Turn On Your Future @ UWTSD's School of Applied Computing

Sue-and-luf

In this week’s article Sue Maw (pictured above: right) one of the School’s Lecturing Team provides a review of the Good for Nothing Home Sweet Homies event at the Founders Hub in Cardiff. A great initiative that provides people with the opportunity to apply their skills to help support and solve charity and social enterprise problems.

Just in case you don’t know who we are: we are Good For Nothing Cardiff. We organise events (24, or 48 hours) that bring together a bunch of people with a wide range of skills and talents – makers, thinkers, do-ers, designers, planners, and everything in between – to help accelerate local causes that are focused on delivering social &/or sustainable good. This gives the causes concentrated access to a pool of talent that would normally be out of their reach.

Sue: On the 6th and 7th of December I went along to the Good for Nothing Home Sweet Homies event in Cardiff along with two final year students, Lufwendo (also picture above: left) and Jen.

It was billed a cross between Challenge Anneka and the A Team: we had to explain what that meant to younger participants. The venue was the Founders Hub in Cardiff which is one of the new breed of work and meeting places. It was a lovely space with the obligatory giant lego man head and retro gaming machines :-).

The aim of the event was to spend Friday evening and Saturday creating resources for two charities. There were participants with creative, business and computing skills. On Friday the two charities, Hafan and Oasis, outlined problems they were having, such as poor Web presence and the increased need to record charity beneficiaries for future funding applications. Jen came up with an awesome business and sustainability plan for Oasis.

On Saturday, Lufwendo and I were racing against the clock to produce a client database for Oasis, a charity working with asylum seekers. Our task was made more complicated by the fact that the solution had to be open source so the software we were using did not have all the features we expected. We had a design expert give us some good advice on form-layout and we made use of some great banners a graphic designer produced for the charity. As the clock ticked down the final seconds we finished off our last report – I’m sure students never work to deadlines that closely!

luf

The event worked purely on donated time and resources: there was no budget. I should mention that there was awesome food, some of it cooked by the asylum seekers group. I especially liked the way that I kept getting handed cups of coffee as I worked. There is another event in the spring in Cardiff which I’ll pass on as soon as I know the dates. And of course it would be awesome to have a similar event happening in Swansea. Apart from the warm glowing feeling of having helped a charity, students have something interesting for their CV, a fun experience and networking with local business contacts.

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