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The Interview Summary

Could you tell me a little bit more about the Literacy Pirates and your role within it?

  • We are an organisation that helps younger people (9-12) to develop their literature, confidence, and personal skills. They are normally nominated by schools we work with to come to our programme, and they get to do that in person, that could be in Hackney or Tottenham, or virtually. I am Office and Systems Manager.

I understand that you accessed a range of Catalyst initiatives. Could I start by asking you about the Design Hops course that you attended?

  • My line manager asked me to take it because we were renovating our volunteer management system. We wanted to first listen to the volunteers what they wanted so it was a nice moment for me to go through the user experience. 
  • The course was very good. I like the combination of all the interactive articles, the different materials we can learn from. It was also very good to interact with all the charities, there was a lot of insight about what we were doing. 
  • Very well organised. The right amount of time. It was quite nice to have to do it during a workday and the materials helped a lot to understand the topic. I think was very easy to understand and to follow. I learned through application, too. 

What about other Catalyst initiatives? 

  • I bookmark the support service for Catalyst because it is very nice to have all the tools in one place. 
  • Advice from a volunteer, that's just because we are in the process of digitalising over the organisation in general, sometimes we lack the information or the knowledge and the details and so it's quite easy to get lost just Googling and searching for something specific, especially when you want information about charities rather than anything else. 
  • We were looking for a platform where we can celebrate our events for our young people. I used the free advice just to ask if anyone could help me find something in the metaverse. And it was a mixed experience because on the occasion I could speak with someone, it was very informative. But when I couldn't get hold of anyone, I was just waiting to see if someone could pick up my question. And I think I used it a couple of times. With another request to workflow processes, that was very good, because I spoke with someone that was really into processes. And it was just nice to hear from someone how it could be done in an easy way.
  • Regarding Reuse, we were trying to renew our volunteer management system. So, we wanted to reach out. We didn't really know what we wanted so that was a nice place to put information. It's quite a long list of projects so there is no way to figure out what we were looking at. So just by searching keywords, I was trying to filter the kind of projects that look similar. I don't think I found anything that was similar but was just nice to know, this is in case I will need to use it in the future. So, it's always a place I'm like, Okay, let's have a look at someone else's thoughts on this. 

Did you experience any benefits or outcomes from taking part in the Design Hops initiative, maybe for you or your organisation, or the people or communities that you work with?

  • When doing the course, we were also doing some surveys with our volunteers, asking volunteers what they wanted. We got advice on any mistake we had made. It was quite nice to go back like, 'Okay, we shouldn't do this, but we should do that.' So yeah, I think it was an informative way to know how to do it in the future. Now we have entered phase two of the volunteer project manager so that will be the moment when I will apply what I've learned exactly because now we know how to do users periods surveys.

Did you look at any other individuals or organisations outside of Catalyst for other help within the Literacy Pirates?

  • We're not a very tech organisation and we don't have any in-house knowledge. It's very difficult just to look for information, so an example was when I was looking for the agency who could have done the system. I could Google 'Tech agency' but it will have given me a lot of information that I don't really need. The filter is something that is specific for charities, it’s quite difficult sometimes. 
  • So I think this is why it is a nice portal to offer. Most of the time that I Google something digital that other charities put together, Catalyst is the first thing that comes out. So this is why I think that is the first place where I look for information. If I really can't find anything, I will try to look for something else. But so far, I always find something.

Is there anything that you think could be improved about the Catalyst initiatives on a whole?

  • You can get a bit lost in the site. I ended up sometimes just clicking on a lot of links and a lot of tabs open and just losing myself from where I came from. So that is the only thing that probably there's so much information to be given out so sometimes it is difficult to organise the collection of information. 

Is there any other support that could be helpful from Catalyst?

  • To know how much pro bono is around. But in general it is really good. As I said, nobody ever will have a folder with all the bookmarks, the websites where I can find information.

Do you anticipate that the initiatives that Catalyst takes part in will be useful to you in the future?

  • Yes. It's always a starting point and then we'll find something where I can start and maybe, we are referred to something else so we submit to the website but that is a good starting point. And if I can't find them there it will be very difficult to find it somewhere else.