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How we worked with POEMS for Children to design a manageable and effective website to support the charity’s operational needs during a period of growth

POEMS For Children is a UK based charity set up to train professionals to manage anxious children undergoing medical procedures. POEMS is an acronym for Positive Outcome and Experience Management Strategies.

The POEMS charity develop and run courses to improve the ability of healthcare practitioners to manage and reduce anxiety in children under their care. The POEMS team will visit practitioners at their place of work or practitioners can attend courses elsewhere. All the bookings and associated administrative tasks are managed through the charity’s website. As the charity has seen an increased demand in their services, the website has been struggling to manage the administration requirements of the course bookings.

What an incredible impact the new website and infrastructure has had on our charity. As a client, it is beyond your wildest dreams to find a company who are not only so much fun to work with but also take what you need, what you ask for and create something that meets this spec and goes way beyond it. How lucky we are.

Dr Richard Martin, Course Director and Trustee, POEMS for Children

What did the new website need to deliver?

POEMS had specific objectives they needed the website to deliver, including:

  • Streamlining the website functionality and introducing effective and manageable administration tools
  • Give control of the website to the charity and so lower overheads
  • Providing an affordable website within budget to support this small charity
  • Improving the usability of the website – presentation of charity information and booking courses.

Educating our team

POEMS is a small charity, with a small budget for website development work. We liked the charity and their work and wanted to support them. To provide the most effective website for the budget we had to fully understand who POEMS were, how they worked, and the objectives of the charity. Planning is crucially important when working with a small budget. To ensure that our suggestions were a good match with the charity’s working practices we worked in close collaboration with Richard, the charity director. Of the total time spent on this project at least 50% was spent on understanding the needs of the charity and researching which tools would be the most effective for them.

How we delivered a more effective website

Streamlining website functionality

POEMS were being approached by international organisations asking for support and training. This kind of growth is brilliant, but difficult to manage as a small charity. With a team of three people, Richard, the Founding Director has various roles including managing operations. The website is a key business tool, but the CMS was hard to use. We kept a focus on the website as an offline business tool as well as an online tool so that it could provide maximum efficiency for the charity. Ensuring the website was functional would lower overheads for the charity.

We worked in a modular way to build the infrastructure (with no custom build) so that the client was always clear on the cost. We used the following pre-existing services:

WordPress CMS

The site was built in WordPress with a very clean typography driven design so there would be no overspend on budget with branding issues.

Tito event software

We introduced Tito to embed a ticket system in the POEMS events page. Tito is free to use for charities and is easy to use both for the administrator and course delegates. For delegates, the confirmation email doesn’t have a lot of ‘noise’ around it – it’s clean, functional & obvious. This is helpful for delegates searching for course details months after booking. It provides a better level of customer service and reduces unnecessary administration tasks for the POEMS team i.e. by having to resend course booking details. Tito is also a supported service so the client can talk to Tito if they experience any problems – a cheaper option than using a web developer for maintenance and updates.

Stripe online payment processing

We chose Stripe as the payment provider. We knew Stripe would integrate with Tito as both are internet focussed.  We set up a dummy Stripe account so the charity could practice using the software and get to know the interface. When all the elements of the website were brought together the client was confident in how to use it.

Using off the shelf products such as Tito and Stripe meant the small budget could be utilised to best advantage and any money saved could be put into design.

We were very pleased that the charity’s investment in their website would bring an immediate positive impact in the day-to-day running of the charity.

We are now delivering courses almost every other month, are looking to expand our numbers and are delivering our initiative on an international stage having been invited to Australia in August to deliver our course and have an input in the implementation of a similar initiative to ours in Australia and NZ. You have to take some part of the credit for this as well as our team.

Dr Richard Martin, Course Director and Trustee, POEMS for Children

The Results

32.10% increase in organic search since 2017

44.27% increase in sessions since 2017