Focus: Communications - Three minutes with ... Samantha Boyle, The Relationship Centre

Tell us about your live webchat

It was with Helen Flanagan, who plays Rosie Webster in Coronation Street.

It's part of our Talk ... Don't Walk project, which helps young people who have run away from home or are thinking of doing so. Helen's Coronation Street character, Rosie, has a very volatile relationship with her mother.

We thought young people could identify with her. And Helen's only 15 herself.

We wanted to get children on to the website. Having Helen online meant that they had another reason to visit the site.

How was the webchat run?

Helen was online from 6pm until 7pm, when children would be home from school. She logged on to the website and answered questions, while we monitored it to make sure nothing inappropriate was asked.

We were there to help Helen with anything she didn't know. We had advertised that she was going to be online through schools, posters and flyers.

What was discussed?

People mainly discussed her character in Coronation Street, asked about acting and wondered how she got involved. One person asked about her relationship with her mother and her character Rosie's relationship with her mother.

What do you hope people learned from it?

I hope people are more aware of our services and will maybe tell a friend or come back six months down the line when they need us.

Was it successful?

It was brilliant. Our website received the highest number of hits ever.

We want to hold a celebrity webchat once every six weeks. We're hoping they will be more focused on the charity, maybe using a webmaster to steer the conversation. We're keeping in touch with storylines on soaps and looking out for issues such as teenage runaways.

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