Linking The North East To Africa Through Education

Posted on by Glen Wheeler

Children in Africa, sat in their class room with new uniforms

#2016, a year we all seek to be memorable, enjoyable and successful. We hope you had a lovely Christmas and great New Year's and you are feeling fresh and raring to go! There’s lots to be getting on with and so much to be excited about this year so lets make a start.

To kick off the new year we wanted to let you know about a new partnership Glen Wheeler Ltd has made working alongside brand developer Edd Dutton. Edd is currently a student on placement at RIBA Enterprises and was given time by his work to provide his skills and knowledge to charity. He is also the founder of the new brand consultancy startup Giving Origin.

Just before the Christmas break myself and Edd sat down with a group of great people who are really trying to make a difference, not just in the North East, but right across the UK to as far as Africa. The Charity 'Development Direct' has been running as a charity since 2003 and have since looked to bridge a gap between schools here in the UK to those out in Africa. The aims of creating this link is to support global citizenship, raise awareness and understanding, develop stronger links between schools, improve health and assist with child, family and community health through education.

Development Direct’s mission statement, 'Learning from each other around the world by linking schools and communities worldwide in meaningful and sustainable partnerships’ is a very strong message which they strive to live by every single day. What is very unique about the charity is the fact that when they collect donations, 100% of the money goes to the projects that they have setup.

Photo montage of Children, Parents and Teachers out in Africa

So, where do we play our part? As a company trying to really bridge the skills gap here in Newcastle (#creativenewcastle) we know what it's like and how important it is, to work continuously to try and improve: to improve ourselves, to improve other people's lives, to improve links between schools and educational establishments, to improve connections with other people, other businesses and other charities. For me it always comes back to the quote by Sir Richard Branson right here on my profile page and this is why we have decided to partner up with Development Direct to re-design and develop their website from the ground up, totally free of charge.

The project will aim to drive 80% more traffic to the website which in turn will drive more attention to school linking to support health education and increase donations over the next 18 months. The project is scheduled to start in the first week of January 2016 with completion by mid February.

The current website which was last worked on in 2004 has become dated and currently has no methods of taking donations online. The new website will host a number of brand new web technologies, including a brand new infrastructure along with performance tools, search engine optimisation and the ability to take online donations.

The partnership has come at a perfect time for us. A fresh start to 2016 and we are so excited for what's in store! To mark this new partnership it is also great to see other charities doing so well - The Children’s Foundation festive fundraising managed to raise over a record breaking £14,000. The Children’s Foundation are charity we managed to help and support for over 18 months ago to improve and drive forward their online presence. We still keep in regular contact today, its great to see such a charity do well.

Please keep checking back for more updates and information on the new Development Direct Project.

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