Pro bono help rejuvenates website

16 November 2023

The homepage of the Sheriffs and Recorders Fund website

WCIT members are among the most active of all the Livery Companies when it comes to pro bono work. This is just as well, because the Projects and Pro Bono Panel receives many requests for help each year, from a diverse range of charities and not-for-profits.

One such request came from the Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund. Their plan was to rebuild their website from scratch and enhance the user experience of the site. After a call-out to volunteers on the pro bono register, Freeman David Suen rose to the challenge.

David generously gave his time to manage this project, working alongside WordPress developer Joe Cooper, UX designer Kate Phillips, project manager Nina Hamblin of Good Cause Digital – all also volunteers – as well as Lady Russell (the Chair of Trustees) and Claire (the Secretary), to ensure that their requirements for the website were met.

The key features of the project were the ability for staff to update content; creating a responsive design; a newsletter sign-up function and donation function; and full accessibility of the website.

“David was incredibly helpful right from the outset. He really made an effort to get to know the subject matter and I was very impressed with his depth of research,” commented Lady Russell.

“He patiently guided us through the whole process and made sure we understood what everyone else was doing. He was incredibly flexible, and nothing was too much trouble for him; he certainly went above and beyond.”

This commitment to the project does not end now that the project has been completed, as David has promised ongoing support should they need it.

Commenting on his role, David said, “You get a great sense of achievement in volunteering. As opportunities are always brief and flexible, assignments can be fitted in and around other commitments. I really enjoyed working on this particular project, as the Fund does meaningful work to help prison leavers break the re-offending cycle.”

Lady Russell added, “I am very grateful to the WCIT for introducing us to David. He made the whole project run extremely smoothly.”

About the Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund    The British prison population stands at about 86,000. When prisoners are released, they receive from £46-£76. Unless they have family or friends on hand to help, they will not have a home, a job, or any income – significant factors which contribute to the 70% re-offending rate and often a life spent in and out of prison. The Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund helps to break the cycle by giving small grants to individuals and large grants to prison-based charitable schemes which work towards the rehabilitation of ex-prisoners.

If you would like to help charities with their IT requests via the Projects and Pro Bono Panel, contact the panel Chair, or panel Secretary


The original home page of the Sheriffs and Recorders Fund website
How the website looked before its refresh