Help Close By is a charity that connects vulnerable people who need support with people who can help them by collecting everyday essentials such as food parcels and prescriptions using a tech platform.
HCB needed a website that would convince potential partners of the platform’s value and give them credibility as they sought investors. It also needed to provide information to potential service users and volunteers, so needed to work for all three target groups.
The main challenge of the project was that we needed to speak to three target audiences: service users, volunteers, and organisations. I divided the website into several sections so I could better target each group.
Each group would need to be spoken to in their own language. Organisations would expect certain topics such as safeguarding and signposting to be dealt with. This would boost credibility and ensure that they viewed the platform as potential partners. On the other hand, service users needed clear, direct messaging that would help them understand how they could get support and for what tasks.
I created tone of voice guidelines and a word bank of useful words to guide me and help the team maintain a consistent voice in future. For example, we found that people are often reluctant to ask for ‘help’, so decided to mostly use the word ‘support’. Some of the service users would come from vulnerable groups and many would not speak English as a first language, so language needed to be inclusive.
I also created a poster and leaflet targeting service users which would be displayed in service providers’ premises and other pertinent places. When the platform was ready to launch, I wrote a press release for the local media geared towards both service users and potential partner organisations.
Help Close By quickly gained charitable status ahead of its launch at the start of Lockdown 3.0 in January 2021. Working with mutual aid groups, it enabled residents of Northfield in Birmingham to access much-needed hot meals, food parcels and baby supplies.
Duncan Catterall, founder of Help Close By said:
Fuschia’s copy has been vital to our progress. From our earliest stage where we needed to recruit people to work on the project, including getting our board of trustees together, having good thoughtful copy that illustrates what we’re trying to do was really important. Early on, the app was just an idea with a ton of technical ideas on how it would work. Having Fuschia re-articulate these ideas in a way people could understand has been so important, especially as our whole purpose is to enable groups and organisations that may not have a huge amount of technical knowledge about systems and software. We’ve since grown into a registered charity and have now got huge community interest ahead of our imminent release. Fuschia has made copy for our site, print materials and PR campaign, some of which are ready on file for the weeks and months ahead. Fuschia writes beautiful copy and will be able to distil your ideas into something your audience will enjoy and respond to. I thoroughly recommend her.