Dan Rushton

Mobilizing Volunteers to Help the Most Vulnerable through Maps

As the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 rises around the world there is understandably a high degree of stress, anxiety and grief from those directly affected and large sections of the population adapting to life in isolation.

However in these times it is important not to lose sight of reasons to find hope and reflect on the positive stories that battle for airtime in the rolling news schedules. With that in mind we will be publishing a regular series of blog posts focusing on how the community, from individuals to corporations, has responded and are using geospatial technology as a tool for good. We hope these will raise your spirits and maybe even inspire you to join the fight against COVID-19.

Groceries to Grandparents

One of the consequences of an extended lockdown period is that the elderly and more vulnerable members of society, particularly those in high risk groups of COVID-19, have difficulty sourcing groceries, medicine, being able to walk their dog or even being able to have some form of social interaction.

It was one of these challenges, experienced by student Frederik Filz von Reiterdank in getting groceries to his grandmother in a remote part of the Netherlands that motivated him to start #StudentsAgainstCorona.

The more people we talk to, the more we’ve realised the extent to which they and their communities have already been affected by this crisis, for instance business owners shutting down and in need of food packages and grandparents not getting their medicine.
Frederik Filz von Reiterdank, Co-founder #StudentsAgainstCorona

The #StudentsAgainstCorona Platform

Frederik is studying at Oxford University in the UK and together with his co-founder Craig Brown and sister Irina Filz von Reiterdank, they are mobilising fellow students around the world in order to help vulnerable people within their communities.

They are building a platform to make it easier for volunteers, community groups and those in need to connect with each other and for local authorities to source individuals or groups of volunteers matching specific criteria and locations.

To achieve this the platform consists of two distinct parts. The first where volunteers and those in need of help can submit their details and the second where all of this information can be visualized in a map to assist in the matchmaking process.

Screenshot showing submission section of the #StudentsAgainstCorona platform


Screenshot showing mapping section of the #StudentsAgainstCorona platform


Screenshot showing mapping section of the #StudentsAgainstCorona platform

Scaling the Platform

By applying to our grants program for help with the visualization, the team has been able to rapidly establish operations across 12 cities and 9 countries from California to Delhi, with over 1,000 volunteers.

How Can I Help?

If you’re a volunteer and you want to help, or somebody self-isolating that needs assistance, please visit: studentsagainstcorona.co.uk - If you would like to make a donation to our national fundraiser, which ensures our volunteers have the resources to do their work safely, please visit our Go Fund Me page.
Craig Brown, Co-founder #StudentsAgainstCorona

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About the author
Dan Rushton

Content Marketing Manager at CARTO

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