Swansea based social action project, Matthew’s House launches UK’s first-of-its-kind crisis support app

Swansea-based homelessness and food poverty social action project Matthew’s House (of The Hill Church Charity) is launching a new smartphone app called Hope in Swansea – the first of its kind in the UK – connecting people in need of hope with the organisations in Swansea who provide it.

Signposting support available for housing, mental health, food poverty, isolation, abuse, seeking asylum, discrimination, or even a warm shower, this free app will provide location-specific, cross-organisation information with one simple click of a button: “Hope is just a click away”.

This directory of support services for vulnerable people was founded by Matthew’s House (a project of The Hill Church charity) thanks to funding support from Swansea Council, Children’s society and their friends of Matthew’s House scheme.

Matthew’s House has since networked with several vital organisations across Swansea to ensure that all areas are represented in the app, with more than 60 support providers registered. Quick and accurate updates will be shared by all participating support providers to show their opening hours, access criteria, availability, and service provisions.

Thom Lynch, Project Manager at Matthew’s House, said “We are really proud to launch such an incredible app which will transform how support is offered and found for people struggling every day. Our key objective as an organisation has always been to provide hospitality and hope to those who need it, and we are confident this app will do just that.

“The app was born out of conversations with hundreds of people needing crisis support, and those who work in the support sector. We found that the process of answering an individual’s questions on where they could find the various support they needed was often incredibly time consuming; searching through different folders or emails to find simple contacts and information, which were often outdated.

“This app will instead allow organisations to register and regularly update vital information which will enable fast action and tangible results for Swansea’s most vulnerable citizens. It is a balance of being professional but personal welcoming every type of user to benefit for no cost at all.

The long-term goal is that the general public will utilise Hope in Swansea as well as professionals and volunteers when they come across someone in need of any type of support – be it a neighbour, friend, family member, or perhaps a stranger on the street. This app could make all the difference.”

The wider Matthew’s House team, who recently won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, hopes that Hope in Swansea will unite services across the city, with plans to develop the app even further in reach and accessibility for people who could benefit from it.

Matthew’s House Team Leader, Ellie Phillips, added: “We are so excited to launch this app. It app will not only ensure swift action and results for our guests, it will mean that we free up time to help more people. As we prepare the app we are finding that there is so much support in our city we didn’t even realise was there.”

“This app will truly revolutionise how we at Matthew’s House and all support services across Swansea will operate going forward.”

Alyson Pugh, Swansea Council’s joint Cabinet Member for Supporting Communities, said: “When Thom at Matthew’s House first approached us with idea of the app we were really keen to be involved and I’m very proud that Swansea Council has been able to help.

“I have such admiration for all the staff and volunteers at Matthew’s House for their kindness and creativity in finding new ways of helping people. Thom is a much-needed breath of fresh air in these hard times.

“Swansea Council is committed to supporting our vulnerable residents and this technology will help people in need find the right services at the right time.”

The fast, simple, free app will be available for anyone to download from today (31 Aug) – whether downloading in case of emergencies, or in a professional or voluntary contact, or even in readiness for a time someone reaches out to you.

For any other organisations wishing to get involved, get in touch with Matthew’s House directly on [email protected] for further information or visit hopeinswansea.org.uk.


Image Caption: Tom Lynch and Alison Pugh