On 23 Feb 2018, Bristol hosted the first do_action day to take place in Europe, following successful do_action days in Cape Town, Austin, Johannesburg, Beirut and Montreal.
Tess Coughlan-Allen from Mind Doodle co-organised do_action Bristol, a one day hackathon with the aim of building 5 websites for 5 worthy causes in a single day, and invited Mind Doodle’s CEO Rich Hill and team member Daniel Reading to join her in taking part at the hackathon, alongside around 40 other volunteers.
The event took place at DeskLodge, an award-winning co-working and meeting space in the centre of Bristol with quirky decor to stimulate innovation and action. As a WordPress Community event, all sites were built using WordPress, the popular CMS that powers 29% of websites.
Volunteers included developers, designers, graphic artists, content creators, SEO and social media specialists, quality assurance testers and project managers, who formed five groups to combine skill sets. By working together in newly formed teams, the volunteers were able to learn from each another, share knowledge and exchange skills for a selection of worthy causes.
The local charities and non-profits that benefited from new websites were:
Third Sector Solutions is a not-for-profit company providing employment and training support for unemployed people and people with support needs. The organisation offers advice and placement work, training delivery, counselling services and facilitates work projects. Their mission is to create learning environments and a support framework which allows the individuals involved to take their own steps towards self-awareness and to fulfil their potential.
The organisation wanted a complete re-think about how to present the information on their services and how to promote their profile.
Hands In The Air is a grass-roots charity offering a men’s mental health telephone line in Bristol, launching in Spring 2018. 75% of suicides in 2016 were male and the south west has the higher suicide rate than any other region in the UK. The vision of Hands In The Air is that no man or person who identifies as a man should die by suicide and that they should feel that there is always someone to talk to. Their mission is to empower, support and signpost men experiencing mental health problems, whilst campaigning to raise awareness around men’s mental health issues and promoting understanding around the social pressures men have today.
The organisation wanted a clear, functional and approachable website, with the main focus on designing a landing page for their beneficiaries to access when they need to talk to someone, plus a chat service and email reply service to partner the phone lines.
GympanzeesCIC is an organisation that wants to change the world by creating the UK’s first fully inclusive activity and leisure centre catering for the play and exercise needs of the 58,000 disabled children in the South West. This first centre will be fully accessible for children from the most severely physically disabled through to children with ADHD and Autism with several play areas and will also host classes such as disabled yoga or martial arts, and therapies such as Physio, Occupational Therapy and counselling. Their vision is to open centres around the UK to provide access to play and activity for every disabled child.
The organisation wanted their website to describe who they are, what they do and why they do it, whilst being a place to drive supporters, funders and volunteers. They also wanted the scope for further functionality in the future.
Horfield and District Allotment Association is a busy and productive association that recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary with a series of small events to collect personal memories and anecdotes from past and present allotment plot-holders, members of the local community and school children who use the site. With information and photograph being collected, the organisation began to create a web-based resource to bring together the history of the site and personal memories.
The organisation needed a good, workable website that could be edited by the members of the committee. With 70 pages of content, they have a lot of stories ands helpful information to share.
The Bristol Disability Equality Forum was set up as a community group in 1995 to consult Disabled people about how to improve disability equality in Bristol. Since then, it has became a proactive campaigning group and is now a very active, vibrant and independently constituted voluntary sector organisation, run by Deaf and Disabled people for Deaf and Disabled people. Membership is open to all Deaf and Disabled adults who live, work or study in Bristol and the areas immediately surrounding it. The Forum offers a range of services including training, undertaking Equalities Impact Assessments, policy advice and event organising.
The organisation wanted a website with an appealing and engaging design, improved structure and accessibility both for web visitors and site administrators, as well as better integration with social media to increase membership.
The new WordPress sites are responsive, accessible and expertly crafted, at no cost to the charities and non-profits, meaning they can spend 100% of their funds on the important work they do.
To see more from the do_action day, find out what happened on Twitter by following the hashtag #doactionBRS.