Help My Street
1690. Mark Hawkins
Mark Hawkins, from Nottingham, is an entrepreneur who created the ‘HelpMyStreet’ platform during the pandemic as a way of connecting volunteers with local people in need.
Initially launched in Lincolnshire to help ‘Age UK’ get wellbeing packages to the elderly, the platform has expanded to multiple communities and charities across the country, and most recently has been used to coordinate volunteer efforts with the vaccine rollout. Any member of the public can register, either to provide help or request it, with the platform matching up volunteers to perform a range of tasks such as dog-walking, shopping, collecting prescriptions, delivering meals and getting in touch with people for catch-up chats. The platform is designed in a way that ensures that personal data of people in need is protected and all volunteers are verified before undertaking tasks.
In a personal letter to Mark, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Congratulations on your fantastic initiative ‘Help My Street’. You have harnessed the power of technology to create an easy-to-use platform which has helped neighbours with shopping, dog walking and even connecting for a chat during a difficult time.
“What started as a local idea has now grown across the nation and so you have not only brought your community together, you have brought your country together. I am delighted that you will be taking ‘Help My Street’ forward as the nation recovers from the pandemic.”
“I’m delighted that ‘HelpMyStreet’ has been recognised with a Points of Light Award. ‘HelpMyStreet’ was built by an amazing team (from Factor 50, a healthcare analytics team) and 20 other people who generously gave their time at the start of this pandemic to create this platform. Since then, ‘HelpMyStreet’ has helped communities, charities (especially Age UK) and more recently assisted with the vaccine rollout – to engage and organise volunteers. It is these volunteers who are the real heroes of the last 15 months.”