot is used to converse with the user
- Google Sheets is used to host the data
- Glide Apps is used to add a UI for volunteers to respond to requests
- AWS is used to host the code to receive JSON from Twilio and append the Google Sheets
Challenges we ran into
We encountered errors deploying to gcp - that took a significant amount of time to resolve. Also issues with Twilio Functions initially.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- A nicely designed of the website
- A functional backend to capture assistance requests
- Community outreach on the product
- Simplicity of product
- Great team collaboration.
What we learned
- Ways to use Twilio smartly and productively.
- Communicate with the team with different preferences and styles of management.
What's next for HeroHelper
- Look for funding
- Look for charities which would like to use HeroHelper
- Adapt the offering for different use cases (australian fires, locust swarm east africa etc)