SafeGuarden – personal data exchange for communities working together as one

Inspired by BBC DIY SOS Big Build ‘Veteran’s Street’, Hull4Heroes is building a self-sustaining ‘Veteran’s Village’ providing transitional housing, employment, training and support for ex-service personnel and their families. Building a strong community infrastructure will help our veterans adjust and return to civilian life, enabling them to easily access the services and support that they need. Key to this strategy, is a user-friendly infrastructure that builds trust and confidence.

In support of Hull4Heroes, CDD Services is proud to announce the launch of SafeGuarden. SafeGuarden is a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee that allows communities to work together as one. Individuals share their data within the community securely, privately and under their ongoing control. This ground-breaking project is supported within the Information Commissioner Office’s Sandbox in 2021.

This year has given all of us a greater appreciation of what it is to be vulnerable, to depend on the work and goodwill of others. Also, a realisation that care in the community is broken, disconnected and fragmented but continues to prove itself to be an essential part of our collective social, physical and mental wellbeing. There are some amazing Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) agencies out there, like Hull4Heroes, that provide incredible support for so many vulnerable groups in our community. The true spirit of our social conscience.

Success is measured in lives impacted

Helping people means connecting the compassionate with those in need. It means being able to qualify, quantify and monitor the social impact of these good works to help amazing people win further funding to sustain the great work and scale to do more.

Success is not measured in pounds and pence, but lives impacted, supported and often saved. Creating circles of trust is essential, safe spaces for the vulnerable to communicate securely and share individual stories and personal challenges that can help manage physical and mental wellbeing. What all of these volunteers and caring people are, is amazing, what many are not is compliance experts, data analysts and data protection or privacy consultants, and digital transformation or AI technology specialists.

Using technology for purpose

It is this driving force to protect an individuals’ privacy and transparency in data use and storage that underpins SafeGuarden. We are building a gateway to establish a trust framework for safer collaborative practices, where safeguarding and regulatory compliance are fundamental foundations of design, so the vulnerable do not fall between the current disconnected gaps in support.

From first responders to referred agencies orchestrating responsive care and coordinating pro-active and multi-agency support, SafeGuarden offers collation, analytics, storage, exchange with many regulatory considerations, safeguarding, identity management, security, and privacy controls. At all times, data is owned and controlled by the individual, not the agencies involved.

Working within the Information Commissioners Office’s sandbox, SafeGuarden provides a paradigm shift in consumer power over their data and allows VCSE and 3rd sector agencies to focus on what they do best. The intention is to provide a data and compliance infrastructure that allows individuals to access support more rapidly, and to amplify their voice by linking support agencies and connecting with each other. In short, SafeGuarden is about enabling a community to work together as one while providing data protection and a democratic voice by design.

SafeGuarden is more than just a platform – it’s a philosophy

We have the tools and the vision to help the third sector navigate the fourth industrial revolution in challenging times. We can’t build homes, but we can be part of the technology fabric that helps re-build hope and lives. We can provide digital transformation without the perils of Surveillance Capitalism.

SafeGuarden, born in Manchester, is a Community Interest Company governed by Co-Operative Rochdale Principles. In joining SafeGuarden, individual members have a democratic say in the way SafeGuarden is run. Our data protection by design approach safeguards personal data exchange, with real-time consent control. In other words, your data, and the data about the things you do, cannot be sold or provided to a third party without your explicit and ongoing authorisation. It’s your data, it’s your decision!

The VCSE sector needs leading edge technology that is affordable and easily accessible to help themselves and others create a safer, simpler connected world of community care, post-pandemic. Many will continue to struggle, while others may come out of this stronger, more agile, and ready to face the future.

If you want to be a change-maker and need the digital tools to make your change work, then get in touch. We can work together as one for the community and future we need.

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