You may not realise that Cancer Care Map is run by The Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund. The charity was set up in 1966 with donations made by the public following the death of broadcaster Richard Dimbleby.
We still rely on donations and grants today to continue our work, none of which would be possible without charitable giving and support. Support doesn’t just come in the form of money however, and over the last 3 years we have received support in kind from some fantastic organisations, without whom we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
In 2019, we were looking to update the Cancer Care Map website to a new platform and were introduced to digital agency AND Digital who offered to work with us on a pro bono basis to completely redevelop the site. Work began at the end of 2019 with development workshops to really understand what we needed from the new site. The decision was made to move from our previous Drupal platform to a WordPress/Netlify/GitLab set up which would enable much more control of content for us and provide a really robust site as we grew our site traffic.
Of course, at the beginning of 2020, COVID 19 hit and AND were forced to furlough their staff so the project was paused. But in the summer of 2020, we picked things up again and were able to go live with the new site in March 2021.
As a charity we simply could not have afforded to build the site that AND built us. They continue to support us where they can and are about to undertake an annual ‘health check’ on the site for us. In August 2021 we began a digital marketing campaign which has seen our site traffic to currently over 17,000 visitors per month, an increase of 566%. The site has proved to be able to cope with the rise in numbers and is performing incredibly well for us. Without AND’s help and donation of time and resources, we would not be in the strong position we are today.
6 months after the launch of our new site, we were wanting to do some further development work such as refining how the search works to deliver better, more useful results. Again, we were introduced to digital agency Alpha Cogs. Alpha Cogs agreed to collaborate with us on a pro bono basis looking at how to improve the search logic and its functionality. This is one of the main features that allows users to find the best and closest cancer support around them. They assigned a senior developer to help and ensure the best support: from setting up the development environment, studying the code, to meetings with the Cancer Care Map team, donating around 40 hours of development time to this project.
The result is we have greatly improved the search functionality thanks to the generosity of the Alpha Cogs team. We are now planning to continue collaborating with Alpha Cogs on both paid and pro bono projects as the site grows and evolves.
As well as work on the Cancer Care Map site, we have been very grateful in the past for pro bono support on other projects such as a fantastic fundraising film produced for us by HelpFilm, and PR support from Hanover Communications.
We are so grateful for all the support that enables us to continue our work to ensure that every person in the UK living with or affected by cancer gets access to the care and support services they need when they need them most.
To find out how you can support Cancer Care Map, click here.
Cancer Support Services in Plymouth | Your Cancer Services
Based in Devon, the port city of Devon has been established for nearly 100 years and can trace its history back to the Bronze Age. Our latest City Spotlight takes a look at cancer support services in Plymouth.