Uniti, a digital volunteering platform that puts volunteers in touch with charities and community groups seeking support, has launched in the Channel Islands.
The idea for Uniti was developed by Channel Islanders Ed Prow and RJ Allen who identified that society’s three foundational blocks – the community, third sector and the private sector – sit isolated from one another, with minimal interaction between them. They developed Uniti as a solution that changes this dynamic, uniting each group through one platform in order to collaboratively solve the unique issues that each faces.
“We believe that by centralising the needs of a community and uniting the third-sector, private-sector and community under one platform we can improve and modernise the way volunteering operates. The third sector represents the best of society, and is a foundational block in any community – yet smaller organisations in this sector have too often been left behind in terms of digital improvement, primarily due to a lack of monetary incentive from exterior investment,” said Uniti’s Ed Prow.
“With overall volunteer demographics getting older, innovative ways of engaging younger audiences are needed to ensure the voluntary sector continues to thrive – especially in the new Covid world.”
The Uniti model flips the table, by utilising private-sector subscription packages to subsidise a free volunteer management and engagement platform for the third sector. This allows charities and voluntary organisations access to a wealth of resource, skilled helpers and technology that would otherwise be unavailable and provides businesses an easy way to facilitate their employees’ volunteering time. Simultaneously this ecosystem provides an overdue free application for the general public – to find, understand and sign up to local voluntary opportunities in their community,” concluded Ed.
By facilitating volunteering, Uniti helps to address other big societal issues – health and well-being and Mental Health. “Social connections, relationships and acts of kindness are vital for all people to live happy and healthy lives. In a digital market overflowing with introspective solutions, Uniti offers an extrospective one. A modern twist on an old technique, we believe; doing good, does you good,” added RJ.
Increasingly businesses are recognising the myriad of benefits of employee volunteering – promoting wellbeing, fostering team spirit and often increasing motivation and productivity. The Uniti platform provides businesses with a means to track, measure and diversify their CSR engagements, in order to hold businesses to account for the impact they have on the community they operate in.
Uniti was conceived by Ed and RJ in 2019 and was recognised with a Highly Commended Honour at The Creative Conscience International Design Awards. The Uniti team went on to become a Tech & Innovation Grant Winner (Digital Jersey Covid Challenge). In March 2021 the team secured seed funding from two investors, Shufl Captial and Vitruvius, which enabled the platform development to be complete in February 2022.