A short history

 

It was Christmas of 2012 and, having been operating for more than 3 years, the Daventry Foodbank were looking for ways to improve how they were serving the needs in their town. Just like any other foodbank of the day, they were operating a referral system which involved numerous front-line support organisations filling out paper food vouchers on behalf of an individual or family and sending them down to the church building (the distribution point) to exchange the voucher for free food. There were many times where the claimant would arrive and hand over their voucher which you could clearly see had been altered several times. The number of adults had been changed from 1 to 2, the number of chlildren from 2 to 4. Or there were times where the claimant arrived saying that, on their way to collect the food, they had somehow lost their voucher whilst walking from Citizens Advice Bureau accross the other side of town. Needless to say, there were numerous times that the Foodbank team were on the phone to the agencies to confirm vouchers had been issued and the numbers involved etc. On top of all of these challenges, there was also the need to keep good, secure records of food claims - how many people being served, how many meals it equated to, how many vouchers each individual or family had been for food over the year, what was it that caused the claimant to fall into such need, and so on. The local authority was keen for the Foodbank to furnish them with such data. The paperwork involved was huge. And this was a relatively small foodbank in a relatively small town and district.

provide the claimant with the referral reference number which the system would automatically generate. This delivers referral data into the hands of the Foodbank operators instantly - giving them ample warning that someone would be coming to collect food. They could have the food parcels built and ready long before the claimants arrived. In addition to this, having all of that data captured into a database would provide the oportunity to interrogate it using complex search criteria and effortlessly output the results for reporting and for statistical studies. The initial building block for the 

...delivers referral data into the hands of the Foodbank operators instantly

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Several Years on

 

Fast forward 7 years and the system has gone through several stages of improvements and enhancements in terms of functionality as well as look and feel. Today, we have a robust, secure, GDPR -compliant, comprehensive and customisable online system which can be easily deployed for other foodbanks and support services which require end users/claimants to receive some kind of referral to gain access to the support they are looking for.

Over the Christmas break, one of the team members decided they were going to author an online system which would do away with the paper voucher all-together. The statutory support organisations could sign up for a secure account, log in and submit a claim referral direct.  They would only need to

Foodbank Referral System was born. In just a couple of months the Foodbank was ready to begin signing up referring agents so they could go live with the system.

Over the Christmas break, one of the team members decided they were going to author an online system which would do away with the paper voucher all-together. The statutory support organisations could sign up for a secure account, log in and submit a claim referral direct.  They would only need to provide the claimant with the referral reference number which the system would automatically generate. This delivers referral data into the hands of the Foodbank operators instantly - giving them ample warning that someone would be coming to collect food. They could have the food parcels built and ready long before the claimants arrived. In addition to this, having all of that data captured into a database would provide the oportunity to interrogate it using complex search criteria and effortlessly output the results for reporting and for statistical studies. The initial building block for the Foodbank Referral System was born. In just a couple of months the Foodbank was ready to begin signing up referring agents so they could go live with the system.

Try it out

 

We have made a live Demo System available for you to try things out. Simply click the "Give it a try" button below which will take you to the site where you can Register on the system. This is, essentially, the process a new referring agent would go through in order to become a referring partner.