It’s a simple approach: HipHelpt connects people with limited social networks and limited finances to volunteers from their own local communities, who have the time and the skills to help. They provide informal, straightforward social and practical support. Currently HipHelpt assists about ten thousand people annually, with approximately 3500 volunteers. Eighty percent of the help provided is delivered within a three-kilometre radius, thus generating greater social cohesion within the community.
HipHelpt responded to a request for help from a young man who struggled to vacate his mother’s house on his own. Soon they found two volunteers available to help. Their feedback: ‘We started at 9 o’clock in the attic. Then we removed cupboards and curtains from all bedrooms. A quick break for coffee! After the break, we removed the ceiling tiles. After that: Chips! Then after lunch the floor covering in the living room. One container almost full! We worked hard and enjoyed chatting. We were finished at 13:15.’
With the donation from Dioraphte, HipHelpt aims to expand the number of care relationships and voluntary helpers, and work towards strengthening the HipHelpt locations The association is also hoping to introduce new locations. Chairman Pieter Foekens: ‘Alliances with organisations like SchuldHulpMaatje and the national churches, amongst others, will help us to expand the number of sites and to develop a comprehensive programme of social and practical support as well as help with financial problems.’