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University students help with digital plans - 19/03/2018

For a while we have been thinking about how CCVS could better embrace the benefits of digital. We have a website, a twitter feed and a Facebook page, and regularly use different online tools such as Eventbrite, Canva, Mailchimp and Survey Monkey; but we knew we could and should be doing more.

When we were approached by the Cambridge Hub to take part in their Social Innovation Programme (SIP) we saw a fantastic opportunity to get a group of gifted digital natives to help us with our plans. The Social Innovation Programme is a 

"consulting scheme for charities, social enterprises and start ups. Cambridge Hub will recruit, train and manage a team of students (on average teams of 4-6) who spend 6 weeks working on the consulting project based on a brief provided by you. The SIP is designed to bring about a dual-positive outcome: to support organisations to improve their outcomes for user groups by increasing their capacity and providing new perspectives, and to create students who have a greater awareness of social issues and have had the practical experience to create a tangible impact in the future."

So we set about designing a brief that would set a realistic goal for our team to achieve. In short we wanted to know how best we could use digital to enhance our advice and training, how we could grow our market and how we could make our content more available and more useful to more groups. 

This report is the result of that hard work. After analysing data on what CCVS does along with the responses to a number of surveys that they designed recommendations were made in 4 areas:

  • Website Design - looking at simple improvements to the CCVS website to make it easier to find information. Also looking at future design features to help organisations 'self serve' the support they need.
  • The use of Webinars - looking at how we could use webinars to give a greater longevity to CCVS training and to make training more accessible to a wider audience.
  • Streamlining face to face interviews - designing a system that would allow people to come to us with more detailed questions having been able to find the basic help they needed first.
  • Online training - to look at how we enabled people to access training online at a time and a pace that suited them.

The next steps

We will now start to look at which of these improvements we can make and at how we can get the funding and build the skills to enable them to happen. We will develop a plan and start to look for funding that will help us to embrace digital in order to improve our service and reach a wider audience.

Could you benefit from the SIP?

A big part of the reason for being involved in the SIP was to see if it is something we would recommend to members. IT IS! The students are able to offer a fresh insight into all sorts of areas of your organisation. Need a new funding strategy. Want to set up a new project. Want to improve your communications. The list of areas where you can get help is only limited by your imagination. We will definitely be going back as we need to think about communications. If you want to find out more check out the project webpage

Our Thanks go to the student team

  • Eunmi Ha - Team Leader
  • Aiden Greenall
  • Georgiana Gilgallon
  • Jamie Popplewell
  • Pippa Lockwood

And also to Annuscha Wassmann, Programmes Manager at the Cambridge Hub