Helpforce currently partners with health and care organisations nationwide to increase the volunteering opportunities available, whilst also leading the way with how volunteers work can be accelerated to create a greater impact and a standard of best practice.
Volunteers within the health and care sector play a hugely important role. The recognised impact they have is however, built upon surveys and assumptions, with a lack of quality and quantity of data linking volunteering to overall outcomes of NHS Trusts. Instead of maximising the potential volunteering schemes can have, volunteering services throughout the sector are running with little support or funding, regardless of the impact they have.
Helpforce wanted a service within the digital space to validate and quantify the benefits of the volunteering process from implementation to evaluation within the health and care sector.
The end goal was clear for both us and Helpforce - the service needed to provide an easy and consistent way to support health and care trusts to measure and maximise the potential of volunteering services. This would be done through collecting data to learn how an intervention can be improved and prove that they can help achieve goals across the sector as a whole.
From the start of the project, it was clear that this new service would not only impact all end users, but would also help to develop the industry as a whole.
We started the process, alongside the Helpforce team, with an aim of understanding the main problem to solve - what was the current problem and how could it be improved with the development of a new digital product?
The user journey throughout was created in order to have a strong focus on a user-first approach to the I&I service. The end users of the product are those who work within the volunteering health and care sector. To enable users to measure volunteering initiatives in an easy and effective way, the I&I site needed to be accessible to those who have little time to carry out some of the most important tasks. This has resulted in the core product being functional whilst still offering a sleek user experience.
Once the project was underway, weekly stand-ups with the Helpforce team, along with our designers and developers, allowed us to work collaboratively to gain input and fuel whole-team discussion of how to create the best outcome. Working within the constraints of both design and development sprints resulted in the product being designed, developed, tested and released within the time frame set out at the start.
Due to its overall complexity, the Insights and Impact platform needed to cater for differing needs of technical abilities whilst also guiding all users through the intricate process. The platform is split into 4 stages - define, design, collect and evaluate. Our main focus over the last (however many) months has been developing stages 1 and 2; define and design.
These first 2 stages carry the bulk of user interactions, significantly increasing the cognitive load of the user. From research through to the design stage, understanding these complex needs has enabled us to develop a platform that is both simple and accessible for a wide range of users. For those who need a helping hand, the platform is also managed by experts from Helpforce offering advice and support along the way.
Before the platform went live, we initially released a beta version to a set of users within the sector. Both nuom and Helpforce were able to gain early feedback on the overall offering from Helpforce as well as the overall product and how it was going to function.
I&I uses a headless CMS, allowing Helpforce admins the flexibility to edit content and amend page structures. As each I&I project is unique, with different data collection and evaluation outputs, enabling admins to have the ability to customise layouts was essential.
Since the release of the Insight & Impact platform, the service is now enabling users to design, collect and evaluate data to produce evidence that proves the value of volunteering on NHS trusts, its staff and patients.
Providing structure and measure across the health and care sector, the I&I platform has the ability to grow and scale along with its user base; offering comprehensive foundations to evaluate the value of volunteering and quality improvements.
Now that the Insights and Impact platform is live, users are able to reap the benefits of the Helpforce service to improve their volunteering best practice and understand the impact.
The next steps; we are continuing to work with Helpforce to develop the collect and evaluate stages into a fully digitised process which will continue to advance and develop the process from start to finish.