Design Hops re-imagined for trying times: free service design support programme for North East VCSEs

Design Hops are back. If you’re a North East VCSE, and you’re designing a new service, or improving an existing one, you can get free support

Delivered in partnership between CAST, VONNE and Consult and Design, this interactive programme gives you the structure and processes to find the right solutions for your organisation – those that best meet your user’s needs and avoid unnecessary expense.

Design Hops are one of the best ways to get started getting a new or existing service online. They’re also good if you:
- Have a service problem you want to solve, or
- Don’t know where to start with digital, or
- Want a design process to follow, or
- Want to gain confidence to get your team on board with digital

When you sign up, you’ll get access to a series of short videos and resources to help you work through your ideas - you can complete them at your own pace. There’s also live sessions for additional support.

The live sessions will run:
- Tuesday, July 14th – 2-3pm – programme welcome and kick-off
- Tuesday, July 21st – 2-3pm – part one check-in
- Tuesday, August 4th – 2-3pm – roundup and next steps

By the end of the programme, you’ll have a completed template and plan for communicating your new or improved service to others such as colleagues, service users, tech partners or funders.

Book your place on Thinkific

If you can’t make the live sessions, there’s a completely self-service version too. Sign up on the Catalyst website

Still not sure? Joe Roberson’s blog for Catalyst tells you how Hops have helped other charities.

Design Hops are free to Small and Medium Enterprise’s working in the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector, and have been created to help support business innovation.


VONNE is part funded via the Innovation SuperNetwork by the European Regional Development which includes the Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters project, which is receiving up to £1.24m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit