Gary Thompson - Service Delivery and Programme Manager
Written by Gary Thompson
Service Delivery and Programme Manager
30/01/2017

Orange Bus Host 24-hour Hackathon for Dog Charity

The Edinburgh office of Orange Bus have held a dedicated 24-hour hackathon to produce a website for the charity known as Blind Dog Rescue UK (BDRUK). The charity re-houses blind and partially sighted dogs from all over Europe to rescue centres or foster homes in the UK.

One of the many dogs rehomed by Blind Dog Rescue UK
One of the many dogs rehomed by Blind Dog Rescue UK

The aim of the 24-hour hackathon was to create a new website, free of charge, with various staff members working on different elements of the project in one-hour design sprints. At the end of each sprint, the website went live so people could monitor its growth and development throughout the day. The fully functional site will be a useful marketing tool for BDRUK as it looks to reach out to more people who can adopt the dogs and give them a permanent home.

The charity first came to the attention of Orange Bus two years ago, when Account Director Natalie Jolly met BDRUK representatives – and blind pooch, Nym – at the Crufts dog show.

She said: “I discovered that Nym has a terrible back story. She was abused by people on the streets and subsequently lost her eyes.

“I’d never seen a dog that has had both eyes removed and I broke down in tears. Nym is quite inspirational; she’s now a PAT dog (Pets and Therapy) and goes into hospitals and hospices to brighten up everyone’s day.

“I decided at that moment to foster dogs brought in by the charity and my husband and I have now found permanent homes for nine dogs around the country.”

On hearing about the cause, fellow Orange Bus member, Gary Thompson who works as a Service Delivery and Programme Manager, adopted one of the dogs, Bobby, and the relationship between BDRUK and the OB team was born.

Group pic
The Orange Bus team

Gary told us: “BDRUK carries out some fantastic work to rehouse vulnerable dogs that have had a difficult life. I was only too happy to adopt Bobby when Natalie told me about the charity.

Our hackathon was just an idea to help BDRUK with their digital communications. Until now, most of the rehoming has been done via social media and word of mouth, so the new website will hopefully generate many more opportunities to rehome these wonderful, loving dogs. It was also a great chance for our staff to test their creative and project management skills against a very tight deadline.

BDRUK was delighted with the finished website, along with the dedication and professionalism of Orange Bus staff under such tight time constraints.

BDRUK Site

Katy Orton, founder of BDRUK, said:

We are extremely grateful to Orange Bus for their very generous, kind gesture. As a charity, we want to make a difference to the lives of rescued blind and partially sighted dogs and the new website will allow us to spread our message to a wider audience. Our overall mission is to find loving homes for these dogs so they will be safe and free from danger.

For further information on the work of BDRUK, or to foster a dog, call 01952 963117 or visit www.bdruk.org