St Wilfrid’s Centre is a charity where homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded adults can find understanding, practical assistance, a sense of belonging and the support to regain self-esteem. The Centre runs specialist sessions and activities daily, either group based or sometimes tailored to meet individual’s needs. Each session is run by a trained specialist.
When St Wilfrid’s approached Illuminaries to ask for their help in developing their internal databases, the Centre already had numerous separate Microsoft Access databases for logging particular aspects of their work, such as client information, centre attendances and volunteer information, but there was no central system connecting all the information together, and no clear way of tracking client progress throughout their time visiting the centre – St Wilfrid’s needed a better solution where this information could be captured and reported on.
Illuminaries met with various members of the St Wilfrid’s team, from the different centre areas e.g. welfare and workshop, in order to capture the requirements from all sides. In the end, an agreement was made to build a web-based application with SQL Server database.
From the outset, it was clear that existing data would need to be transferred into the new system, but processes were also changing, meaning extra care had to be taken that existing data could still “flow” through the new processes and not be lost.
A major part of the development, was the inclusion of a new tool to collate and report on individual clients vulnerabilities over time. This tool would be used to track client progress and to see how their time at the centre had helped them going forward – something which has been very difficult to capture and track in any meaningful way previously.
Development of the bespoke database was possible thanks to a generous grant from the Charles Plater Trust.