Hampstead Garden Suburb Library is a small library with a big reach. 10 years after the threat of closure, it is thriving. Run by seven Trustees and managed day-to-day by a team of trained volunteers, it has over 3000 subscribers, and runs treasured community activities.
After successfully managing to keep their library open, Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents Association thought their problems were over. That is, until they realised that their website needed a complete rewrite.
Jeremy set up the original website himself using a popular content management system, Joomla. All was fine until an upgrade meant they would have to completely rewrite the website. So Hampstead Garden Suburb Library sought outside help through Reach and found Ricci Masero.
Ricci is experienced in award-winning Wordpress digital marketing, email marketing, content optimisation and SEO. He runs the White Rabbit Consultancy which specialises in web design for charities. He spotted the HGSL volunteering opportunity on Reach and got in touch.
The original specification cited Joomla, but Ricci was confident that he could do a great design using Wordpress and did a mock-up. Jeremy told us how pleased he was, “It was a nice design. Ricci has been excellent, communicative, responsive. If we wanted something changed, he changed it. He has modernised the site. It was all done remotely but he also kindly set up training sessions through Zoom so that we could take it over and do it ourselves.”
When we asked Ricci about his experience, he was equally enthusiastic, “Creating a new website for Hampstead Garden Suburb Community Library was a very enjoyable project to work on. Knowing that my efforts will help this vital local service continue to grow and flourish means a lot. From a business CSR angle, the Reach platform really helps us to achieve our goals of using expert WordPress website design skills to help charities and good causes.”
How would Jeremy describe the impact Ricci has made? He told us, “We now have an up-to-date website which looks good and technically works well. Whereas we were hacked once, now the site is secure and not vulnerable. And users can get straight to the online catalogue, view news and get updates.”
Reflecting on the experience and the advice he would give to charities, he said, “First, make sure you have a clear vision of what you want, but allow for some flexibility as you are talking to a volunteer not a paid employee. We have gained from the work Ricci did for us and we want to give something back to him – in the form of a very strong recommendation. And I’d recommend that you use Reach. We wouldn’t have met Ricci without Reach, we couldn’t have done so on our own”.