• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Teesside University has worked with an organisation which helps the families of serving soldiers to modernise its systems and processes.

Catterick Garrison Community Group is based within the Army Welfare Service at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire and provides a programme of activities and social events for the families of service personnel and their dependants.

Catterick Garrison provides a base for Headquarters 4th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East. There are more than 13,000 personnel, military, civilian and their dependants, living and working in the area.

The group approached Teesside University’s School of Computing to ask for advice on how it could digitise its booking and registration system.

The group uses a paper-based booking system meaning anyone wanting to take part in an event must fill out a lengthy booking form and then deliver it to the group’s offices during working hours.

Neil Brimer, a Community Support Development Worker at Catterick Garrison, wanted a system where people could register for activities online and then book on to different events without having to fill out multiple forms at various points across the year.

However, because of security considerations, a bespoke system needed to be designed to meet exacting specifications of the Ministry of Defence.

Initially students from the School of Computing worked with the group to look at the problems and then devise potential solutions.

Senior lecturers Barry Hebbron and Myriam Mallet then worked on a consultancy basis to design a web–based application which would meet all the requirements of the group.

They have now devised a proof of concept system which has been submitted to the Ministry of Defence for approval. If approved, the system could be rolled out to similar organisations across British Army sites around the world.

Barry Hebbron said: “This was a very demanding brief.

“Because this is a system which will be used exclusively by the families of serving military personnel it would naturally contain a great deal of sensitive information and security was paramount.

“Building a run-of-the-mill booking system was not an option, we had to design a bespoke system which would conform exactly to the specifications laid out.”

Neil Brimer added: “What the University has developed is totally unique and bespoke. We now have a prototype which we can submit for approval, the University has a reputation as having some of the country’s leading technology experts.

“Teesside University were excellent to work with. This was something that would never have got started without the support of the staff at Teesside University.

“We needed a flexible partner who would be able to adapt to the challenge and work to our framework and timescale.

“From start to finish, the University were extremely helpful and got us into a position where we can now think seriously about how to digitise our processes.”

To celebrate the success of the project, Deputy Brigade Commander Colonel Andrew Hadfield presented a commemorative plaque which was received on behalf of the University by Head of Knowledge Exchange Dr Geoff Archer.