Madrid Te Acompaña: The App That Connects The Elderly with Volunteers
“One of the priorities of the city of Madrid is to ensure that there are no elders who feel alone. Thanks to “Madrid Te Acompaña” we have an application that connects older people with volunteers, a technology at the service of citizens that will have a tremendous social impact,” Begoña Villacís, Deputy Mayor of Madrid
Voluntari@s por Madrid is the municipal volunteer program of the City Council of Madrid. It represents the instrument of active citizen participation of the inhabitants of the city. The organization has its own volunteer corps, which can participate in the activities that most interest them: social, cultural, environmental, sporting, animal… In addition, they carry out numerous projects and solidarity actions in all areas of the social life of the city.
The application had to put both parties in contact by following search criteria based on geographical proximity, in addition to checking that volunteers are registered in the Madrid volunteer system. Moreover, it should have a simple interface adapted to older people.
Elderly can ask for help with their daily tasks and volunteers, in turn, can consult the requests according to criteria based on geographical proximity. Once the help to be provided is selected, communication is initiated through a chat, where both profiles can specify all the indications, such as the time or place of meeting.
The app is 100% Azure-based, offering broad flexibility, power and scalability. It is composed of different technological components such as React Native for development, Identity Server, Backend REST and BackOffice developed with ASP.NET Core to manage services, Azure SQL Server for storage, Azure Redis as a cloud solution and Azure Notification Hub to send push notifications.
Being integrated with the different systems of the City Council, it allows them to validate the identification of the citizen (from both sides) and contrast it with the register. Before accessing for the first time, both users must provide their personal data, such as a photograph in the case of the volunteer, with which the user will be identified and validated. Thus, the institution can have control of all the members of the app and ensure that they are real.
In addition, the elderly will be able to value the volunteers who have rendered their services to him/her after the end of the task. This supposes a turning point in the volunteer actions, since it is already possible to connect all the parts in a simple way, controlled, fluid and adapted to the digital era.