Last Friday was do_action day in Bristol. For those not familiar, do_action days are charity hackathons, supported by the WordPress community. The idea is to help local charities create a new website in a single day.
I’ve always enjoyed being part of the WordPress community, and days like this make me proud of it and the people involved. This was also a bit of a coup for the Bristol WordPress MeetUp, in particular
@tessc_a and @michaelburridge , as this was the first do_action day in Europe.
The event took place at Desk Lodge, a trendy hot-desking and co-working environment. There were five teams, each of which were assigned a different charity. Each team included the following roles: project manager, designer, developer, content writer and QA, plus of course at least one person from the charity they were working with.
I was on team Gympanzees, helping primarily with the content, but also anything else that was useful. Gymapnzees is a new charity, looking to help disabled children be more active. There are 58,000 disabled children in the Bristol area and no dedicated resources to help them keep active. The charity is run by Steph Wheen, a local physiotherapist. Her mission is to raise funds to build a dedicated activity centre for disabled children and their families. In the short term, i.e. this summer, she wants to run a 4 week pop-up centre as a proof of concept.
Team Gympanzees were a pleasure to work with. A few emails had been exchanged the evening before discussing possible themes and project management tools, but that aside everything was done during the course of the day. Everyone worked well together, bouncing ideas around, discussing plugins people had used before that could be useful, logo ideas, etc. I’d like to give a mention to
@GympanzeesUK, @happyrailfail, @MartinsHelpDesk, @DThevarajah and @nicannthomas.
The result is http://gympanzees.org.
For my own part, I was lucky that Steph had documented a lot of her ideas for the website. It made writing the content much easier, as most of the words are hers.
I’d like to point out the wider WordPress community too. I contacted people I know who to ask if we could use their themes, plugins, etc, free of charge. Everyone said “Yes”, and were delighted to contribute. In particular, I’d like to mention @yoast @cicichirinos @DanteCreative @prothemedesign and @SiteGround.
In the future I think it would be a good idea to create a general register of WordPress companies willing to provide themes and plugins to other do_action days. The register could include a list of the free tools and a contact email to get a download code.
The full list of sites created are:
- Bristol Disability Equality Forum
- Hands in the Air
- Horfield and District Allotments Association
- Third Sector Solutions
A final note on Gympanzees. Steph and her team are organising a number of events to raise money for the pop-up this summer. I’ve put myself down to take part in the Three Peaks Challenge. If anyone else wants to join in, follow this link to the events page.
Other Blog Posts
Michael, who with Tess organised the event, has given me the following information on other related blog posts.
Our lovely lead sponsor, Atomic Smash posted a blog: “Bristol hosts the first European do_action WordPress charity hackathon”, which was also featured on Bristol Media.
Our co-organiser Michael’s photos will soon be published on the WordPress Bristol People facebook page.
If anyone else has a blog post about the do_action day, please let us know so we can share this online.