• Sofia Eugeniou

Positive news: The new initiative recruiting students to help isolated people during coronavirus

Updated: Jul 9

A service born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the #Task4Help initiative recruits students to source supplies for vulnerable people unable to leave the isolation of their homes.

With universities across the UK closed until it is safe and sensible to reopen, students find themselves in a time-rich position. Meanwhile, many vulnerable people cannot leave their homes to collect basic supplies or carry out the every-day tasks we normally get on with.

#Task4Help provides a solution that brings these two groups of people together in an uplifting and warming way. Where isolated individuals need help, students are tasked with heading into the outside work and fetching supplies for them.

The simple yet effective initiative was launched by the founders of UniTaskr, an app that is ordinarily used by university students seeking freelance work.

Image credit: New York Post

The service really is as simple as it sounds – isolated people post a delivery task on the UniTaskr app or on the website outlining what products they need, when it is needed by, and where they need it delivered.

Students in the area are notified and can offer to accept the task. Once a student is assigned to a poster, they are put into a private chat to communicate the finer details of the operation.

After the goods are purchased, the student is required to send an image of the receipt alongside the task price (if one has been agreed) for the buyer to release the payment. Once complete, the delivery is made.

Posting a glowing review of UniTakr’s latest initiative is Nina Richards, 82, from Hertfordshire: “It was easy to use and the delightful, friendly young people that have helped me have been incredible”.

An unexpected but precious outcome of the initiative is that some students have hung around for chats through windows or over the messaging service, effectively helping to reduce feelings of loneliness in elderly people (which is already a problem within our society).


Nina went on to say: “UniTaskr has been my saviour as I am alone and isolated”.

Manoeuvring around the issue of some older users being less tech-savvy, people are able to post tasks on someone else’s behalf.

According to its founders, some 10,000 students use the UniTaskr app – just based on these figures it is easy to appreciate the widespread positive impacts this platform has on local communities.

We must applaud UniTaskr and everyone involved for the successful implementation of this initiative, especially at a time where kindness and support for one another are desperately needed.

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