Digital and data

Bulk SMS for homeless food delivery

Bulk SMS for homeless food delivery

Helping the most vulnerable  

We were contacted by the homelessness team who asked if we could solve an urgent problem they had. Their daily food deliveries to their homeless clients were being intercepted and clients were not receiving the help that they urgently needed. 



Key project details

  • 4 days to build
  • 1,367 SMS sent
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Not over designing

We needed a design that would solve the problem quickly and effectively. 

The homeless team were delivering meals to their clients twice a day in buildings across the City. Clients were often moving buildings every few days or weeks so the only reliable means of contact was by SMS. Although food deliveries were happening regularly, the time slot for deliver for each person was subject to change. Often food was being delivered when a client was away from the building and frequently the food deliveries were being stolen before they could be consumed. 

The service needed a solution implemented quickly. Although they had the mobile phone numbers for all 90 of their clients, it was proving to be an enormous staff overhead to manually text each person twice a day. 


Tried and tested

Keeping it simple. 

We set up two GOV.UK.Notify templates with standard messages for the morning and afternoon deliveries. And combined this with a Boomi process that meant that all the service had to do was drop a CSV file into a defined file location and the scheduled process automatically sent the correct message to each person. 

Meeting the goal

1,367 SMS messages sent

We completed the bulk SMS solution in 4 days and were able to provide the service with an easy-to-use solution. This solution saved staff time, mitigating the need for individual text messages to be sent out twice a day, allowing staff to focus on the more important work of delivering help to those most in need.