I’ve really enjoyed developing a new website for Sound Seekers, an international development charity that’s been around since 1959. It delivers practical solutions to help deaf people earn and learn in some of the poorest communities in the developing world. The charity currently delivers partnership projects in five African countries. It needs to reach and engage a wide range of audiences including UK audiologists and ENT professionals for volunteer placements in its projects in Africa, individual fundraisers to join its challenge events, potential corporate and charitable trust funders amongst others.

Sound Seekers needed a new website which reflected its reworked vision, mission and values, and that would tell its story in an engaging and persuasive way to potential volunteers and supporters.

Limitations of existing website

An audit of the existing site was carried out to identify strengths and weaknesses. It was outdated in design and not making enough use of human interest stories. Content was rarely updated because publishing wasn’t managed in-house, and the charity’s external communications, including social media which it was using well, seldom directed followers to its website content  – missed opportunities to educate people more about the charity and how they could help.

A new WordPress website

Drawing on the website audit and making use of the charity’s new vision, mission and values statements, we developed a WordPress site that made it clearer what the charity does, where it works, how it works in partnership and most importantly, the significant impact it makes on its beneficiaries – something that was lacking from the existing site. All decisions about design and content were made with raising funds and recruiting volunteers as the main objectives.

Sound Seekers has a great photo and video bank and these were mined for images that closely supported the new way in which the charity was describing itself. The charity’s blue and yellow brand were adopted throughout the site. The look and feel developed was very much clean design with white space, short paragraphs of accessible content accompanied by engaging imagery and stories.

Sound Seekers charity websiteScreen Shot 2016-01-25 at 10.17.49

Web publishing with confidence

With no dedicated communications staff, there were concerns about the amount of time needed to update the site and keep it fresh. We provided on site WordPress training and supplied a custom-made video as a reminder. Sound Seekers receives lots of great news from its projects, volunteers and beneficiaries that they can share and these can to really bring the charity’s work to life, so we identified where quick changes could be made to help maximize search engine optimization.

Think website

In terms of growing content and maximizing your website as a key communications channel, my overriding message is THINK WEBSITE! Don’t forget all about your site once it goes live. Adding a short blog post, updating a home page photo or making sure social media posts have backlinks to your site content don’t take long. They can however make all the difference when it comes to your charity coming up higher on a search ….and helping to secure much needed funds or volunteers for your charity above another.

Website projects are delivered in partnership with Lucy Hall of www.lucyswebdesigns.co.uk

The Anne Frank Trust UK is an education charity with a 25 year history and an amazing story to tell. With the unique right to use Anne Frank’s life and diary to support education programmes to reduce prejudice and discrimination, the charity was aware that its existing messaging was inconsistent. The organisation needed a communications strategy that really summed up it’s unique offer and optimised its relevance to UK and world events.

I developed a detailed insight programme which included interviews and a focus group with staff, perceptions research with external stakeholders and a communications audit ensured that the resulting vision, mission and strategy was evidence-based, and importantly, would support delivery of the Trust’s strategic plan.

The charity’s mission now clearly states its USP, it’s focus on young people as the key beneficiaries for its work and is outcome focussed:

“The Anne Frank Trust UK’s mission is to use Anne Frank’s life and diary to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination”

It’s vision, finalised around the time of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November couldn’t really be more relevant to world events:

“The Anne Frank Trust UK’s vision is for a society safe from prejudice and discrimination.”

Client testimonial

I’ve really enjoyed working with this amazing charity – thanks for the lovely testimonial:

“Working with Lara has been a thoroughly enjoyable process. Working to a tight deadline, Lara was able to gather in lots of information, history and emotion, and focus it down to a clear set of messages and communication elements for the charity. All of this on time, with no stress, no fuss. She is professional, insightful and thorough, which she combines with creative and clever thinking. We really value the excellent work she has done with and for us. Thank you Lara.”

Lucy Glennon, Director of Strategy and Policy, The Anne Frank Trust UK

More about The Anne Frank Trust

To find out more about The Anne Frank Trust’s education programmes with young people in schools take a look at this film:

The Anne Frank Trust UK: What we do from Anne Frank Trust on Vimeo.

NHS North East Essex was experiencing unprecedented use of it’s A&E services and wanted to re-direct people to its Minor Injuries Unit and Walk In Centre when appropriate.

Following visitor analysis to identify the groups most likely to visit A&E when they could go elsewhere, we launched a public information campaign – Choose the right route. Initial research showed that people (in particular, those with young children and older people), were confused about where they could go for what, and that signage to the different services was unclear.

Our public information campaign focussed clearly on the symptoms each centre could treat. A website was developed and materials to reach the public, health and social care professionals produced. Features were placed in the local media and leaflets door dropped to postcode areas most frequently attending A&E. The Choose the right route campaign led to a 29% increase in use of the Walk in Centre and a 14% increase in use of the Minor Injuries Unit.

Northamptonshire’s Families Information Service (based at the County Council) wanted to further extend it’s reach to families with disabled children. I developed a county-wide information campaign – Aiming High for Disabled Children Northants – to make sure all families with disabled children, and the health, education and social care professionals they come into contact with, knew how to get the information, advice and support they needed. All elements of the campaign were developed together with families and professionals and it included a website, a Facebook support group for parents, feature placement in local media and a touring roadshow to community venues. Requests for information and support from the Families Information Service by parents of disabled children and professionals increased by 24 per cent.