“One of the key advantages of working with HomeRun is helping to create genuine communities quickly”
We all know that schools are central to our communities. It can even be why you decide where to live, and for parents, it can be a great way to get to know people living nearby.
But it can take time to create your own school community: many find the social whirl of the school gates intimidating, and sports day comes but once a year. Plus, for working parents it’s not always possible to be at pick up, or attend school events. Another factor is that some schools have large catchments so the people you meet through your child’s class may not live near you.
This is where we believe HomeRun can help, by enabling parents to form a school community around where they live. We connect you to other families, with similarly aged children who are at the same school and live nearby. It means that instead of those connections taking years to build, you’ll find people living near you as soon as you join.
Our hypothesis is, if you live close to someone, your children go to the same school, and you become friends, then you’ll naturally start to help each other out. Maybe it’s a playdate after school, or your childcare hasn’t arrived - either way, if you are friends, you will start helping each other and sharing journeys. With the app, we’re facilitating those interactions. And that has the knock-on effect of reducing car journeys.
We connect you to other families, with similarly aged children who are at the same school and live nearby
This is particularly true with new intakes, when children first join a school. If the school offers HomeRun, parents join the network and we find the first thing they do is look for who lives near them. They're very interested to speak with other parents on how they take their kids to school: is this school bus a good option for you? Do you walk or do you cycle? And again, that straightaway forms a community. If given the option, they often onboard very early – even the term before school starts – because they want to set up playdates and get to know people.
We’re not trying to compete with WhatsApp – HomeRun isn’t a network to complain about school lunches. It’s a formal school network to allow parents to introduce themselves without sharing contact details. What we offer is a safe introduction: we're not an app you can download and start using, it has to come in through the school. We don't allow aliases, etc. We do as much as we can to make sure people are verified.
We're creating communities, enabling friendships. Once that initial connection has been made, how you continue your friendship is up to you.