How organisations can make the most of a hackathon

It’s been almost two months since we organised the Homeless Hackathon in Glasgow. A Hackathon is a wonderful event format and it allows the organiser to really try to achieve something at the event. It’s less talking and more doing. If you want a short guide to running a Hackathon check out our “What We Learned From Our First Hackathon”. But in this post we wanted to consider how organisations can make the most of a hackathon.

We thought the event was a success, but as one of the main objectives was to actually create something that would help our homelessness organisations we thought it would be good to hear from one of those organisations.

We asked Megan from Simon Community (who pitched a project to our audience) a few questions about the Hackathon:

What does Simon Community do:

“Simon Community Scotland and the RSVP (rough sleeping and vulnerable people) team work with some of the most difficult to reach individuals in Glasgow and surrounding areas and we are always looking for ways to improve our reach with people who really need our help.”

From Simon Community’s point of view, what happened at the Hackathon:

“At the Homeless Hackathon, an amazing group of people took a problem and created a solution in a short space of time that will allow us to get to people who need our help sooner and dramatically improve the communication between worried members of the public and our Street Team”

If this problem hadn’t been solved at the Homeless Hackahton, would it have happened at all?

“This is something that would have taken months of planning and developing and in the space of a weekend, they had created an easy to use – live running app!!”

If other organisations get involved in a Hackahton like this, how should they make the most of their time?

“Being embedded within the team over the weekend allowed us to plan, design and implement and ensured we all knew the impact the app could have. Every organisation should do this. It wasn’t just about developing something, it was about building a community. At the event itself, I met some inspirational people doing fantastic work in homelessness and was able to make contacts and build relationships.”

Was it worth the time Simon Community invested in the Homeless Hackathon:

“Yes for sure. The people who will truly benefit from this Hackathon are our homeless men and women and the ideas and outcomes will go to making a huge difference in the help and support they will receive.”

Are you interested in helping homelessness organisations in your area?

As you can see the Hackathon format is a wonderful way for event organisers or their organisations to practically and quickly make a difference.

If you are thinking about running a Homeless Hackathon in the UK then please get in touch as we are developing a pack to support you and also have a grant to get you up and running. 

Hackathon organisers UK

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