Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Housing Association research to make an impact

Greenfields Community Housing

Mackman Research is delighted to have worked with Greenfields Community Housing to deliver the results of their customer service and access survey. Greenfields is a housing provider based in the Braintree district, in Essex.

The study was designed to help Greenfields identify areas for future improvement within their communications to their customers and then to ascertain how these could be delivered. The access questions sought to recognise which customers need help to get online and use the internet. Additional questions asked about the use of the Greenfield’s website, to determine which customers make use of this and what would encourage them to visit the website in the future. To achieve the highest response rate possible, Mackman Research used telephone interviews and used random sampling to speak with 377 tenants. Greenfield’s stakeholders were notified that the customer survey would be taking place via their newsletter and that one lucky respondent would be selected to win £200 of high street shopping vouchers.

Research Director, Gemma Mackman said, “The Greenfields research study has provided worthwhile data which will make a real difference to the people who use their services; improving customer service, access and understanding of the internet for people who need help. The findings highlighted conclusive evidence of where activity can take place and essentially provides Greenfields with the robust data they need to recommend these actions. We are now working with our communications team at Mackman to ensure the research informs an effective and influential communication strategy for the organisation. This has been a rewarding project and we look forward to collaborating with Greenfields again.” 

If you have an enquiry for quantitative or qualitative insight for your organisation, please contact us at customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk or telephone 01787 3788038

Campaign launch to help region’s care homes

FaNs Kerry-Paul-01

Mackman has been working with the charity My Home Life Essex Community Association, supported by Essex County Council and Age UK Essex, to launch a new campaign website to encourage volunteers to support older people living in care homes across Essex. This new movement is called Friends and Neighbours (FaNs) and its campaign encourages volunteers to 'Make Every Moment Count'.

Jan Lockyer, FaNs Programme Manager said, “We are really excited to see this campaign come to life. The generous help and extra resources that care homes can get from their local community is great, and the benefits are felt not only by the residents and the care home, but also by the volunteers themselves.”

The new volunteer movement is of national significance. Jan said, “FaNs is a movement that started in Essex, but has the potential to extend right throughout the country. It is about facilitating people who know how important it is to make every moment count, for both themselves and for the older people living in care homes, many of whom still have so much to offer us.”

The FaNs movement looks to make people aware of the little things that can make such a huge difference to the happiness and wellbeing of care home residents. Jan added, “There are approximately 405,000 older people in the UK living in care homes and 81% of older people believe talking and laughing with someone is the most important thing to them.”

The campaign invites anyone to become a FaN; an individual person who wants to volunteer some of their time to help a local care home, community groups such as theatres and choirs, scouting and guide groups, and organisations such as local businesses. There is no formal FaNs membership and no specific commitment required; volunteers can be as involved as they want to be.

Individuals and organisations taking an active interest in the well being of care home residents are known as “FaNs Ambassadors.” There are several ambassadors already on board with the FaNs campaign including Mackman, the Essex County Council, Colchester United Football Club, Essex University Students Union, and the Essex Fire and Rescue Service.

Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Healthy Living said, “We are firmly committed to improving the quality of life for older people living in residential care in Essex and are delighted to be supporting the FaNs campaign. The council actively encourages care homes to engage and forge close links with their local communities, allowing them to benefit from the extra resources they can offer.”

“We acknowledge the benefits of working together in a positive, supportive and empowering way to help ensure the wellbeing of residents living in residential care, and the FaNs movement gives us an excellent opportunity to do this.”

Charity Age UK Essex, is also a FaNs Ambassador. Chief Executive Andrew Gardner said, “I see my friends regularly and talk to my neighbours all the time, helping out whenever I can - to me that's just a part of living where I do. The work of FaNs is an extension of what all of us do in our daily lives and that's why Age UK Essex support the work of FaNs.”

“It's about helping people who live within our communities to feel as much a part of that community as everyone else. It doesn't matter where someone calls home as long as they are happy.”

The campaign will also offer practical help and support to the owners, managers and staff of care homes to take advantage of the opportunities that FaNs can generate.

“The quality of the care home sector in the UK can be perceived in a negative light which often over shadows some of the brilliant work already going on in the area. The FaNs campaign is going to be a fantastic way to encourage more people to support our care homes but also, celebrate the success stories that do happen in the sector, specifically in Essex”, Jan said.

We have worked with My Home Life Essex to deliver the marketing for the campaign, creating the FaNs visual look and interactive website. Bruce Burgoyne, Creative Lead for the project said, “What resonates with people is real life, honest stories. We wanted to create a current and energetic design for the campaign, something that challenges the misconceptions that working with old people is dull and boring. We needed it to appeal and be accessible to several different audiences, inspiring and motivating them through others stories to get involved and make every moment count.”

Further details on the campaign can be viewed by clicking here

Making a difference where it counts

We want to share with you, one particular way in which we support a local charity that has had a profound impact on our team.
We've been working with The Bridge Project in Sudbury for years. It's a charity that exists to provide a 'community within a community', that helps vulnerable people living in the area, whether they have learning, physical or 'hidden' disabilities.

We support the marketing and promotion of The Bridge Project's work, and Paul Mackman is on the board of trustees. Theirs is a cause that's always been close to our heart, as they share our values of supporting people and making a positive difference to the lives of individuals in the community.

In 2012, we were part of a group discussion with other organisations in Sudbury who met with The Bridge Project to figure out different ways organisations in the town could get involved with the charity. Joined by businesses like Waitrose, we initiated a work placement programme that would allow students of The Bridge Project to become employees of organisations within the town and develop new skills, while contributing to the businesses they were joining. After a couple of taster day sessions in our offices with around six students from the charity, we were able to offer two people a place on this new eight week programme. They're still with us today as official employees, and that's a big deal for us.

Michael Balls supports the general operations of the business and is solely responsible for all recycling and the shredding of sensitive paperwork. A keen gardener, he also looks after the runner beans and the roses outside and regularly decorates our desks with freshly cut posies. Michael works independently, with very little supervision and makes an invaluable contribution to our business. He's very friendly and loves a chat, updating us on his fishing exploits and what he's been learning at The Bridge Project.

Patrick Parker works across a number of areas of our business, largely because of his incredible aptitude for computer based tasks. He's a fast learner and works closely with the technical team, inputting data. Patrick has been instrumental in the uploading of information to our accounts software. He's also very interested in design and the work undertaken by the creative studio. Patrick is a hard and thorough worker and has integrated seamlessly with the rest of the team. He's got a cracking sense of humour, and doesn't forget a thing even if you tell him once.

It's important for us to share this with you, because there are students at The Bridge Project who could make a real difference to a business like yours, if they're just given the chance. There is a perception that those with additional needs, or a mental health condition, aren't suited to the workplace. But this simply isn't true.

Michael and Patrick are no different to any other member of the Mackman team, and with the wonderful support of the staff at The Bridge Project, we're able to give them access to opportunities and experiences they wouldn't have been available otherwise. If you'd like to learn more about what this means to Bridge Project students like Michael and Patrick, please get in touch by emailing customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk, or call 01787 388038.

Making a difference where it counts

We want to share with you, one particular way in which we support a local charity that has had a profound impact on our team.
We've been working with The Bridge Project in Sudbury for years. It's a charity that exists to provide a 'community within a community', that helps vulnerable people living in the area, whether they have learning, physical or 'hidden' disabilities.

We support the marketing and promotion of The Bridge Project's work, and Paul Mackman is on the board of trustees. Theirs is a cause that's always been close to our heart, as they share our values of supporting people and making a positive difference to the lives of individuals in the community.

In 2012, we were part of a group discussion with other organisations in Sudbury who met with The Bridge Project to figure out different ways organisations in the town could get involved with the charity. Joined by businesses like Waitrose, we initiated a work placement programme that would allow students of The Bridge Project to become employees of organisations within the town and develop new skills, while contributing to the businesses they were joining. After a couple of taster day sessions in our offices with around six students from the charity, we were able to offer two people a place on this new eight week programme. They're still with us today as official employees, and that's a big deal for us.

Michael Balls supports the general operations of the business and is solely responsible for all recycling and the shredding of sensitive paperwork. A keen gardener, he also looks after the runner beans and the roses outside and regularly decorates our desks with freshly cut posies. Michael works independently, with very little supervision and makes an invaluable contribution to our business. He's very friendly and loves a chat, updating us on his fishing exploits and what he's been learning at The Bridge Project.

Patrick Parker works across a number of areas of our business, largely because of his incredible aptitude for computer based tasks. He's a fast learner and works closely with the technical team, inputting data. Patrick has been instrumental in the uploading of information to our accounts software. He's also very interested in design and the work undertaken by the creative studio. Patrick is a hard and thorough worker and has integrated seamlessly with the rest of the team. He's got a cracking sense of humour, and doesn't forget a thing even if you tell him once.

It's important for us to share this with you, because there are students at The Bridge Project who could make a real difference to a business like yours, if they're just given the chance. There is a perception that those with additional needs, or a mental health condition, aren't suited to the workplace. But this simply isn't true.

Michael and Patrick are no different to any other member of the Mackman team, and with the wonderful support of the staff at The Bridge Project, we're able to give them access to opportunities and experiences they wouldn't have been available otherwise. If you'd like to learn more about what this means to Bridge Project students like Michael and Patrick, please get in touch by emailing customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk, or call 01787 388038.

Mackman take on Sudbury fun run

On Friday 18th April, Mackman's technical department took on the Sudbury fun run. James and Adam both ran the traditional five mile course around Sudbury in just under 40 minutes, ending in Belle Vue Park.

James Royce, Technical Lead said, “The Sudbury fun run is renowned for being a busy event, so we made sure to get tickets early! As our offices are in the heart of Sudbury, it's important to contribute to these events and support local causes. The weather was good to us and it was a great day".

Adam Chamberlin, our Technical Developer said "I'm definitely more comfortable on a bike! However, it was good fun, great to run with so many people".

Michael Balls, who helps with the operations at Mackman was also involved, part of the The Bridge Project funrun team, helping to raise over £2,000 for the charity.

The Sudbury fun run is a major longstanding sporting event for Sudbury, taking place since the early 1980s. This year, The Bridge Project was one of three beneficiaries of the event, that also included East of England Air Ambulance and the Marian Corner Appeal.

Amanda, our Senior Researcher at Mackman, managed to get some action shots of the event. Running an average of 4.54 per km, James and Adam were just too speedy to get a photo head on and we're still trying to guess exactly what James is saying to Adam.

Michael can be seen proudly speed walking his way through the fun run course. Well done Mackman team!

James and Adam - technical funrun teamFunrun-Michael-Balls

 

Customer Research – Mixed Methodology

Background

Mackman Research was commissioned by Eastern IFCA to conduct a benchmark awareness survey to understand stakeholder awareness and engagement, across Eastern IFCAís three counties (Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk). In particular, assessing the role that Eastern IFCA has in the coastal community and measuring the level of understanding for Eastern IFCAís change of emphasis towards sustainability as well as their requirement to balance social and economic benefits of sea fisheries against exploitation. Eastern IFCA needed the research to inform them about how well they are doing to meet these objectives, and also to identify where they need to target their engagement activities in the future. They also wanted the research to create a set of bench mark measurements against which Eastern IFCA can show progress.

Approach

To achieve the highest response rate possible, Mackman Research used a mixed approach using a combination of an online survey (by email), telephone survey and face to face interviews for the more difficult to reach populations. Within each main stakeholders group we identified sub-user groups which shared the same attributes and characteristics of the key stakeholder group. Because of this, we recommended the project employ a random stratified methodology. All surveys were anonymous and respondents were notified of this.

Each sub-group were contacted by an email address (if supplied) and by telephone if a number was available. The online survey was ëliveí over the course of two and a half weeks. During this time, three reminder emails were sent. Telephone contacts were sent a letter from Eastern IFCA informing them of the awareness survey and that a researcher from Mackman would be calling. The telephone survey lasted approximately six minutes with a Mackman researcher. Several respondents asked for the survey to be emailed and were sent a ëliveí link to the online version of the questionnaire. The face to face interviews took place over two days. The fieldwork crucially needed to consider the weather and the tides. Fieldwork took place in Southwold / Aldeburgh and the North Norfolk stretch of coastline between Cley next the Sea and Cromer, respectively. A paper version of the survey was used to question members of the public at all of these locations. Participation was monitored and when one group was found to have a low response rate, more contacts from this grouping where sought.

219 respondents completed the online and telephone survey, achieving a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/-6.6%, from a population of 528. In addition to this, 64 face to face qualitative interviews were conducted during the fieldwork stage

Results

The awareness research has been valuable to Eastern IFCA and assisted the government organisation in targeting their future engagement activities. To help Eastern IFCA accomplish this, Mackman Research considered the coastal users' level of understanding and ratings for Eastern IFCA priorities. The research identified areas for improved communication and the importance of reaching out to hard to reach populations. The investigation has also helped Eastern IFCA think about their broader marketing and how how they can expand their current offering to members of the public and the fishing community.

 

 

 

Eastern IFCA survey screen example

Eastern IFCA survey screen example

 

 

 

 

 

Community achievement award win

BaberghWe're delighted to announce that we have won the 'outstanding business contribution to the well-being of the community/district category in the 2013 Babergh Community Achievement Awards.

As a business, we believe it is important to give back to the community that gives us so much. Every year we work with third sector organisations and charity groups, offering them reduced rates or donating our time and expertise to their cause. This approach is an integral part of who Mackman are and what we believe in, and we are delighted that our contribution has been recognised. We would also like to thank those who nominated us for this award.

The award will be presented at Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel & Golf Club on the 6th March, so do check back for our follow up story from the evening.

Mackman goes Fairtrade

Fairtrade Mackman

Fairtrade Mackman


Along with the likes of Sudbury Town Council, The Befriending Scheme and the River Stour Trust the team have received a Fairtrade Pledge Certificate.

The Certificate was presented by Rev. John Boardman, Chair of the Sudbury Towards Fairtrade organisation. He said "My wife Ann and I have supported Fairtrade for many years. Before coming to Sudbury in 2009, we helped Pickering in North Yorkshire to become a Fairtrade Town. We've now set our sights on helping Sudbury do the same."

Paul Mackman, Director, said "As a business, we've been committed to buying Fairtrade products, and have supported Sudbury Towards Fairtrade, for a long time. We're delighted to have this recognition and hope many more local companies will do the same."

By choosing to support Fairtrade, Sudbury can add its voice to demands for a trade system that puts people, not profit, at the heart of the transaction. By becoming a Fairtrade town, Sudbury is demonstrating a commitment to supporting Fairtrade and using products with the Fairtrade Mark.

For more information about how you can support this initiative, please visit www.sudburytowardsfairtrade.org.

National supermarket give a helping hand to deliver hot meals with Mackman client, The Bridge Project


Bridge Project's 'Meals on Wheels' partners with their local Waitrose

Bridge Project's 'Meals on Wheels' partners with their local Waitrose

The Bridge Project are delighted to have joined forces with their local Waitrose store to help deliver delicious hot meals to the elderly people within Sudbury’s community.

The Bridge Project’s ‘Meals on Wheels’ enterprise has proved to be a huge success. The demand for hot food deliveries has increased since they first started their home delivery service last year.

Anesta Newson, MBE and chief executive at The Bridge says, “The response to our lunch service has been remarkable and now, with the greatly appreciated support of Waitrose, we'll be able to extend our deliveries further afield.”

This new partnership set off to deliver their first round of meals on Tuesday lunchtime. Zack Bush, front of house manager at Waitrose in Sudbury says, “We're delighted to be supporting The Bridge in this way. They do outstanding work in the community and we're proud to be helping the volunteers with the lunchtime deliveries.”

The Waitrose and the Bridge Project team will be delivering hot lunches between 12:30pm and 1:30pm from Monday to Thursday in their delivery vans. Each dish is freshly prepared by catering students at The Bridge Project and the menu includes home-cooked favourites such as casseroles, fisherman's pie, stews and delicious roast dinners. All produce used is locally and lunches cost £5, which includes a home made dessert. For more information on how to receive a hot dinner, please call 01787 313691.

Lights, camera… ACTION!

Mackman Group video still

Mackman Group video still

This month, the Mackman team had the opportunity to feel like films stars, for one afternoon only! Offshoot Films offered to make a short advert for the Group, and everyone jumped at the chance to get involved.

The Mackman team were filmed discussing approaches to design, marketing, pr and research and were each asked what they loved about their role at Mackman. It was a lovely afternoon on the beautiful Sudbury water meadows (if not a little windy at times!).

Please click here to see the finished result!