Down Syndrome Extra 21

Down Syndrome Extra 21

Green Jersey was introduced to DS Extra 21 by our long-standing client the Down’s Syndrome Association. DS Extra 21 is a very active support & information group for parents, carers and people with Down’s syndrome covering Essex and North East London. The group had been struggling for 12 months to introduce online communications and social media, and it was running an old website which was difficult to update.

Before specifying the new website, we ran an online survey of all members to establish their requirements. From this we put together an online strategy covering the web, Facebook, photo sharing, video, online newsletters, and mailshots.

At the heart of these services is the new website. DS Extra 21 gave us complete freedom to plan, structure, design & build it in the way we felt best, and we seized the opportunity to create the absolute best site that we could. We chose WordPress as the underlying content management system but, for simplicity & reliability, we made a conscious decision to use external services wherever possible and integrate them into the site. For example:-

  • Photo galleries pull images in from Flickr instead of using internal WordPress galleries.
  • Video within the site is served by YouTube.
  • PDF newsletters are hosted by Issuu and viewed online using Issuu’s WordPress plug-in.

Our partnership with DS Extra 21 also extends to the documentation of operational procedures, and training administrators to manage the website and other services.

“Over two years ago the committee of Down Syndrome Extra 21 agreed we needed to refresh and bring our website up to date. 18 months after that decision we were still struggling to move forward until we were put in touch with Green Jersey through the Down’s Syndrome Association which had also recently their services.

We met with Green Jersey for an informal meeting to discuss our aspirations for the site and we were excited by the fresh impetus immediately instilled into the project. They carried out a consumer poll of our members to gauge opinions and then set about creating a modern, user-friendly product.

We were keen not just to provide the useful information new parents need but to provide a platform for our members to share their experiences – to show off all of our events and for pictures & videos to be shared. We were also keen to embrace social media such as Facebook, YouTube and to make best use of Just Giving for donations.

We left the design totally in their hands, and with a concerted effort we supplied the information required to allow them to complete the site and launch it during March 2012. The site was an immediate success and has had nothing but rave reviews about its look and ease of use.

Having worked closely with the Green Jersey team from the start I can only say how professional they have been throughout and how they have quickly adopted and requested changes without drama. They have been proactive and efficient in all they have done.

Since going live they have immediately implemented any further changes we have requested, and have now provided straightforward, user-friendly documentation for managing the site.

Value for money? Definitely. We were quoted an initial maximum cost for the work, however the project was completed significantly under that. We couldn’t have asked for a more professional, helpful team to complete our project. They were always willing to listen and take notice of all our requirements. We are delighted with the results and the fresh look of the site and will look forward to working with Green Jersey for a long time to come.”

Paul Smith, Chairman, Down Syndrome Extra 21