Crisis App cuts through during COVID-19


Crisis App cuts through during COVID-19

Deloitte Australia partner leads push to deliver urgently needed essential items

This technology solution matches requests for help to volunteers offering up their skills and time to those who need it.

The spirit of resilience amid the COVID-19 crisis is perfectly illustrated by the leading role played by Deloitte Australia’s Financial Advisory partner Simone Cheung in developing Crisis App, a simple online platform that automatically and anonymously matches requests and offers of help in times of crisis in Australia and beyond.

The online platform’s origins began during Australia’s recent bushfire crisis. The team quickly evolved it for use in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. With skilled volunteers from Deloitte, Atlassian, Thoughtworks and many more, the team is now receiving hundreds of offers and requests for help.

Most recently, Dr Khanh Nguyen, emergency physician in Western Sydney requested for volunteers to sew facial masks and scrub caps. The callout for sewing volunteers went live and within minutes was met with unprecedented community offers to help.

“We are all apprehensive as hospitals in the United States and around the world struggle to meet the demand for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and we don’t want to see that happen in Australia,” explained Simone. “So, there was a real sense of urgency when we received Dr Nguyen’s request. In just one day, we were able to establish two virtual ‘Sewing Bee’ hubs in Sydney’s Inner West and Western suburbs. We had volunteers rallying together with their families and children to support the PPE needs of our community,” she said.

Crisis App has now coordinated and delivered hundreds of masks and scrub caps to Auburn Hospital, Meals on Wheels NSW, and even to nurses in New York and Boston. Around 200 masks are on their way to transplant patients who regularly visit hospitals.

“The beauty of the Crisis App is that it can pivot to provide whatever help is needed at the time,” explained Simone. “Some of the offers and requests during COVID-19 include people offering help picking up groceries or medication or transporting people to essential services. We’ve even had people offering free virtual French lessons for people in isolation or quarantine.

“Australia has now endured two consecutive crises and people have realised how easy it is to help. My hope is that following this pandemic people will realise they have skills and ways they can help, and we can all band together as a community in any situation,” Simone said.

Read more on 9news.

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