By Lindsay Woodward, Service Director at CFF
CFF has been really fortunate to be selected for two programmes of support via CAST (who are a 'charity on a mission to create a more responsive, resilient and digitally-enabled social sector'), funded by The National Lottery. The first Catalyst programme in autumn 2020 was called 'Discovery' , lasted 4 weeks and helped us to understand how we might use digital to improve our CBT tool called 'Worry Time'.
At the end of that programme we applied for a longer 10 week programme and were delighted to be successful. The Definition programme built on the work we had done last year, with some excellent mentoring from digital experts Bex, Kat and Mille - we had a weekly programme of learning, sharing and developing a digital version of Worry Time.
We finished the programme this week with an increased level of confidence in understanding user needs, testing a hypothesis and creating and testing a prototype. We'll continue to test the prototype digital Worry Time tool (to help young people manage their worry) over the next couple of months. If you happen to attend one of our groups you'll probably get the chance to help us with that!
One of the important elements of the Definition programme was that we would be 'working in the open' which means we were sharing the things we have created and the process we went through in order to help other charities who might have similar projects they are looking to undertake. Our cohort of 11 very different charities (pictured) from across the country all had really different projects and it was amazing to see how much great work had been done in 10 weeks, all made possible by the programme funding staff time to take part. The charity sector can often be seen to be lagging behind in digital innovation or even use of digital products, and often that's because it's really hard to know where to start or where to get support as a charitable organisation with limited funds for developments (as our service users are always our no 1 priority). I'd encourage anyone working in a charity to take a look at the CAST website and the incredible range of resources and free support there. Digital doesn't have to be difficult!