About Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust
Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust is an independent charity, working closely with NHS and Kirklees Council health and care services. The charity provides essential services to support the health and wellbeing of children, young people and their families in Kirklees. Alongside mental health support, the charity manages Northorpe Barn, a historic venue used for private celebrations, where all profits go directly to the charity the help support the wellbeing of local vulnerable children.
Creating a website as a vital information platform
The original Northorpe Hall website had been designed and built by PCM Systems just a couple of years before. It featured a CMS system with significant flexibility built in, but with no single individual responsible for updating and refreshing content, this had become disjointed and neglected. With different people entering data and moderating, navigation around the site had become complex and the website was not performing as it should.
When Debbie came on board as Digital Communications Officer, she recognised the important role the website had to play in informing and educating existing and potential service users and their families. She called in PCM to help carry out a full review and make recommendations on how to ensure the website was refreshed and optimised to support the work carried out by the charity. At this point, although the original website had been a commercial project, the team at PCM decided to complete the refresh work free of charge as a contribution to the work of the charity.
Reconfiguring the CMS for flexibility and visual impact
At an initial meeting with PCM, Debbie explained exactly what the charity wanted from the website. Although the CMS was already comprehensive and easy to use, Debbie and her colleagues wanted it to work in different ways so they could best illustrate the services and facilities offered by Northorpe Hall. Different ways of laying out content were required to create visual impact, and to make it as user-friendly as possible, streamlining to meet changing needs.
Making the most of consultation and user input
At this stage, a consultation programme was introduced, bringing together the thoughts and suggestions of the young people using the services, and their parents who needed to understand the services on offer. Stakeholders and volunteers were also consulted to contribute to the finished product.
These contributions were incorporated into the redesign of the website. Content was revised and reorganised, with the clear objective of making information more accessible and more relevant. Repeated content was removed, and a blog which had originally been used to carry changing messages was removed; with content now regularly updated in terms of workshops and other important information, this was no longer necessary.
Alongside this work, the section of the website around The Barn venue was also streamlined and updated.
More accessible and cohesive
The team at Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust are delighted with the end result, reporting very positive feedback both from young people and volunteers. Regular work now keeps the content fresh, alongside other ideas to ensure the website remains a lively part of the charity’s communications with its service users.
The team at PCM were a joy to work with. They clearly understood our objectives and completed all the tasks on time and in full. They understood the technical requirements and recognised the importance of achieving a better user experience. The website needed to create the right perceptions and PCM supported our work to consult with users, volunteers and our young people, resulting in the best website and content to match our service users’ needs. Importantly for us as a charity and very generously, they carried out all the refresh work free of charge to ensure we continued to get the best results from our website. This did not impact how they worked with us, we always felt we were as important as paying clients.Debbie Kester, Digitial Communications OfficerNorthorpe Hall Child & Family Trust