Charities share their journey of working openly on digital projects. All funded by the Catalyst and National Lottery Community Fund’s COVID-19 Digital Response programme.

Today we ran a live sharing workshop for charities working on Catalyst programmes. Charities reflected on their projects, what they were learning and the ups and downs of doing rapid digital design and development.

Read more about each one’s journey by clicking the Padlet link under each image.

Irene Lo Coco, Chiltern Music Therapy

Prototyping a digital solution to support digital music therapy provision to vulnerable people.

See Chiltern Music Therapy’s other project outputs.

Lucy Maynard, Brathay Trust


A guide to what they are, ways to write them and platforms to use.

This guide is for the 117 charities currently working on Catalyst projects and any others who want to work more openly. It covers:

  • What weeknotes are
  • Why weeknotes are healthy and cool
  • Tips for writing good weeknotes
  • Platforms to use
  • Styles or types
  • Ways to share your weeknotes

**Update: We added a link to weeknote templates on 10/02/21. You can use any of these templates to make it easier to write your weeknotes.

Weeknotes are notes, not blogs

Weeknotes are notes about what you’ve been doing this week.

They are personal…


Laptop writing
Laptop writing

We’ve re-opened our Medium publication. If you’re working on a Catalyst supported project or anything else across the network we invite you to write about your work here.

You can write weeknotes or blogs. We welcome formal and informal thoughts, updates and reflections from your work. Be open. Share what you’re doing and learning. It benefits everyone when you do.

To get started we need to add you as a writer here.

How to get added as a writer on Catalyst’s Medium

  1. Sign up for a Medium.com account
  2. Email Joe or Christine your Medium username. They work for OWL — our open working team.
  3. Wait for an email confirming you…

A quick take on the most useful content produced by the Catalyst network and beyond over the last seven days.

Photo by Bharathi Kannan on Unsplash

Last week I promised to stick to five pieces of useful advice. But there’s actually seven useful pieces below. So, just to square things up, look out for two more cute puppies further down.

1. 10 top tips for creating accessible online events

6 minute read. Published by Outside the Box

Useful because it:

  • Covers before, during and after events, with a good amount of depth
  • Contains links to a good article about the barriers to accessing online events

Read the article.

2. Better online meetings with Beth Kanter

3 minute read by SCVO, based on last week’s DigiShift call.

Useful because it:

  • Contains fresh and cool ideas for making online meetings more effective and less…

This is the first of a new series showcasing the most useful and relevant digital content and opportunities produced by our network over the last seven days.

Photo by Judi Neumeyer on Unsplash

1. Building accessible and inclusive online services

30 min podcast. Published by SCVO and Third Sector Lab.

Useful because it:

  • Features four real examples of how charities have achieved good levels of accessibility and inclusivity through digital services.
  • Contains links to call notes and resources shared during the call

Listen to the pod.

2. Children and Young People’s Services — DigiShift Zoom call

Live Zoom call on Friday 24th April, 11.30 -12.30pm. Run by SCVO and Third Sector Lab

Useful because:

  • It’ll focus in challenges and solutions within the children and young people’s sector
  • Four real life charities will talk about what they are doing

This will be the fourth SCVO DigiShift call. They are well run…


Getting started with digital can feel like a big job, and it can be hard to work out where to start, but here are some people who are offering free help.

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

Over the last five weeks, thousands of charities have been reaching out for support because they’ve suddenly needed to go more digital. The sector has been full of articles and guides. It’s great that we can respond like this.

But what if you need more support than another article or toolkit? Or you don’t know where to find the advice you need? Or what if you’re not even sure what it is you should be asking about? What if you’re worried that you don’t know where to start?

Help is here. We’ve checked out the best places to go for…


Digital safeguarding and security can be confusing. This is a charity guide to making it easier. Read Part 1 too.

Many charities have quickly moved ahead with digital services. Some have taken their existing services online. Some have changed or expanded what they offer. But not all have carried out a risk assessment to help them decide how to do so safely. This article presents a robust process and downloadable guide to get you started.

Why risk assess?

You want to get your service online but you need it to be safe. You’re worried about choosing the wrong online solution or using it wrongly and someone getting hurt or having their privacy breached. You know you need to safeguard not just your users…


Part 1 of our guide to risk assessing third party platforms for online service delivery.

Your youth group is planning a three day trip to Dartmoor. As group leader it’s your first time leading a trip like this. You feel anxious. There’s a lot of risks. But it’s a great opportunity for your young people, some of whom have never left the city.

Instead of the trip you could stay and do activities in your group’s normal building. Here you know the risks. There are fewer of them and they are better known. It feels safer. But it doesn’t offer the same benefits as a trip up the moor.

So you’ve researched the trip’s risks…


Your online service will work better if you use the right words. These content design tips are here to help you do that.

Offline or online it’s the same: the words that you use influence how people behave. What you say and how you say it influences every part of their service experience. Offline we think of this as ‘how we talk to our beneficiaries’. Online we call this ‘content design’.

However, many charities won’t have heard of content design. So we talked to Sarah Richards of Content Design London about why charities should look into it. Then we asked her for ten simple tips anyone can use, especially if they’ve not heard of it before.

Content design is simple and non-technical

It’s an evidence-based process anyone can use…


Young Somerset were able to move online with haste and care, while keeping their vulnerable young people engaged and satisfying NHS information security requirements.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash

Three weeks ago Young Somerset were supporting 350 young people a week through face-to-face youth work and interventions. Their digital infrastructure could best be described as ‘fledgling’.

Three weeks ago teenagers in Somerset were looking ahead to the next day of school, hanging out with their friends, Mother’s Day, Easter, exams and school proms.

Then, like it did for so many of us, everything changed with the implementation of the UK government’s COVID-19 movement restrictions. On Friday, 20th March Nik Harwood, the charity’s CEO, suspended all face-to-face services. Suddenly 72 of the most vulnerable young people, those receiving weekly therapeutic…

Joe Roberson

Tech for gooder. Bid writer. Content strategist. Helps charities/startups raise funds, build tech products, then sustain them. Writes useful stuff. More poetry.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store