Coronavirus: NI donations app giving free use of platform to all UK charities

  • Digital donation platform ESTHER has opened up its technology for any charity, registered community group or church to support people of need in any part of the UK for free.

    The start-up is doing so "to help the most vulnerable in society" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    ESTHER's peer-to-peer charitable app allows the user to donate directly to someone living in need in their own city.

    Once signed up, the user receives a short biography detailing the situation of a local person in need.

    They will then get updates on how the recipient is doing once they receive donations, which they receive on a pre-paid card.

    The ESTHER card - similar to a regular debit card - can be used to purchase online goods such as groceries from Tesco or ASDA, which co-founder Carol Rossborough says is "really crucial for those in isolation right now."

    The card however limits spend on high risk products such as alcohol, gambling and cash withdrawal. 

    The user can basically see exactly how their donation is helping the recipient. 

    Storehouse food bank in Belfast is the first charity to collaborate with ESTHER during the company's pilot.

    Based in Northern Ireland, the ESTHER team recently tweeted that "those who are homeless with poor nutrition, weaker immune systems and a lack of access to good hygiene need your support.

    "Donate directly to some of the most vulnerable people in Belfast and 100% of your donation will reach the person you are helping."

    The mayor of Greater Manchester recently called for the UK government to fund accommodation for all rough sleepers in response to coronavirus, as many have underlying health conditions, limited access to government guidance and are not able to self-isolate.

    Sign up to be an ESTHER donor here or contact the team by e-mailing  if you want to register your group with its own fundraising environment to help you facilitate funds to those who are in desperate need.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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