Applications from people wanting to volunteer for Crisis at Christmas have soared by a third this year, an increase the charity has attributed to a new web app that has automated the application process.
Since the launch of the ‘Crisis at Christmas Volunteer Community’ last month, the homelessness charity is already a month ahead of last year’s event in terms of accepting volunteers. More than 7,300 people have been accepted.
The volunteers carry out one of 100 roles across the charity’s nine local centres and its operations headquarters over the Christmas period. Before the launch of the online app, each application had to be processed manually.
Project manager Ashley Bladon said: “We had nearly as many applications on the first day as we have previously got in two weeks, and we have already processed an accepted around 90 per cent of the applications, which is unheard of.”
Also, freeing up staff from processing the forms has enabled them to devote more time to the event itself.
As well as applying for roles, volunteers can use the online Community to view their shifts and request changes, as well as communicate with other volunteers. Crisis will be able to monitor volunteer attendance and view operational data in real-time. Bladon said: “Thanks to the ease of using the new system, as well as the great new community area, anecdotal evidence suggests all queries are down by around 60 per cent.”
The app was created by Totally Communications, who won the task in June of this year.