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Tackling the loneliness crisis with companiions

companiions app launch

Lockdown, social distancing, shielding. Phrases that held little significance in previous years, but are a huge part of our lives in 2020.

Recent national research surveying over 2,300 UK adults found that 83% of us experience loneliness. Companionship is something that’s therefore particularly relevant for us all at the minute, so we were thrilled to partner up with companiions on their mission to bring compassion to every community.

companiions enables people to give and receive kindness by making it quick, easy and safe to arrange companionship and help. Organisers can arrange help for themselves or a loved one, while people who love to help can become companions and offer support to others locally, while getting paid for their compassion and care.

companiions app features

We believe so strongly in the cause that we’ve made an investment in the business, allowing us to work closely with the team to develop the platform from the very start. Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard to create the brand, website and both iOS and Android apps, ahead of the full nationwide launch in 2021.

For the app build we used React Native, allowing us to rapidly develop robust applications in JavaScript, whilst taking advantage of native UI elements needed for the level of polish consumers expect from an app.

Both iOS and Android apps contain full marketplace functionality, allowing peer to peer payments, discounts/promotions and reviews. Users can create profiles for themselves and their loved ones, making it a simple process to get started.

companiions app features

Security is undoubtedly an important factor, so we ensured that security and vetting checks were both robust and intuitive. We utilise a selfie-based face liveness check which matches a user’s face against a scanned photo ID or passport. This feature also uses AI technology to detect fraudulent attempts at ID upload, such as scanned documents for example.

Adding to the already built-in chat functionality, we’re already working on stage two. Soon we will launch the ability to video call across different platforms, which will help more elderly and vulnerable users communicate with current restrictions in place.

We came to Parallax with an ambitious idea of building a three-tier marketplace to bring people together who need a little help and companionship with those who are willing to provide it. James, Dario, Pat and the rest of the Parallax team delivered our app and website all within 6 months and we’re delighted with the results. We look forward to continuing to build our business together with the great team at Parallax.

- Lisa Robinson, companiions

companiions is launching in Reading (November 2020) and Croydon (December 2020) before launching nationally in 2021.