10 September 2020

PM Connect streamlines charity donations through vCreate partnership

Tom Bradshaw-Smith

In 2019 we rubbed shoulders with the creators of video and messaging app vCreate at the National Technology Awards. Since that chance encounter, we’ve collaborated on an exciting new project which allows donations to neonatal units to be made in-app with the help of our carrier billing technology.

vCreate allows parents, family and friends to see photos and videos of their premature baby whilst it receives hospital care, minimising separation anxiety. Use of the vCreate app has spiked in recent months following lockdown and hospitals utilising the app have increased from 65 pre-Covid to connecting families and babies across 170 hospitals across the UK.

The first charity to benefit from the application of our technology is the Emily Harris Foundation, based at King’s Mill Hospital Neonatal Unit in Mansfield. Founded by Neil and Clare Harris in 2008 in memory of their late daughter Emily, the Foundation provides relatives with babies receiving care at the unit access to the vCreate app alongside other forms of support.

Whilst fundraising methods traditionally relied on third party websites such as JustGiving or PayPal, our partnership with vCreate allows relatives to support their chosen unit through adding donations onto their monthly phone bill.

With the inclusion of carrier billing to the app, the donation process is significantly streamlined as relatives no longer need to input card details or go through a lengthy sign-up process. To make things even easier, we have also devised a feature which means that donations can be made outside of the app simply through the use of a shareable link.

Clare Harris, Foundation Manager at the Emily Harris Foundation, said:

“Myself and my husband, Neil, started the Foundation in 2008 in memory of our beloved daughter Emily Harris. We were blessed to spend the short time with her that we did, and wanted to keep her memory alive and repay the wonderful care we received, providing support for the King’s Mill Hospital Neonatal Unit staff, patients and their families.


“This includes sponsoring the vCreate app, which has been widely used since we introduced it last year – with families regularly telling us how much it has helped them to receive video updates from their babies when they are unable to see them.


“Sponsoring the app is therefore incredibly important, so we can continue to help keep up these connections. By making it easier for friends and family members to donate to us at the same time as viewing updates, the PM Connect and vCreate partnership will make lives easier for those donating, and in turn raise key funds to ensure we can continue supporting the Unit as much as possible.”

Ben Moore, Founder of vCreate, commented:

“Small independent charities like the Emily Harris Foundation work incredibly hard to provide support for services like vCreate. Making donating as simple as possible on the vCreate application will really help and there is no doubt that direct carrier billing really does eliminate hassle for relatives wanting to make a charitable contribution.


“The payment technology sits neatly in the platform, allowing users to make their donations in a streamlined, seamless way. Following initial roll-out, the plan is to introduce the technology to more of our charity partners and neonatal units across the country, with hospitals and charities also able to make use of the link via their own social media and website as well as on the vCreate site.


“We’re always pleased to work with businesses like PM Connect, who use innovation to give something back.”

Our Partnerships Director, James Brighton, said:

“We’re proud to have been chosen by vCreate and the Emily Harris Foundation to provide mobile payment technology. With relatives predominately using mobile to access vCreate’s secure messages, images and videos, our incorporated payment platform – allowing users to donate without taking them away from the app environment – was a perfect fit.


“The app uses pre-developed technology, which can “plug-in” to multiple environments, maximising choice. From sharing on social to incorporating into newsletters and emails, we hope to provide an easy way for users to make donations at a stressful time, maximising charity support.”

If you are interested in our carrier billing technology, or in how carrier billing could aid your charity’s fundraising strategy, please email charities@pmconnect.co.uk.

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