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  • Writer's pictureNazeli Mazlumyan

Our collaboration with OTR made it easier for youngsters to get the support they deserve – this is how we did it


Client


Imagine a bustling hive of professional care focused solely on young people. That’s what Off the Record (OTR) Youth Counselling Croydon offers. It’s a remarkable non-profit organization providing free, professional and accessible mental health support to young people, young carers, refugees, and school-based mental health initiatives in London. With such a great cause, we just couldn’t help but build the coolest app there is in non-profit.



Challenge


There were two main challenges that OTR faced:


  1. A platform that couldn’t store all the personal data, and manage profiles, contacts, activities, NHS tests, and reporting.

  2. A cumbersome use of the current app.


Crafting comprehensive profiles for each youth was no small feat, but we happily rolled up our sleeves. What OTR needed was:


  • Basic personal data and contact information, along with their preferred communication methods.

  • School information and GP details.

  • The full referral chain from the source to OTR.

  • Logs of all communications, including channels used and responses.

  • Emergency contacts and detailed relationships with family and friends.

  • Complete medical records featuring dietary needs, allergies, illnesses, mental health issues, and medications.

  • A record of individual or group activities they participated in, along with session details, participation records, and outcomes.


The Tech Backdrop


Our mission was to take OTR’s noble cause and supercharge it with technology. OTR’s vibrant support system runs on a tech stack that’s as cool as it sounds:


  • Laravel framework with a splash of Laravel Orchid for sprucing up admin applications.

  • A bit of Stimulus (the JavaScript kind, not the economic version).

  • Hosted on Azure with Laravel Forge to keep the CI/CD smooth.

  • All data chilling in a trusty MySQL database.


Our tech overhaul translates to a multitude of benefits:


  • Rapid Processing: Cases move faster, profiles are more manageable, and the processing capacity? It’s skyrocketed.

  • Better Reputation: No more slow days, and OTR shines brightly with their superior organization and timely reports.



The team


Behind every great project, there's a stellar team. For OTR, it was two of our rock stars:


  • Full-Stack / Tech Lead: leading the tech charge and building features that made the platform sing. From front-end fluency to back-end brilliance, he did it all and then some!

  • Project Manager: With 18 years of project management prowess and a PSPO-I certification, he really put the pro in “project”, making sure everything was on track and running smoothly.


Together, our dynamic duo turned OTR’s tech challenge into a total triumph, creating a platform that's as effective as it is innovative.


What we accomplished together


  • Database Overhaul:

We transformed the old, clunky database—extracting, preparing, merging, and migrating it into a sleek, efficient system.

 

  • Smarter Assessments:

Developed an outcome assessment tool with top-notch standard questionnaires from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, like CORE-10, YP-CORE, GAD-7, and more.

 

  • Seamless NHS Reporting:

Automated the monthly report generation and upload to meet all NHS requirements effortlessly.

 

  • Smooth Self-Referrals:

Integrated the organization’s website, so self-referred youth could dive straight into the platform.

 

  • Connected Care:

Linked up with a third-party online counseling platform to extend personal and group therapy options.

 

  • Ultimate Customization:

Made the platform as customizable as a chameleon, adapting to every unique need of OTR.


Impact


The benefits? Astronomical, but let’s highlight the top 4:


  • Speed: Gone are the days of waiting eons for a new screen to load. The new platform is lightning-fast.


  • Capacity: Unlimited staff can now work with an unlimited number of profiles. Yes, you heard that right.


  • Data Consistency: No more data duplicates, and everything’s validated for top-notch accuracy.


  • Effortless NHS Reporting: Timely and correct reports bolster OTR’s reputation and efficiency.



Some Final Thoughts


As a community that always gets excited to create #tech4good, we loved every minute of our experience with OTR.  We enjoyed the process as much as the result. And the outcome in a nutshell? A vibrant and efficient counseling platform that’s ready to support and empower the London youth in need more effectively than ever before. So, here's to faster screens, seamless processes, and a brighter future for OTR!


Why stop here? Whether you're a non-profit looking to revolutionize your services or a business aiming for the next big tech leap, we've got the skills and passion to help you succeed. Reach out to us at blooming@looming.tech and let's create something amazing together!

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