Learn how Groundwork South manages and trains Volunteers and Emergency Responders using CiviCRM

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Groundwork South is a charity based in Bristol, mobilising practical community action on poverty and the environment, across the south of the UK. In 2015, Pooka & Co were shortlisted for the Public Sector “Website of the Year” Award for our work developing an online Flood Toolkit for Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire County Councils. As a result, we were Groundwork South’s first choice of partner to develop their Communities Prepared project website.

The vision of the Communities Prepared resilience project in 2019 was to build a network of community volunteers and equip them with the knowledge and confidence to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a range of emergencies – including flooding, severe weather incidents… and pandemics.

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Pooka & Co worked closely with Groundwork South and our design partners to deliver a website that would provide valuable information and training tools to support groups and individuals seeking to build community disaster resilience. The website would map the voluntary response resource on the ground across the country, and deliver disaster preparedness training to the individuals using the website.

We implemented an online portal, based on WordPress and CiviCRM Content Management System, to handle signups to the scheme. Using mapping and forum tools, we aimed to make these emergency volunteers and support groups more “visible” to each other and to the wider community, and to help to network this previously-fragmented resource.

In addition, through the implementation of a Learning Management System (LMS), we were able to implement online training resources, developing a train-the-trainer programme to support local and national organisations. This helped them to engage their staff and local volunteers directly, which proved highly valuable when the pandemic arrived in spring 2020 and training had to move entirely online.

Using CiviCRM integrated with forum, learning management and mapping tools, Groundwork South is now able to direct their support and interventions in a more targeted way to a voluntary sector which they are better able to quantify and communicate with directly. Over the past year, this has led to an expanded Groundwork South team and the growing of ambitions for the Communities Prepared project.

Hannah Rudman

“Pooka & Co re-developed our website with fabulous results! As well as great design and creative problem-solving, they consistently brought really pragmatic thinking to the project.”

Dr Hannah Rudman

Digital Transformation & IT Professional

We are currently working with Groundwork South to further enhance its Communities Prepared online resource, and to help them realise their vision for strengthening community resilience across the UK.

We’d love to hear about your own goals, to collaborate on a project that makes the best of open source software such as WordPress and CiviCRM, alongside our bespoke design and code. Please get in touch to organise a friendly discussion about your project.

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We’d love to hear what you’re up to. Please get in touch using hello@pooka.co or through the form linked below. Don’t be shy!

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