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Wag & Company

Case Studies /

Charity Volunteer Management System

Web App Development

Wag & Company is an award-winning charity based in the North east, that aims to end loneliness for older people through offering regular visits from friendly dogs. It is the only charity befriending older dog lovers in their own homes as well as in care or hospitals.

Charity Volunteer Management System

The Brief

With over 400 volunteers providing visits to thousands of older people across the North East, Wag & Company wanted a digital solution to improve their processes and back end systems, so they could securely keep records, match visiting dogs to older dog lovers and also monitor the impact they have.

The Solution

We worked closely with the charity’s leadership team, trustees, operational staff, and collaborated with their design and marketing specialists to develop a modern and secure web-based system which tackles a number of key issues.

We created specific features to develop the solution including:

  • Importing tens of thousands of records from a legacy WordPress-based system into a modern, secure and reliable system
  • Using a geofencing algorithm to enable suitable matching of dogs to assessors, and dogs to care homes and home placements
  • Developing activity maps and matching maps, to allow the Wag team to easily see what visits and activities are being carried out where across the region on a Google Map
  • Creation of an Impact Heatmap, developed on top of the Google Maps platform, which allows the public to see the live impact of Wag in real time, on an anonymous basis
  • Building an Internal CRM and Task system system which allows Wag staff to assign, track and manage tasks, with email reminders
  • Working with the Boldlight team to integrate interactive signup and registration forms into the existing Wag WordPress site, and built a HTTP REST API to allow the team to extract live high level stats on visiting data from our system, in a secure anonymised way
  • Enabled PDF and CSV report generation on current, live, and historic data, dating back over the past 5 years.


  The more technical details include: 

      - Web platform was built in Django Framework, using the Python language

      - Web front-end interface was built using Django Templates, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript

      - Heavy use of Google Maps and Google Geocoding API, and of publicly available postcode data via API, and Office for National Statistics datasets

      - Made use of the Postgresql SQL database, with PostGIS for geo mapping features

      - Hosted on Amazon Web Services using the high-availability Elastic Beanstalk deployment technology for scalability and reliability 

      - Integration with WordPress via a REST API

      - Task management via Celery

      - PDF generation via JavaScript

      - CSV report generation via Python

      - Big data reporting via Metabase 

      - Caching of data via Redis NoSQL datastore

      - External security testing performed through a PEN test to ensure integrity and security of infrastructure.

In 2019 we received a transformational grant from The National Lottery's Digital and Reaching Communities funds to equip us with the right digital systems... A big part of the project was the Wag engine room... in short it allows us to do what do best, at the scale that we need to do it, now and into the future, efficiently, safely and professionally and of course with lots of heart.

Diane Morton - Charity Director, Wag & Company
  • Diane Morton
  • Charity Director, Wag & Company
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