Communications News: Site Visit -

Carers UK has brought the message of 'think global, act local' to its logical internet home and introduced a set of regionalised microsites for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with a Welsh version of the latter.

The charity provides support for the 6 million people in the UK who care for family, partners or friends - a network equivalent to £57bn worth of care. It says the site will boost its campaigns and links with the community. Using technology from web firm Jamkit, the sites share some content but allow each nation to offer content tailored to their audiences.

Main pages

The home page has clear links to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on the left-hand side, and each destination produces a fresh page with clearly localised information, though with a common look and feel. The Welsh site appears in English first, but is easy to transform into Welsh.

We tested the site by typing in 'Birmingham', and were pleased to see the search engine return relevant West Midlands information. There's also good support for accessible options on the search page, but this isn't as well signposted on the main pages as it might be.

Special features

Phase one of the project focused on the main content of the site, which is aimed at carers, professionals working with carers, media and policy-makers. Phase two, says the charity, will add interactive functions such as discussion forums.

Carers UK says

"As soon as our websites went live, the level of interaction with carers rocketed, with visitors signing up in unprecedented numbers to our campaigns and newsletters. We have already planned for new features, such as online donations, to be added to the site."

Site Visit is by technology writer Gary Flood

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