A marathon, not a sprint

Fitmums & Friends are a friendly, supportive and sociable running club with many branches across Hull & East Yorkshire.


Fitmums and Friends


The creation of integrated web based systems and applications to smooth internal processes, free up time to help the charity delivering a big impact with a small team and distributed volunteer network. Long term strategy with short term gains.


Identifying and helping the Charity Fitmums and Friends use technology to overcome the need to collect and collate paperwork manually, saving time and resources to be better placed in other areas of the organisation. Any proposed solution needed to be adopted and supported by multiple parties including directors, run leaders and runners whom all care deeply about the direction of the group.


We worked closely with various parties within Fitmums, from directors through to run leaders and runners, even running ourselves, to help the Umber Creative team understand the depth of the problems facing the organisation. With the bulk of Fitmums and Friends work being based around time consuming admin work for funding bodies, their daily tasks where becoming an increasing challenge for the Fitmums and Friends core team to cope with. Understanding the issues facing the charity allowed Umber Creative to suggest solutions to the wider problems rather than the specific task they were contacted to discuss.

We proposed an ambitious project reaching far beyond the original brief, but using simple language to break down technical issues we were able to divide the challenge into several smaller projects. The phases were organised in such a way that as each phase was completed it would provide tangible benefits for the charity and be fully functional, whilst the next project was scheduled and developed. The key to a successful project would be having central goal for all parties.


The first phase undertaken was the creation of a system to allow their members to pay for their yearly subscriptions and renewals online. This replaced the paper based system of renewals of circa 1,000 members each year and allowed the creation of a CRM style managed centralised database of members. The subscription process was developed with a ‘mobile first’ design process to maximise the ease of sign up for members and the back end office of the website incorporates tools to enable the calculation and management of the division of funds between the clubs.

Phase 2 followed with the construction of a bespoke content managed responsive website that allowed the volunteers involved with the different groups to manage their own group content (banners, events, pages and news) and the Fitmums and Friends core team to approve and moderate the content added by the group volunteers.

A second element of this phase was a bespoke online store which manages sales and distribution of Fitmums running apparel and accessories for the members of the various groups.

These combined projects have massively reduced the administration work required to manage the membership of the system and empower the volunteers of the charity.

The system to date has enabled a proven increase in renewals, provided valuable reporting tools, has streamlined paperwork and ultimately allowed the growth of an organisation which is important to so many in difficult to reach group for sport. We have set the groundwork for the next and largest phase of the development and for Fitmums.

Phase 3 of the system ties the community together further with the development of user and co-ordinator apps for the iOS and Android this will allow co-ordinators to scan members barcodes on run nights and collect running data for every registered users, it’s an exciting time for the Fitmums Brand - watch this space.