It’s not often that I am truly moved at the creation of an online platform, however when I came across Crisis Heroes, I really was blown away. I immediately contacted Mark, one of the founders, and asked for an interview, to help spread the word! Turns out I couldn’t have waited for a better time to post this interview, as Melburnians face an extended stage 4 lock-down. I’m thrilled to share this superb community with you, and hope that you’ll get signed up and offer your hand to someone in need. I signed up a couple of weeks ago and was blown away when reading all the offers of help, so I hope you read this and feel empowered to do the same.
Mark Acheson – Crisis Heroes
Hi Mark! I’d love you to tell us a little bit about yourself and the team behind Crisis Heroes.
I’m a journalist, come marketer, come stranded Melburnian! I moved here two months ago from Tasmania to be closer to my other Crisis Heroes co founders Matthew Platts and Nicolas Hoban. Matt is our software engineer and Nic our designer and legal expert, being a former lawyer!
When and how did the light bulb moment come about? Have you always been a helpful soul?
The light bulb moment came when Matt and I were forced to cut our American travels short in March this year and come back to Australia to self-isolate. I was actually on my way to work and live in the UK, a lifelong ambition of mine. I could have chosen to bury myself in my Xbox, but instead Matt and I came up with the idea of Crisis Heroes. We had our friends and family to rally around us while we self isolated, but we thought, what about those without these networks? This is where Crisis Heroes was born, to help people who are feeling isolated or are struggling in light of Covid.
I’ve always tried to look out for the interest of others. I think we can make the world a happier place if we have one another’s backs. Life is hard enough as it is, without having people doing the wrong thing – Mark Acheson
What is the main aim of Crisis Heroes and what would you say to encourage people to get signed up?
The main aim of Crisis Heroes is to empower everyday individuals to request or lend a hand. We did a quick market analysis and couldn’t find a free platform for trading goods and services. To anyone sitting on the fence as to seeking help, I say this; chances are you’ve supported someone in a time of need or difficulty, and you didn’t judge them for it. Reverse that sentiment. Never be too proud to reach out for help. There are hundreds of people waiting on Crisis Heroes to give you a hand, be it a friendly chat or running errands.
Loneliness is a huge issue for many people during the pandemic, was this something you had in mind when coming up with the idea? Do you think Crisis Heroes is helping ease loneliness for people?
Yes, yes it was. Originally the platform was designed for people to run errands or trade services, but we then saw the need to implement a chat function. This chat function has seen the biggest uptake on our platform. It goes to show, along with national statistics, that people are struggling with the Covid-19 restrictions and the impacts of isolation.
I know that Crisis Heroes has hit a few countries already, but what are the long term plans for spreading the love even further? How will this look post pandemic?
It doesn’t stop here post pandemic. We want to see Crisis Heroes reach every corner of the globe and help as many people as possible. What is great to see is the sense of fulfilment a person gets when they help someone else on our platform. They’ve perhaps never had a platform or the resources to help someone before. When they do, they feel overwhelmed with happiness. Not to forget the person who has received help. We had one woman in Melbourne say that she connected with a kind stranger on Crisis Heroes and their conversations were the reason she got out of bed of a morning. That’s huge!
I’ve signed up Mark, and I was amazed at all the wonderful offers of help and support! It really does make your heart feel full. How does it feel to have created this wonderful community?
I feel very humbled to be in a position to help others. This wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing co-founders and the support of my friends and family. I just choose to keep this simple mantra: do good.
If you’re a kind soul and would like to sign up and offer your support to someone doing it tough right now, head to Crisis Heroes You can also follow the Crisis Heroes journey on their socials (handles below). Whether it’s offering to walk the dog, grab essentials or just be available for a much needed chat, you can utilise this platform to make someones day and perhaps save someones life!