Growing Groups

Working for the Voluntary Sector in Hastings

Time sinks and wiki development

Beth Kanter’s blog provides a link to a really useful article on today. Its all about how to stop your blog being a time sink. click here

Yesterday I also put out a request on a NAVCA email group, to see if anyone else was using a WIKI in their organisation to help with organisation / administration.

I asked our software support company to install sa mediawiki on our server the week before last. Since then I’ve been adapting some wiki script with the aim of getting our meeting room diaries on the network.

I guess that working with the the title of ‘Information Officer’  (plus the fact that I’m interested in pooters) makes it easier for me to do computer things than most other folk here. Also a background in elected office is prooving to have been really useful in understanding some of the issues around organisational development, which each IT development inside the organisation either makes easier or harder.

Today is also deadline day for me to get newsletter copy to our designer, so I’m finding lots of other things to do rather than knuckle down and produce copy –  is that the time already!


September 21, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized, voluntary | Leave a comment

Wiki and website

Today I’ve been updating our website to include details of how to book daytime meeting rooms at Hastings Voluntary Action.

Since I’m presently struggling to collect in completed HVA membership forms from existing members, I’ve also used this as an opportunity to promote the need for existing members not to lapse, since that costs more in hire charges for equipment and rooms.

I’ve also been playing with our new wiki on the intranet, to try and find the best way of recording meeting room bookings for three rooms on the same page. I’m still not sure of the best way to do this but at least we’ve now got to the point where we can set up a system so all staff can view current bookings on their PCs.

September 17, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beyond basics

Well I think I’ve got a better hang of Access now (all that queries, forms, tables and reports stuff) Infact it doesn’t seem to take much more than a day to chew through the basics in a teach yourself package, so I’ve no idea why people spend a fortune at all those expensive courses advertised on the web. The next thing to do is learn about building stuff without wizards and doing it all from scratch.

 Looks like there are top tips for doing this at :

Hopefully, I can teach myself this stuff over the next few days and be in a better position to draw off some meaningful data to contribute to the measuring of Target 11 of the Hastings Community Strategy, presently stated as :

“To increase voluntary and community sector activity (including community participation) by 5% by 2013”

Here goes then……..

September 11, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m back at work

… after a week off, spending time with my sister, taking my aged parents round bits of East Sussex. Much of the time was spent deploying a variety of tactics to try and get my elderly dad to sit in a wheelchair. Something which may be described as challenging, since despite being very shakey and vulnerable, he is particularly stubborn and convinced that his 32 years in the airforce has given him a lifetime ability to parachute role his way out of trouble should he ever fall over anything! In the end we opt for getting him to ‘push’ the wheelchair with all our bags in it. This is less cruel than it seems, since it adds to his stability and balance, while stopping him from falling over kerbs that he can’t see because his sight is now failing.

 Anyway, today I’ve been updating our database of organisations who are members of HVA and teaching myself MS Access using this handy set of free web tutorials.

 Tonight I’m off up to the Grove School Climbing Wall

September 10, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment