H&DH – Case study

H&DH logo

I have been working with Helen & Douglas House since 1999, when our son Harry used the children’s hospice for respite and ultimately we needed their services when he died there in 2000. I have always tried to offer all the help I can as the staff and care teams gave us all the care and support we needed at that time and this is one way of helping in return. Of course Lizzie works there as an events fundraiser these days so we all do our bit.

In 2009 I was asked to tender for the redesign and redevelopment of the H&DH website as the old one (itself partly donated by a benefactor and supported by me) was becoming unmanageable as new services were added.  The inclusion of new functions and the integration of more interactive services were required and a brief was issued to six companies that had expressed an interest. Having submitted a price and specification tender and won it, I worked with the fundraising team to define their requirements and built the new site based on our proprietary Content Management System (CMS), allowing the charity to totally manage the site without agency support. This was key to ensuring that the project could be managed financially, since the work was carried out during very difficult economic conditions.

The full specification is as follows:

Part One – Technical

Content Management System

Custom CMS with the following modules:

  • User admin with permissions per module and per page
  • Homepage module
  • News module
  • FAQ module
  • Basic events calendar
  • Gallery module
  • Feedback form
  • Google map integration
  • Sitemap
  • Full accessibility using scalable text in accordance with WAA
Vacancies module
  • Different categories
  • Application form
  • CV upload
Bulletin Board
  • Installation
  • Customisation
  • Full moderation by H&DH staff/volunteers
Online Shop

Provision of online shop system:

  • Categories
  • Products
  • Shopping basket
  • Check out
  • Online payment system integration
  • Invoice generation
  • Orders admin
Fundraising Mini-sites


  • Pages
  • Events
  • Gallery
  • Allows basic uploading of design elements like header image, colour scheme, font colour etc.

Part Two – Design

Bespoke website design with multiple templates for CMS:

  • Generic home page
  • News pages
  • Supporters/General area
  • Health professionals area
  • Families / carers area
  • Sub-page template
  • Shopping – listings page
  • Shopping – item detail page
  • Shopping cart

Part Three – Third Party Integration

  • E-cards / donations
  • Integration of e-card system
  • Integration of single payments/donations
  • Integration of edirect debit for regular payments
  • Integration of WorldPay payment gateway

I continue to provide hosting services to the charity at reduced pricing, as well as on-going support. the next stage is better integration of social media, to which end workshops are held to assist all contributors in making best use of social networks.

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