Rapid recruitment, deployment and organisation of a large volunteer team requires efficient technology. Although this is changing constantly the Surrey Heath Prepared infrastructure is bedding in. The following widely available software systems have been deployed:
The www.SurreyHeath-Prepared.uk website is the main source of volunteer registrations and requests for help. The site is built on WordPress with integrated Google Forms.
The entire organisation collaborate on Google Suite technology with permissions appropriate to job role and location. Google form submissions from the website are set to automatically populate Master spreadsheets and Ward level spreadsheets automatically with a further reference copy stored within an email archive.
A strict social distancing policy has been in place from Day 1 so all steering group and coordinator meetings are held on Zoom video calls and recorded where required. Regular communication across and between the teams takes place on WhatsApp using their group function. Steering Group also utilises a ‘broadcast-only’ WhatsApp group for key messaging to Ward coordinators.
It is essential to consider scalability in all of your systems and process design. Local groups tend to build solutions that incorporate individuals as a single point of failure and as such all roles need to be diversified across multiple individuals and a single version of the truth (collaboration) model needs to be employed. Printing spreadsheets and storing local data needs to be discouraged.