Focus: Communications - Site Visit - www.childhoodfirst.org.uk

Formerly known as the Peper Harow Foundation, Childhood First provides therapeutic residential care and treatment to traumatised children and young people.

Although the name Childhood First has been used for the foundation's fundraising activities since 2000, the desire for one strong brand name saw it rebrand fully earlier this month. It also relaunched its website in partnership with the design co-operative Wave.

Main pages

The homepage is attractive without ever attempting anything too extravagant - orange, yellow and brown are not obvious colours on which to base a website, but the overall look works.

The main sections are well signposted and thoughtfully structured. The 'what we provide' section has the potential to overwhelm, but the creators have kept information brief, giving visitors an accessible read. One would hope the news and events areas expand as the site gets older, but for now it's made a good start.

Special features

Detailing the personal histories of some of the children the charity has helped is a project that inevitably requires a great deal of sensitivity.

However, the stories are told with refreshing honesty and compassion - they are without doubt the site's most valuable resource, and could with some justification appear as links on every page.

Childhood First says:

"We wanted a strong, friendly website, based on user-friendliness and functionality rather than bells and whistles. As a charity providing residential therapeutic childcare, we have a number of different audiences. We hope the site will prove useful and interesting to a variety of users, including social services, mental health professionals and potential donors."

Site visit is by Tony Hodson

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