garvald logoGarvald Edinburgh is a Scottish Charity offering creative opportunities and support for people with learning disabilities. Inspired by the ideas of the educator and philosopher, Rudolf Steiner, they have been operating in Edinburgh since 1969. Providing creative working environments, focusing mainly around craft, catering and artistic skills they currently offer opportunities and support to over 200 people. Additionally they support around 40 people in their own homes and flats that are made available through links with housing associations.

Garvald’s creative day opportunities have evolved over 42 years and now span a wide range of activities across four locations within south and west Edinburgh. Their supported living services cover similar parts of Edinburgh and are centred around five locations.

slide61Wrightech carried out a review of Garvald's various systems for managing a wide variety areas throughout the organisation. This involved looking at the systems themselves and data stored but also discussing with key staff the challenges and issues in using the current approach, and what they would like from a new, integrated management system.

A key challenge for the new system was that Garvald operate over several sites where traditional paperwork or local files weren't easily accessible across different locations and the need to pass information quickly and securely was prime requirement. Additionally staff would ideally be able to access and update information whilst on the move.
By implementing a single, integrated system, all applications benefit from being able to access information from other application areas.

slide7The main areas at that stage covered included:

  • Services users - for both day services and supported living, including basic and contact information, all activities and timetables, communication, daily records and other documentation.
  • Staff management - covering basic staff information, job positions held, qualifications and training, timesheets, holiday/leave requests, sickness absence, appraisal, communication and other documentation.
  • Fundraising - including basic information of affiliate organisations, contacts, details of financial and non-financial donations, transactions and funding applications, other communication and documentation.


From this a review of management software was conducted by Wrightech, with no suitable, integrated solution available. It was therefore proposed to use Wrightech's integrated application framework approach to build a solution to fulfil Garvald's requirements. A specification was drawn up and budget proposed and accepted.

The initial phase of the project built on the basic requirements to provide the main application areas with the features initially identified. This lead to further, enhancements being specified and developed:

  • Document Library - mainly to provide staff policies and procedures.
  • Staff Rota's and Calendars - allows the automation of staff rota's and planning for service users support with simple management of over-rides. Development of broader calendar features with other staff events.  
  • Health and Safety - providing a hierarchical structure of sites, resources and assets. Provision of assessment documents for any resource and asset.

A number of generic features are available throughout the various application areas. These include a highly flexible and granular security model. This allows each feature within an application area to be controlled along with data-set restrictions which combine to provide an ideal security solution.
Other common features include: communication records and a document template sub-system. This allows for unlimited document templates to be created which are then used to create information documents which can be defined in various parts of the system. Simple workflows can be established with email notifications for records and documents which require to be reviewed and additional restrictions defined on key documents such that only a defined group of users are able to gain access.

So in conclusion, by implementing Wrightech's management system, Garvald now have a fully integrated system that covers the whole organisation, which can be accessed securely by its users and not only fits with current requirements but gives them ultimate flexibility to customise as demands change.

slide14If you would like to discuss how this approach and application framework could help your organisation, please contact Alan for more information.