Central to their vision is ensuring that they are as accessible as possible across all of their digital channels and real-life interactions. The charity was concerned that their current systems did not adequately support volunteers with disabilities. This is where Nomensa came in.
As part of a wider programme of work geared at transforming the volunteers' experience, we embarked on a research and service design project that explored and assessed the inclusivity of the service. In late 2019, we set out to understand the online and offline experiences of disabled volunteers.
Our research found that volunteers with access issues were often among the most passionate members of Girlguiding. Inaccessible services isolate and we wanted to ensure that this committed cohort was properly supported.
Beginning with understanding
Our project directly informed Girlguiding's new five year strategy that was launched in early 2020. They wanted to weave the insight gleaned from this Discovery into their future plans so that every decision would encompass the needs of every volunteer.
While they had a substantial amount of quantitive data from various surveys, they had little in the way of qualitative data, and even less research into disabilities, long term conditions and mental health. Girlguiding wanted us carry out first-hand research so they could dig deep into the needs, motivations and pain points of their volunteers.
We specifically focused on whether existing systems were flexing to meet the needs of volunteers with disabilities or access issues. We went on the hunt for existing gaps and barriers to their digital offering, and widened our scope to include all physical interactions, for instance, at their club houses or rallies.
We carried out a combination of contextual research and in-depth interviews to explore how, where and when volunteers carried out their different activities. This included what resources they drew on and how their conditions shaped these experiences.