Team London Volunteering
Zoocha were appointed as the development partner by The Greater London Authority (GLA) for the Team London project after successfully competing in an Open Procurement tender in 2018 through the Government Digital Marketplace ‘Digital Outcomes and Specialists’ framework (DOS3).
The Mayor of London’s vision is to enable Londoners to play a more active role in their communities and around London:
“I will work with communities and civil society groups across London to encourage active participation in community and civic life. That means supporting Londoners of all ages to volunteer and to take action to improve our city.”
Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London)
The goal of the Team London project is to encourage all Londoners to become active citizens and to give their free time to make the UK's capital city a better place. Specific objectives were around:
- Developing our understanding of how to inspire and retain volunteers
- Ensuring that the programme is appealing to a broad range of audiences in London
- Enabling volunteers to have easy, online access to be able to search for opportunities that meet their needs and to apply with as little friction as possible
GLA had two existing legacy volunteering micro-sites that fulfilled this service, which GLA wanted to replace with a single unified volunteering platform on the London.gov.uk domain, using their preferred Drupal 8 technology choice.
The Team London relaunch went live on May 14th 2019. In the year leading up to this on the old site had metrics which looked like:
- 325,000 sessions p.a.
- 3 minute 30 average session duration
- 55% bounce rate
In the 17 days since live to 31st May:
- 17,000 sessions (362,000 sessions p.a.) = 11.4% increase
- 5 minute 10 avg session duration = 47.6% increase
- 40% bounce rate = 27.3% decrease
Some of the technical highlights and points of interest for the project would be:
The platform used Drupal 8:
- GLA Drupal 7 install profile ported to Drupal 8 for use on new microsites. Ensures basis is consistent and can be re-used to give advanced starting point for future projects, and microsite-specific functionality can be separated.
- Use of contrib Group module allows multiple users per organisation, each of whom can add/edit/delete content within that organisation only.
- Use of Drupal core content moderation to ensure all changes to roles and profiles go through admin approval. Also enhanced with scheduled publishing/unpublishing through the workflow.
Search was powered using Apache Solr:
- Solr used together with contrib location modules to provide easy to use location-based search using the geospatial search functionality within Solr
- Search results presented to users in two views (list and map)
- Distance and travel details added to search results
Consistency of the platform theme was achieved using a:
- Drupal 8 base theme built for all microsites
- Custom grid framework using latest CSS technologies full control of grid with extensible functionality. This was also accessible to WCAG2.1 AA standard.
- Modern, scalable theme building tasks helps with maintenance, development and quality of frontend code.
- Use of accessible autocomplete library
- Minification of JS, CSS and asset images for performance and page weight
- Separation of front-end assets for dependant loading to increase performance
- Application process managed through the site, with the providers able to send customised accept/decline emails to volunteers.
- Multi step form functionality used throughout. Data saved on each step for ease of use.
- Clear dashboards with updates for both providers and volunteers, as well as notification emails.
- SLA notifications for when user actions have not been taken in time.
In line with the GDS Service Manual, all code has been published and made Open Source: