Find support services weeknotes 27/11/20

30s read

– Three redeployees join us

– Accessibility testing complete on front-end and listings interface

– Waiting on security testing before we can go live

– Filling gaps in young people and faith organisations

– Developers churning out new features

– Data syndication to other services is officially A Thing

3min read

This week, we welcomed three new members to the team via the redeployment scheme: Raju from Libraries, Lavern from HR and Tamika from the Covid helpline. Give us a wave!

The prototype is back online (thanks, Marta Villalobos and Sandrine Balley in the GIS team) and so we’re back to cracking on with the new microsite that’s going to replace it. We’ve finished our bug-testing on the new front-end and its associated listings interface, which is used by voluntary organisations to add their services. 

Access all areas

There’s a statutory requirement for all websites to be accessible and Winston Mullings has been busy with accessibility-testing. For anyone not familiar with accessibility, it’s about catering for those with sight, hearing or mobility issues by, for example, ensuring fonts can be enlarged, colour contrasts are sufficient and interactions via keystroke are facilitated. This principle needs to be applied to both the snazzy front-end used by residents as well as the listings interface. We’ve got our accessibility statements at the ready (thanks, Gill and Iain) as per the law. 

Mind the gaps

While we wait for the new service to be security-tested, we’ve been cracking on with identifying gaps in our provision. Two areas we know we want to focus on are our young people and faith organisations. 

We’ve got a steer on the former from Lucy Clifton via the City and Hackney CAMHS team (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and the Integrated Gangs Unit.

Thanks to Simrat and Lisa-Raine in Policy for helping us out with faith groups. Religion plays a significant part in the lives of many Hackney residents and we know that churches, mosques and other faith-centred organisations are offering fantastic services from food to befriending to those of any or no faith. 

Hot fuzz

Meanwhile our developers Matthew Keyworth and Selwyn Preston are smashing it with the Nudge team (our digital agency partner) and cracking out new features including: the ability to create listings on behalf of organisations (and prompt them to join by sending them a login): associating multiple users with an organisation: automatically reminding organisations to reverify annually; and a fuzzy search on the front-end. Shout out to IT Enabler for providing the funds for these new additions. 

We continue to generate interest from others wanting to get their hands on our data. This is exactly what we want as we’ve built this whole service with data-sharing in mind. One of our metrics is counting how many hits an organisation’s listing has had not just on the Find support services microsite but across any other site or app that is using our data. Basically, it’s going to count hits on the API, for anyone technically-minded. Though anyone who is technically-minded is likely to be groaning right now at my lay interpretation of events. 

Good to share

The first of these interested parties is the Better Conversations tool formerly known as I Need Help that the Covid Helpline team uses to identify options of support for callers. We’ll be working with Zoe Tyndall to get the tool pulling in Find Support Services data via the API, offering customer service agents a broader range of services to signpost callers to; and giving our organisations greater exposure. 

A second interested party is DWP. Job Centres need to direct those Universal Credit claimants with complex needs to support options available to them; and we’ll be chatting next week about that. 

That’s all, folks! As ever, don’t be a stranger fss@hackney.gov.uk

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