SWINDON BUSINESS MEN TAKE ON RUNNING CHALLENGE TO RAISE MONEY FOR OSCAR
Latest news from Karl & Charlotte Paul, Oscar’s 10 for 10
Swindon Business Men on the Run! Lockdown almost ended a carefully laid plan by Swindon couple Karl and Charlotte Paul to raise £10,000 this year. The couple hoped to raise the funds in memory of their son Oscar, who died ten years ago.
The Swindon couple, who live in Rodbourne Cheney, planned to fund raise for the Ronald McDonald House in Bristol. That charity gave them support at the worst time in their lives when Oscar was born prematurely.
Lockdown put the stop on their plans until now.
Dad Karl is well known in Swindon’s business community as the founder of SEO & lead generation agency Smarter Media.
Charlotte also works in the business.
Karl said: “To my amazement one of my business buddies, Andy Rohrer, suggested that we run every day in July to raise funds. He suggested we start at 1km on July 1 and ramp it up each day to 31km at the end of the month. Then other business friends joined in and now we have six more people who have taken up our July charity challenge.”
Those joining Karl and Andy to date are:
Ashley Cain – founder of Moovahome
Lee Flanagan – founder of Centraheat & CAL Solutions
Marc Stephens – team leader at Honda
Graeme Leighfield – founder of GEL Studios
Matt Johnson – IT manager in the energy industry
James Linley – railway manager for Crossrail
They will run to support Karl and Charlotte and move them closer to their £10,000 goal. Currently they’ve raised a little over £4,100.
Oscar was born at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon on June 7 2010, at a little over 25 weeks’ gestation. At the time Karl and Charlotte were in their 20s.
Oscar was so small he needed transferring to St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol for care in their specialist neo natal unit. During his life, Karl and Charlotte stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Bristol. This charity relies on donations to help families of critically ill children stay nearby free of charge.
“Being able to stay at the house at such an awful time really helped us. Not having to travel up and down the M4 and being close to Oscar for those precious days meant everything to us. And we want to offer that same opportunity to others,” Charlotte said.
Since Oscar died, the couple have already raised more than £30,000 in his memory. Both for the House and also enough to buy an incubator for the special care baby unit where Oscar spent his short life.
Poor website contact details hamper businesses when their website contact details are letting them down.
That’s the view of leading website developer Martin Jarvis. Martin heads up Swindon-based DMJ Computer Services, specialising in WordPress website design, hosting and aftercare.
When Martin and his team visited dozens of websites as part of a marketing exercise, one thing in particular struck them. That was the high level of issues they found in making contact with the websites’ owners. And all down to contact details being either incorrect or not fit for purpose.
Problems identified included:
Contact forms that failed to submit
Captchas that were impossible to complete
Mistyped, bouncing email addresses
Demanding so much information from an initial enquiry that the process was off-putting
“It’s hard enough for website owners to encourage visitors to get in touch with them at the best of times. Let alone during periods of great economic disruption, as we are in now,” said Martin.
“A primary goal of most websites is to persuade potential clients to make contact. A typical way to achieve that is through a combination of the following:
a. Contact forms b. Comment forms c. Email addresses and telephone numbers.
If it’s not clear to a visitor how to make contact, or if the methods don’t work, then such websites are ineffective.
What does Martin advise?
Martin’s advice for improving contact details includes simple steps:
a. Check often that contact forms submit as they should and arrive at their destination and b. that email addresses are correct.
Other measures include:
a. Having clickable email addresses and telephone numbers so visitors don’t have to copy and paste them into their email client. b. Installing invisible Captcha – which does everything in the background to avoid inconveniencing website visitors c. Using other anti-spam measures for contact forms.
“We often install live chat on websites. They’re a good way to allow visitors to engage in conversation whilst browsing. The chat box sits quietly in the bottom corner of the web browser, and visitors can click it to start a conversation. Of course, it’s only a benefit to have a live chat feature if you:
a. Monitor it often and … B. …respond quickly to queries.
Having an unmonitored chat box may well annoy site visitors.”
DMJ is offering to carry out a short, free review of website contact details.