In early 2022 we won a competitive tender to build a nationwide platform that had been commissioned by the Welsh Government. The aim of the project is to develop a place for volunteers to find opportunities to volunteer and provide a platform where organisations and councils can promote their opportunities and manage their volunteers.
Design & UX
Salesforce & Power Bi
A driver for this project was for us to deliver a platform that was tailored to the quite specific requirements of the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), this marked a big change for them since previously they had needed to shoehorn their requirements into an existing platform. The discovery phase of the project saw us conduct rounds of user interviews and spec an approach that was not going to restrict us either during the development of the project, or the intended project lifespan. Our proposed solution was then prototyped and signed off in Figma before development began.
The entire system was conceived and built by us over an 18 month period. Catering for many different personas, it is divided into 2 parts, the volunteer portal app to help volunteers easily find opportunities close to them and the admin platform that allows day to day administration and reporting for a variety of user types. Delivered to be entirely bi-lingual, the volunteer portal presents volunteers with opportunities that are closest to them based on their profile. Signing up to be an active volunteer should be straightforward and as simple as ordering a pizza. Once you’re signed up you get a volunteer passport that you can save to your apple / google wallet or if you’re old school you can print it out - then a QR code validates you.
Within the admin platform there are multiple different views depending on who you are. Organisations can register, get approved and then start posting volunteering opportunities. Catering for the national network of County Voluntary Councils (CVCs) means that we give these users the admin rights to be able to run approvals and administer every aspect of the hub, and also manage their own volunteer centres and emergency events. Admins on both a local and national level can perform complex tasks and even act as different users to help out.
Built as a Web App the platform had to be snappy and offer the same responsiveness as a native app. We acheived this through development on Laravel Vapor and deplioyed it in a Serverless environment.
All of this syncs up to the Welsh Council’s Salesforce where they can monitor which of their many organisations are using the system and how many volunteers are assisting. A key metric that needs to be reported back to Welsh Government is the number of volunteering hours that are being facilitated and tracked through the app. These are reported back and fed into their PowerBi dashboards.
One thing that is really apparent now the platform is actively being used is that it provides a level playing field, the local foodbank has the opportunity to act with the same impact as the Welsh Rugby Union. Within 2 months of launching the app already lists well over 1000 active opportunities, and is used by thousands of volunteers. The platform is used daily by each CVC in Wales and overseen by the central Welsh Council from Cardiff. We have real expectations that this will make a success of volunteering in Wales.