A DIGITAL business that connects companies and their teams with thousands of volunteering opportunities across the UK is expanding in Newcastle after launching a base in The Catalyst.
onHand, a fast-growing company that enables businesses to seek out a range of worthy causes and projects for their employees to support has taken up hot-desking space for two members of its rapidly expanding team in Helix’s Catalyst building.
The tech-based company, which boasts a client base including Trainline, Newcastle Building Society, Softcat and Brewin Dolphin, is able to tap into the business centre’s world-class facilities, as well as joining a cluster of businesses that is centred around data, and that can engage the support of the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD), an organisation based out of The Catalyst that aims to encourage a vibrant ecosystem around data science. The company has offices across the North East, with The Catalyst now providing its Newcastle base.
onHand, which employs a team from across the country, chose to take up space at The Catalyst after chief technology officer Dan Moffatt – who lives locally – learned more about the support the base offers to businesses.
The business has a co-working base at The Catalyst – one of a growing number tapping into the flexible tenancy that is perfect for remote teams and growing start-ups.
Dan Moffatt, who joined onHand in 2021, said: “We’re really pleased to have taken up space at The Catalyst. It’s an incredible building and a brilliant environment for ambitious businesses like ours.
“Having access to NICD is something that I think will bring many benefits, and also – as a business that connects people to volunteering opportunities that support older, more vulnerable people, I am also looking forward to working with the team at the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), also based in The Catalyst, to guide the product’s development to ensure our volunteers are guided towards opportunities to support older people.”
onHand was launched by its parent company The Good Lab, after 12 of the UK’s most loved charities came together to form an organisation looking to solve some of society’s biggest issues. onHand aims to make it easy for companies to identify meaningful volunteering opportunities for their team, that will also allow individualised choice about the volunteering options that appeal most, and for people who need help to reach out through a platform that can connect them to support.
With some 3,500 volunteering opportunities listed on the app at any one time, ranging from environmental projects to befriending support for lonely older people, businesses that sign up as part of their CSR activities can make it easy for their staff to choose relevant opportunities on their doorstep. For companies who sign up, there is the added benefit of carbon reduction, as onHand will plant a tree for every member of the organisation’s team, as well as one for every first mission, and another for every 10 completed missions.
The business is one of almost 30 now based at The Catalyst, an exciting cluster of companies that operate from the £50m hub that opened in 2020. The state-of-the-art building is in the heart of Newcastle’s Helix development, a vibrant quarter that stands in the shadow of St James’ Park. The building is managed by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, and provides a hub for entrepreneurs and researchers in data to collaborate and create new companies, services and products.
Rebecca Robinson, centre manager at The Catalyst, said: “onHand is a brilliant business and one we are very proud to count among the exciting tenant list we have here.
“Innovation is at the heart of all the businesses that call The Catalyst home, and with NICD and NICA on hand to support and connect them, there’s a truly pioneering ecosystem here that it is just brilliant to see grow.”
The Catalyst creates a supportive ecosystem for firms to grow and develop new ideas, products and services, alongside world-leading creative thinkers. To learn more about The Catalyst, visit www.thecatalystnewcastle.co.uk or follow on social media.