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Catalyst Notifications Week 2

Feb 2021

Last week we mentioned that we have kicked off the Catalyst notifications project; you can read more about the service and our aims. But in summary, we’re looking to help Charities/Non-profits with notifying their service users by launching a service based on GOV.UK Notify. This is what we have been up to this week.


  • Week 2 has been great, and we have gotten into the swing of things.
  • Our daily standups have been proving very helpful.
  • We shared a document with our findings and recommendations after applying the design system supplied by Catalyst. 
  • We agreed that the best route would be to apply the Catalyst branding to the GDS design system. 


  • Provisioned the hosting environment and credentials we’ll be needing to host the Alpha.
  • Provisioned Twilio for SMS, which isn’t one of the built-in providers in the existing codebase, one of the Alpha’s goals is to assess adding new backing services.


  • Added support for sending SMS messages via Twilio.
  • Added support for receiving delivery updates via Twilio and exposing these to the user.
  • Setup “CI Pipeline” to automatically run tests whenever code changes are made.


  • Implemented projects configuration improvements to make it easier to make changes we require that are different from GOV.UK Notify using environment variables.
  • Created docker-compose configuration to combine all applications and backing services the Notify service uses so that it’s easier to run.
  • I started to deploy the applications into our staging environment.


  • Put together the recommendations for how we can overlay the Catalyst branding on the existing GOV.UK design system

We should be on track to start testing with some users by the end of next week, so if you would like an invite, please drop, me a line on [email protected].

Bit Zesty creates innovative digital products and services for corporations, nonprofit and startup organisations. Our experience working with charities and government organisations leave us well placed to understand their requirements and deliver them in a way that delights service users.

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