The Red Cross, COVID-19 and the Gov’t: PlusProduct case study

The client:

The British Red Cross is one of the oldest and largest voluntary organisations in the UK. With nearly 20,000 volunteers, it is often referred to as the UK’s “4th emergency service” due to the prominent work it does, and the reliance the UK government and its citizens have on its services.

The VCS Emergencies partnership is a government backed, cross-sector collaboration between UK charities. Its mission is to co-ordinate voluntary support to emergency services and the government, in times of national crisis. The British Red Cross chairs the VCS Emergencies Partnership.
“PlusProduct delivered strategic business support to the Emergencies Partnership.

We also asked PlusProduct to coach the permanent product team at BRC:

PlusProduct brought workshops, coaching and leadership support in a way which allowed us to mature our product discipline."
Ian Goodman
CIO - British Red Cross

The challenge:

The Emergencies Partnership received a £4.8M grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Partnership was working with multiple agents, cloud vendors, stakeholders and sponsors at the time.

PlusProduct Ltd was retained to:

  1. Product Manage the new digital platform (working with the cloud vendor and other agencies).
  2. Support the national voluntary sector response to COVID-19 (e.g. attending triage and response calls as the situation developed).
  3. Demonstrate value from the platform back to the Red Cross, the Emergencies Partnership and the Government
  4. Satisfy stakeholders: government officials, voluntary org execs and the Cloud vendors exec support team 
“The COVID response platform was such an honour to be involved with.
Everyone around the table worked hard to get this over the line at a time of national crisis.
We all knew the magnitude of this work, and the need to support vital volunteer efforts.

It was also fantastic to help nurture the Product teams at the Red Cross.
These teams solve needs for so many vulnerable lives.

Its often a challenge for them to integrate commercial product concepts;
they needed a model which made sense for the volunteer sector"
Matt Stone
Director - PlusProduct Ltd

Delivered value:


  • Goal setting
  • User needs
  • Business requirements 
  • Progress updates
  • Cross-sector collaboration forums

Product Management

  • Voluntary needs request gathering/ servicing platform
  • leadership insights platform
  • Data science collaboration environment

Training & coaching

  • Workshops: outcomes, product roadmaps, user research and ideation
  • Product manager coaching & career path mapping
  • Org strategy & planning


  • Executive & Government sign-off of project
  • Emergencies Partnership supported in their COVID-19 response. 
  • Critical data insights and support tools. 
  • Up-skilled product leaders