A Belfast charity app is offering up its platform free of charge in a bid to help local communities amid the coronavirus crisis.
The ESTHER app allows users to give directly to an individual living in poverty. It’s a pocket-to-pocket’ app which allows and individual to donate money directly to a person in need.
“At a time of local and global emergency, it’s important that we are able to get money into the hands of those in crisis as fast as possible,” Carol Rossborough, founder of the platform, said.
“The ESTHER app will help empower families in crisis in a remote manner. It’s a safe way of giving donations.
“Any donations received through the app limits spend on anything that could potentially be harmful to the end user, such as alcohol, gambling or cash withdrawals. Initially we didn’t allow them, but we’re now facilitating online purchases as a result of seeing increased numbers of people self-isolating as a result of COVID-19,” she said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting groups and communities that previously wouldn’t have been affected in a traditional sense. As well as the homeless and asylum seekers, some freelancers and the self-employed have quickly found themselves in difficulty.”
She says that charities are seeing an increasing number of people looking to them for crisis funding.
“Charities are facing major problems. An increased amount of people requesting support puts additional strain on their finite resources and, considering the new guidance around self-distancing, self-isolation and building closures, this means people are unable to access typical venues such as drop-in centres or breakfast clubs.
It’s now being made available to charities, churches and other registered community groups as they may have first-hand knowledge of those who are in most need.
To learn more about ESTHER, visit www.app.esther.org.uk