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New Facebook tool lets users request or offer help in their community

By Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Facebook users are now able to directly request help or volunteer their services to others in their neighbourhood during the coronavirus lockdown.

The social network has launched a tool called Community Help, which is being rolled out in the UK as well as North America, France and Australia.

The tool will allow Facebook users to request or offer help to those around them, such as volunteering to deliver groceries or making donations to local food banks.

Facebook’s new Community Help feature allows users to offer or request help in their community (Facebook/PA)

Fellow Facebook users are able to scroll a feed of latest posts, which shows people nearby offering help, and what tasks they can help with.

A filter on the page also enables users to focus on specific areas – such as different types of supplies, transport of business help – in which they can offer or receive help.

The feature can be accessed from the Covid-19 Information Centre already live on the platform or by visiting facebook.com/covidsupport.

Facebook has around 2.5 billion monthly active users, and the new feature will hope to take advantage of the platform’s potentially huge reach.

Neighbourhood app Nextdoor also recently launched its own community support feature – an interactive map which allows users to mark themselves as available to help others around them or if they are in need of assistance.