Community Sparx has developed a mobile app called Via, which helps volunteers organise and deliver door-to-door transport and other help to hundreds of people across England and Wales.
With transport and activities organised using Via, users can visit their doctor, dentist, family and friends, go food shopping or get help with basic household chores. The impact is twofold: volunteer drivers can help users carry out basic daily activities and the social interaction helps to combat loneliness.
Via also enables volunteers running these schemes to keep compliant with regulations whilst spending less time on administration. This frees them to spend more time doing what they really want to do – helping vulnerable people in their communities.
Mia is a Chartered Engineer with extensive experience of product development and project management across a range of high technology products and industries. Before becoming a co-founder of Community Sparx, Mia was treasurer of a local Community Car Scheme and was involved with a number of other community projects.
Robert is an experienced professional software engineer and, alongside his role as head of product development at a Cambridge AI technology company, is a co-founder and technical lead for Community Sparx. Robert brings his knowledge and experience of developing and applying cutting-edge technology to Community Sparx’s products and services.
Sheila retired from a career in teaching and played a key role in establishing Care Network Cambridgeshire, a local charity that that provides essential support to adults across the county, before becoming a co-founder of Community Sparx and chair of a local Community Car Scheme.
Community Sparx CIC’s mission is to facilitate access to essential services, to mitigate social isolation and to promote and support communities and volunteering through the application of technology that delivers easy-to-use, cost-effective products and services.
Access to transport helps people to keep active and engaged rather than trapped at home. Nine million people in the UK are lonely. This is bad for them, both physically and mentally and for society as a whole. Difficulty accessing transport is making thousands more people, particularly elderly people and disadvantaged living in rural communities, lonelier.
As a social enterprise, the company’s drive and passion is to promote profound and sustained social impact, to better people’s lives, to promote community engagement and support volunteers.