Cooper Solutions held a hackathon on Saturday in support of Safeline, a local charity that works to prevent sexual abuse and help anyone affected.
A hackathon is not related to breaking into computer systems, but a problem-solving process usually hosted by a software company over a day or weekend. The event enables developers to pitch new ideas and to use their software in new ways.
Cooper Solutions has been working with Safeline in many ways to assist with raising the charity’s profile and helping raise funds. For the last three months, Cooper Solutions Analyst Rahul Mohanachandran has been working with Safeline developing a new process that will enable the charity to become a digital charity. By digitalising its client management system, Safeline employees and volunteers will be able to focus on their specialist counselling work and spend less time on administrative tasks.
This led to Barford-based business organising the event, which was attended by software professionals from three different Midlands-based companies, to further develop the project.
Ben Felt, Cooper Solutions Development Manager, said “Writing free software isn’t a new idea (open source software has been around a while) but I think it’s significant that software professionals in our area are contributing their time and talents to tackle social issues that affect our community. The Midlands is blessed with a lot of technical talent and if the “charity hackathon” trend were to spread, we could have a real impact on society. Donations are always important but sometimes it’s just a matter of figuring out how to put your talents to use.”
Based in Warwick, Safeline provides a range of specialist services including face to face and online counselling, abuse prevention projects for vulnerable children and young people, support for people who may or may not choose to report the abuse to the police, a national helpline which provides emotional support, information and advice and tailored training for professionals and parents who have a role to play in protecting and supporting people affected by abuse.
Neil Henderson CEO of Safeline said, ‘this project is crucial in helping to transform the way the charity works. Currently, we have a manual data capture and reporting system. There are gaps in the data we need and reporting is cumbersome and labour intensive. This project will generate detailed, real time information that will enable us to manage all aspects of the charity in a really efficient and effective way; the benefits generated will enable us to protect and support even more people affected by abuse’