The charity Nesta has announced funding for collaborative social media platforms that can, among other things, help match homeless families to people with spare rooms.
The six platforms announced will work with a number of different actors, including local councils, NHS trusts and community groups, to meet different social needs.
They will receive money from Nesta’s ShareLab fund totalling £160,000.
One of the initiatives, called Fairbnb, matches homeless families to homeowners with room to spare, while they wait for permanent housing. They will receive £25,000.
The social media platform has been piloted in Croydon and it is estimated it could save the council £1m a year once it is rolled out.
Patient Transport Oxfordshire is another one of the six platforms and will receive £30,000.
Run by OxFed, it is a collaboration between local health services, community transport services and Oxfordshire County Council, and will match patients to the transport services they need to get to medical appointments.
‘Web platforms have shown how powerful they can be in disrupting consumer services like taxis and holiday lets,’ said Alice Casey, senior development manager at Nesta.
‘ShareLab projects tap into that same potential to tackle important social challenges in new ways, such as housing provision, refugee integration and social care.
‘Since the programme began in 2016, platform technology has become more accessible and affordable.
‘However, only a few pioneers are harnessing the opportunities of this technology for social good.
‘These six pioneering projects will add to the growing evidence of what communities and public services can achieve when they work together.’