Carers of West Lothian (CoWL) is the leading carer support organisation in West Lothian and has been providing support and services to unpaid carers throughout West Lothian for the past 25 years. The organisation supports adult and young carers in all types of caring situations and is the only organisation based in West Lothian that provides this service. We hold the only comprehensive database of carers in West Lothian and are currently in contact with 5,000 carers. We liaise with both local and national government in addition to health authorities on issues affecting carers, enabling these bodies to seek the views of carers. In April 2018 CoWL was commissioned by the Health & Social Care Partnership (HSCP) to provide an information, advice and support service to people with a learning and/or physical disability. This is in addition to the carer support service already provided by the organisation.
- From 17th December 2018 to 31st March 2019
- Award: £8,000 via Call 2
- Data published on 360Giving
- Charity registered in Scotland SC019628
The current CoWL website was upgraded 3 years ago on the back of the previous website no longer being fit for purpose. The website we have at the moment has a number of restrictions and limitations which means that rather than upgrading we propose to start from scratch which will enable us to link it directly into our new database which was partly funded by the first round CATS funding. This funding request is to cover the design, build and delivery of a new website which will: Give carers online access to our whole service The funding will allow us to create an effective web design that is user-centric for carers, allowing carers easy access to CoWL's services such as completing a self assessment online to identify the areas where they most need support, to self refer, or to apply for short breaks funding. These online activities will link directly to our new database which will trigger support staff to make contact with the carer. Carers will also have access to information on all the services provided by CoWL including a calendar of courses, groups, drop-ins, events etc. with the ability to book online or express an interest. Create a website that is responsive to mobile phone users We want to improve our online conversation rates with carers as we know that much of our website traffic will be coming from mobile users. If our website is optimised for mobile use it will make it easier for carers to get in touch with CoWL as they will be able to make a phone call with the click of a button. Online carer training The website will provide a platform for CoWL to translate existing training material for carers into e-learning module format. Our current Mindfulness and Understanding Stress training materials could be easily adapted for this use. Promote and raise awareness of the services we provide for professionals We will create easy access for statutory, private and third sector professionals. Professional staff will have access to the types of support available to carers, and will have a direct route to referring carers, with their consent, to CoWL. We will develop online awareness training such as the adaptation of our existing Think Carer training session into e-learning format. Enable CoWL to track and analyse data and metrics gathered from digital marketing techniques such as google analytics By tracking the digital journey of carers using our website, we will find out what pages or information they are most interested in or want to find out about first. This will help CoWL to understand better what carers are looking for, allowing us to optimise our website to have the most relevant information, content and layout, improving their access to support. The funding request to source external expertise to create this new website and any associated costs to link to our database. We would also look to fund staff training to enable us to do much of the ongoing updates ourselves, rather than costly development work in the future to maintain.