Aggregator research


  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

This project, led by Blackburn with Darwen Council, carried out user research with 29 organisations from the Voluntary, Community, and Faith Sector (VCFS) to understand how they store and share information on their services. It further explored the format that the information is stored in to understand their potential to adhere to the Open Referral UK Standard.

The project found that organisations do not currently have a structured approach to the way that they store information on their services, but on the whole they would welcome a way to improve how information is shared. For this, organisations would prefer to provide high-level information about their services as this would be less resource intensive.

Speech bubbles containing quotes from the project's user research with the VCSF sector: “Yes I personally think it’s good we need to promote our service in a better format”“Yes would be willing to get involved - however this depends on time and resource within the organisation” “Yes within reason if there were clear benefits and this wasn’t too onerous - happy to share service outline what the offer is and the locality rather than specifics (such as time, date and direct location)” “Yes definitely” “Yes…As long as it does not give any more work “Yes depending on time and commitment needed” “Yes however resource and capacity is a huge issue” “Yes, as long as it didn’t demand too much time! Service Finder has taken a lot of staff time and involvement and it started to feel like a big time investment into something that I’m not convinced is ever used” “If it reaches the communities we need it to reach. The communities we work with traditional methods work best - e.g. word of mouth, door knocking and leaflets. We already exceeded participation and engagement targets on all our projects - we would get in the spirit of partnership wor” “Yes moving forward we would look to do this and update information - capacity dependent” “I want something that makes it easier to continue and develop what we offer” “Tes would prefer a reminder with a spreadsheet to update information. We don’t need to advertise” “Yes” “Yes absolutely. Would prefer a web portal and to be notified once every 6 months to prompt us to update service information” “Yes 100% definitely. In terms of service information we are happy with most formats to update information” “Yes to help get more people to the sessions, the process needs to be simple and have to be reminded” “Updates as and when needed not regular updates so would provide overview of the overall offer that way wouldn’t be resource intensive” “Only a small team of volunteers so if it was easy and we had the time then we would. Would be able to email updates if reminded” “Yes happy to email information over - limited time and digital skills” “Yes only if we can email information” “If we had time and volunteers to do this. We would love too but capacity may be an issue as it is minimal” “Absolutely training would be required we would need a reminder to update information” “Yes this would depend on capacity as we are a small team of volunteers” “No we need to be careful where we promote our services as we may not be able to manage the demand” “Yes if this was a quick task and not consuming as we do not have funding for full time paid staff” “Yes as long as this is simple as we already share on face book” “No as we don’t provide direct services we enhance other organisation provision”
Quotes from the project’s user research with the VCSF sector.

Project outputs

The project produced a user research report that can be viewed and reused by other organisations looking to adopt the Open Referral UK standard in their work with local Voluntary, Community, and Faith Sector (VCFS) organisations.


Project links

Project timeline

February 2022

The project receives £50,000 funding from the Local Digital Fund.

January 2023

The project team has delivered their user research report, which has been published openly on the Local Digital website.