17 December 2020
Unsplash © Rémi Walle

COVID support: Mobility app helps public run errands for those in need

The global pandemic has reinvigorated a sense of community as we’ve spent more time at home than ever before. Errands, a new function on mobility app SKOOT, is helping connect people with those who are vulnerable, self-isolating or in lockdown.

The app enables users to request errands or favours for friends, family and those in their community. The service is free and allows for an optional £5 thank you tip. National research from SKOOT found that one-in-four people in the UK have needed help with errands this year, but didn’t ask for it as they didn’t know whom to ask or didn’t want to feel like a burden. The app’s founders hope the new function will alleviate these concerns to create a streamlined system that supports those in need in the best way possible.

“The positive thing we’ve seen during the pandemic is the desire for people to help each other, and we believe Errands provides a long-term platform for the gig economy. As errands are only undertaken by people you know, it means trust is at its heart. Future versions will look to add additional tasks like picking up and delivering a package or even a lift to an appointment.” Greg Gormley, CEO and Co-Founder of SKOOT

SKOOT Errands allows users to get in touch with up to 10 contacts at a time with a description of a task, timeframe to complete the request, and the location of where the helper needs to pick up from and deliver to if relevant. The helper can view and accept tasks that are requested by their friend in the app, use real-time navigation to complete the task, and then receive a completion receipt to ensure their friend is aware that the task has been done.

Possible errands include picking up a prescription, using Click ‘n Collect services, or sending and returning items to the post office. The process is also carbon negative, with one tree planted for every three errands completed.

SKOOT launched earlier this year with the backing of major investors including Liam Griffin, CEO of Addison Lee. The app’s primary function is to connect friends who drive with their peers who need a lift. The UK start-up raised £1.6M to accelerate growth and solve societal mobility issues in February, and won a further £75,000 award from Innovate UK to help build the Errands feature.