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articles tagged with: youth

Displaying articles 1 - 10 of 21 in total

It's play time!

It's play time!

The BIG launch! The new-look "Go Places to Play" is here - an online park finder that makes it easy for you and your family to enjoy fun and exciting play opportunities in and around Bristol.

We've recently redesigned for Bristol City Council so that it not only looks better than before but it works better. "Go Places to Play" is now even more intelligent so that you can find parks and play areas far more quickly and efficiently. We understand that you live busy lives and need information at your fingertips - wherever you may be. The site is now responsive so it is easy to use on smartphones, tablets and laptops. This means you can quickly  find your nearest park when you're out and about. You can click on map points to get further information about the park or site you are interested in, or you can use the postcode search to bring up sites in your area.

The online calendar means you can search for local events that suit your requirements and interests. You'll be provided with results if you search using a relevant keyword, or you can find something more specific using the handy advanced search which allows you to search by event type, location and distance from your chosen postcode.

There are also some great ideas for play featuring tips and suggestions from our Play friends and partners - a particularly good resource for the school holidays. Plus, our brand new FAQs section answers many of the common questions we get asked.

As before the option is there to register as an event organiser which means you can upload your own events to feature on the events calendar. Once approved you will see them published.

People like to feel as though they are a part of a website and the 'community' that use it. Interaction is key so if you find something you like on Go Places to Play you can "Share with a friend". Regular news updates also ensure that everybody is on top of all that's going on. It's a site that seems to have people talking, if you want to be a part of the excitement please like the Go Places to Play Facebook page here: or better still, go and check out the site to see for yourself!

Who's Hungry for Reading?

Who's Hungry for Reading?

We're very excited to have launched a charity microsite for MS Ireland and it's been seriously good fun! The site is vibrant and energetic which perfectly reflects the excitement of MS Ireland's upcoming READaTHON.

The month long event kicks off on October 12th 2012 and is their biggest fundraising event. It was 25 years ago that the late, great Roald Dahl launched the first campaign. Ever since then the MS READaTHON has been encouraging young people to read while raising much needed funds for services to those living with Multiple Sclerosis in Ireland. The concept is straightforward; Children are sponsored by family and friends to read as many books as they can in one month, it's simple but extremely effective.

With the design theme focusing on monsters that eat books we've gone back to our childhoods here at Focus and let our imaginations run wild! We threw in scratches, claws and bite marks, adding character and a sense of chaos. We have also emphasized the fun factor and encouraged interaction by embedding videos and games.

The site, just like the event, appeals not only to kids and teenagers but adults too. So, why not enjoy yourself and do a great thing for charity by getting involved? You’ll be glad you did!

5 year old vs Hackers

I spend a large part of my evening juggling jobs, making tea, helping with homework and finding swimming goggles - amongst other things - so when my 5 year old daughter wanted to play some games on my laptop that she had played at school that day, I was glad of the brief sit down to look at them with her.
After 5 minutess of realising these games were just on the school computers, up popped a Barbie game which immediately took her interest away from "educational" games! With only 10 mins 'till dinner I left her happily sitting at the table, dressing Barbie in different outfits and thinking that I had found something else to occupy her in those few minutes in between other activities.
This morning whilst looking at the news I came across an article on the BBC website about hackers targeting children’s websites; the example they use was a Dora the Explorer cooking game (which I would say is aimed at 4 to 6 year olds). The article was basically saying we need to teach our younger kids about hackers - but at what age do they think children understand this? My 8 year old already has a list at home from school, which we have to fill in every time he learns a "responsibility" about the internet. I am not convinced he totally understands but at least he has an idea - a 5 year old is something else!

So now as well as learning to read and write, does she need to learn about hackers too? Or can that go on my ever increasing list of things to do...

Created on Tuesday January 17 2012 01:32 PM

Tags: website youth

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Go Rockets for Reading with MS Ireland

Go Rockets for Reading with MS Ireland

It's that time of year again, back to school soon - and what better time to think about your reading list for the year?

We've just launched MS Ireland's Readathon 2011 site - this year it's alien themed and the idea is to 'Go Rockets for Reading!'

The idea is to get sponsored to read as much as you can, to raise money for MS Ireland and win prizes!

Unfortunately, it's only open in Ireland, but anyone can donate 

The campaign was really successful for MS Ireland last year, and as one of their most high profile fund raising activities throughout the year, we're thrilled to bits to be involved!

Check out the site here

Created on Thursday August 25 2011 04:01 PM

Tags: ireland youth charity-investment young-people readathon msireland

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1 Big Database gets 1 big bit bigger

As most of us know, local authorities throughout the UK face making decisions that will affect the way they provide services and interact with stakeholders and citizens. Whilst budgets may be changing, legislation and statutory requirements remain.

One of the areas we at Focus have been working closely with local authorities since 2004 is making information available online - from promoting positive activities and events for young people through to information about service providers for families. In fact 1 Big Database, which has been developed on behalf of Bristol City, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils, is now the leading online resource for parents, carers and families throughout the West of England.

1 Big Database is a successful example of three local authorities joining forces to provide a relevant, up to date - and crucially local - directory of family information, supplemented by an events diary that lists hundreds of one off or regular activites taking place in the region. The partnership project has helped the council's save money and resource (such as administration) whilst maintaining control of the directory and keeping data within it in their hands.

March saw us launch a new version of the framework behind 1 Big Database - which included a number of new features and enhancements to existing functionality. The main development is a new dedicated section for managing and publishing Childcare data - and we've already hooked it up for automatic integration with Capita's ECD management software.

And because we understand the pressures that local authorities face with capital expenditure, we're making the directory and it's family of additional modules available under a 'software as a service' model - that is it's paid for on an ongoing basis as it's used. There's no up front development costs, just a regular affordable monthly amount that is paid for as long as the software is used - with no limits on numbers of records in the database or users administering it.

The team at Focus are happy to talk you through it if you've got any questions.

Simon Newing

Created on Monday April 11 2011 03:24 PM

Tags: public-access focus website technology youth

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Twitter - 5 years old today!

Twitter - 5 years old today!

Today sees Twitter turn 5 years old and with it celebrate a meteoric rise to fame and popularity. Currently 1 billion tweets are being sent a week, indicating that the social media era is definitely here to stay. This fascination with the ability to broadcast ourselves to the world has changed the way we interact with each other. We can't seem to get enough social media, if we're not tweeting our latest thoughts or facebooking our friends we're watching blockbusters about the creation of our favourite social network.

It is a fact: Facebook and Twitter have defined a generation. Facebook and Twitter have a magic formula which attracts thousands of people. People who could become potential customers, there is a huge opportunity for small businesses to tap into that market through the platform that these social networks provide. Social media has replaced print advertisements, with an estimated 85% of small businesses launching social media campaigns this year.This new form of communication offers a way for businesses to personify themselves whilse using micro blogging as a sales and marketing tool.

We can see where this is going and are already doing social media campaigns for some of our clients. If you think social media could make a big change to your business we'd be happy to put together a social media strategy and implement it for you, don't hesitate to contact us.

Created on Monday March 21 2011 10:44 AM

Tags: youth young-people facebook social-media twitter socialmedia facebook

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Puzzled Out!

Puzzled Out!

Puzzled Out, a tool for surveying young people about their experiences with mental health services is now up and running.

The site's main aim is to give young people an accessible platform to share their opinions about the services they have received and to feed back on what they would like to see changed. It's a first for us and will hopefully play a pivotal role in the way that mental health services are delivered to young people, by asking them what they need. We worked hard with CERNIS to ensure that these young people were involved at every stage of the design process and to make sure that the site was as easy to use as possible, whether you're 8 or 80!

Part of the challenge involved the building of a bespoke surveying tool, that would not only look attractive to those using it, but also deliver measurable results and reporting that could be segmented and interpreted by CERNIS. It's a fantastic tool that we're really proud of, and it looks pretty good too!

Created on Wednesday March 09 2011 04:50 PM

Tags: web-development new-web-site youth young-people online-tool

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New site for Connexions West launches

New site for Connexions West launches

We've just set the new Connexions West site live (now a part of Learning Parterhip West), and we're really proud of it.

The Connexions site is a place for young people, their parents and employers to go to find information, advice and guidance on finding their way into the world of work and career choices.

With an updated job vacancy section, complete with CV builder, and video case studies offering young people an insight into different career options, we think that the new site will serve to help, teach and inspire young people across the South West!

Created on Thursday September 16 2010 11:20 AM

Tags: website youth web-design connexions young-people lpw learningpartnershipwest

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Reading for a wordy cause

Reading for a wordy cause

We've just launched the new web site for Ireland's annual ReadaThon - one of the country's largest charity campaigns in aid of raising funds for our clients, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland.

This is the third year we've been involved and the site has a slightly more 'adult' look about it as MSI wanted to get book club members involved more than ever. There's a new blog and behind the scenes, some whizziness allowing the charity to create their own online forms.

Discussion about the design took place over the Irish Sea through the power of Webinar! Meaning we didn't have to put up with Ryanair.....

We hope the campaign raises bundles of Euros for a very 'wordy' cause.

Simon Newing

Created on Thursday September 02 2010 01:37 PM

Tags: charity ireland new-web-site youth multiplesclerosissocietyireland

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Go Places to Play relaunch a success!

Go Places to Play relaunch a success!

It’s been three months since we helped Bristol City Council to relaunch the Go Places to Play website back in May, and our reporting tools tell us that the additional developments to the site have made it better than ever for its users.

The refresh was born out of the desire to make it easier for parents and carers to access information about parks and play spaces in their neighbourhood and to feed them information about play activities and events going on throughout the summer holidays and beyond.

With this in mind, we refreshed the design of the homepage, gave the site a clearer layout and built additional functionality such as the online park finder tool, enabling parents and carers of young people to locate the facilities closest to them. While we were all really pleased with the results, the proof was always going to be in the pudding. In this case, Google Analytics.

We track all sites we build with Google’s analytics tool, and measure each on a quarterly basis. Now the updated site has been live for three months, we’re in a position to report back! We have succeeded in increasing the number of visits to the site per day by nearly half, increased the time that people spend on and interacting with the site by a third and reduced the bounce rate by 20%.

The most popularly visited pages are the events calendar and the park finder, which is brilliant, as these were the key objectives earmarked at the beginning of the project!

If you’re interested in learning more about Google Analytics, or would like us to take a look at your web stats to make suggestions on how best to achieve your business objectives through the website, get in touch.


Created on Friday August 20 2010 11:13 AM

Tags: youth fun games web-design goplacestoplay young-people analytics google

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