Frequently Asked Questions
What is onHand?
onHand is a lower cost way for older adults to get help with simple tasks. We believe that getting help shouldn’t be expensive.
What can I use onHand for?
Lots of things! We’ll do a shop for you, run to the dry-cleaners to drop off or pick something up, collect deliveries and other errands. We love dropping in for a tea and chat and can also help getting you out for a walk. Some of our team drive and will happily take you to appointments you have. If you just need someone to check in on you or a loved one, we’ll do that too. And we have lots of members who will help do some gardening for you too! No ask is too small and there’s no minimum commitment. Basically, we cover simple needs that help you age well and have greater control.
Who should use onHand?
Older adults, relatives, friends and carers can all use the service. Older adults can contact us for help directly. We also help relatives or friends of older adults who live too far away from their loved ones or have work commitments or kids and just can’t help as much as they want too. Our founder got involved as he lived miles away from his Dad, who was struggling with shopping and has Parkinson’s. He now gets help with shopping and some company every week. We’re here to help with the simple things. Carers, we’re also available to offer you a break whenever you need it.
How much do you charge?
We have a flat £10 an hour price. There’s no registration fee, monthly fee and any other fee. We don’t charge any of our time for speaking with you or for finding someone to help in your local area. We were designed by charities to be a low cost alternative to Care Agencies for the simple things, for people like you.
Why is onHand so much more affordable than care agencies?
All our volunteers give up their time freely knowing 80% of all payments go straight to charity. This allows onHand to charge significantly less than Care Agencies, to get simple tasks done.
Who are the volunteers?
Our volunteers are typically young professionals. We interview every single one rigourously and complete full DBS checks on each - just like professional care agencies. They are all wonderful. If we wouldn’t let them look after our own parents, they can’t join onHand.
Why do the volunteers want to help older adults?
Very often they are not from London and miss their families back in other parts of the UK. Helping an older adult helps them feel more connected to the families they now live many miles from. Many grew up with strong relationships with their older relatives and simply miss them.
I’m a relative or friend. My older relative doesn't have a tablet or smart phone. Can they use onHand?
Of course! Just give our friendly team a call or email and we’ll work with you on the best way to stayed connected and make arrangements. For those of you who love tech, we do have an app can be used to make requests. If you use the app, you'll be asked if you are making requests for you or someone else, at which point you can add an older relatives details to the app and book a task on their behalf. Alternatively - just call us! We’re on 0203 488 2912.
How are you funded?
Our initial funding came from an investment from 12 of the UK’s most loved charities. Together, they formed The Good Lab, an organisation looking to solve some of society’s biggest issues, and they started onHand. You can read more about The Good Lab and the charity partners at their website.
How much money goes to charity?
80% of all payments are given to charity. No exceptions.
Are you a charity?
We are not set up as a charitiy - but we do give 80% of all payments to UK charities. We keep 20% to cover all our costs.
Is there anything I can't use onHand volunteers for?
We're not a care company, and our volunteers aren't available to provide “professional care” - that means things like bathing, washing, or help with feeding, with childcare, or the kind of personal emotional support a counsellor might provide.
Volunteers also aren't allowed to do any lifting, moving or handling of people or heavy objects. They can't handle hazardous materials, work at height (like climbing on a roof or a high ladder), or offer professional advice; that means they can't give you advice on your finances, taxes or with any legal cases, and they can't give medical advice.
We know lots of organisations and people who can help with all of those things, though, and we're happy to get you in touch with them if you need support.