By Melissa Kasule
A high-flying legal eagle has quit his job to keep the acts of kindness alive post-Covid-19 with a newly launched volunteering platform.
Former international banking lawyer Anup Mehta, from Greenwich, has made it easier to help out the vulnerable who have relied on the goodwill of locals in lockdown, with his programme – bkynd.
The tech social enterprise has partnered with a biometric authentication provider used by the NHS app to easily authenticate every member – and then to connect them with people who can help with local errands.
Anup, pictured above, believes the financial and physical contact risks are eliminated.
The bkynd founder quit his stable job last October.
His new business ideas hit a brick wall amid the coronavirus outbreak in March and he was forced to go back to the drawing board, with a newly adapted idea to the current climate.
Born out of Covid-19, Anup built bkynd with hopes to continue after coronavirus subsides.
Anup said: “I tried volunteering when I was a lawyer before and found that, firstly, it was super long to even get onboarded.
“But even if you cross that hurdle, there’s often a commitment involved, for example, x hours a week for six months, which, as someone working long and unpredictable hours, I just couldn’t commit to without doing an injustice to the people I wanted to help.
“So we want to facilitate acts of kindness in a way that’s quick, easy and secure but on a one-task basis with no ongoing commitment.”
“The plan is to become a single platform to help people with shopping essentials in the current situation, but to eventually become the social enterprise version of Uber for volunteering.”
“We make sure both sides are safe, building trust in the process through the use of profiles with real first names and pictures, a secure messaging tool and payment system.
“We’re hoping that, through the use of tech, we can give local communities the chance to stay closer together even after Covid subsides, with all the benefits that offering, and accepting, acts of kindness can do for a person on either side.
“Bkynd is, therefore, something I’m personally passionate about and want to bring through, especially as helping people was what I wanted to do all along – Covid just gave me a chance to do it directly.”
Anup and the bkynd team have a boxing gym run by a former world champion lined up to livestream free boxing sessions for members on the platform as a future benefit.
The programme is currently limited to shopping tasks. More information can be found here.
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