Digital & IT

Published: March 29, 2020 | Updated: March 29, 2020

Super Salad: Proud boss praises her team after community website is built in just three days

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A new website helping people to find local community and support groups, online classes, NHS discounts and much more during the current crisis has been launched in Dorset.

Dorset Hub – dorsethub.co.uk – was designed and built by Salad, the Poole-based strategic brand design and digital agency, in just three days.

It was officially launched on March 26 and is already winning praise across social media.

The site features seven categories:

  • Discounts for NHS staff.
  • Provisions for the elderly and vulnerable.
  • Food and drink services.
  • Teaching and online classes.
  • Community groups.
  • Wellbeing and fitness.
  • Volunteer organisations.

Local businesses falling within the specified categories are invited to submit a listing.

The site aims to bring under one domain name initiatives and information previously scattered across different platforms or hidden within websites and Facebook pages and, therefore, difficult to find.

They range from businesses offering NHS discounts to fitness trainers delivering free online classes.

The idea for Dorset Hub came from developer Ryan Edmondson during one of Salad’s daily team meetings on Zoom.

Arabella Lewis-Smith, Salad’s Founder and Managing Director, pictured left, said: “We’ve found comfort in our shared values, empathy and resilience, during this precarious time, which encouraged us to ask: ‘How can we use our expertise and experience to help with the problems we’re all facing?’

“We gave ourselves a three day turnaround to deliver the Dorset Hub website and I am so proud of the team who have really pulled together to deliver this so quickly.

“We hope it will act as a platform to showcase local companies/individuals who are doing incredible things and supporting our local community during this tough time.

“We are hoping to use social media to widen Dorset Hub’s reach and get it in front of the people who will value it most.”

A seven-strong team worked on the site up to the launch and two will be maintaining the listings, updating daily.

Much of the information was gathered pre-launch with particular help from Heather Brown, of Dorset Foodie Feed.

Her husband is Andy Brown, Salad’s Finance Director.

Arabella said Salad could be open to other counties taking the platform and duplicating the site. “We’re certainly happy to have a conversation,” she said.

Salad, which was founded by Arabella in 2001, employs 18 people and is based on Poole Quay.

Since the start of the coronaviris crisis it has been helping a number of clients to bring their products and services online and has developed the ability to deliver a simple ecommerce website in a matter of days.

“With this situation predicted to go on for many months, we want to help as many businesses as possible adapt to the changing needs of our community,” said Arabella.

She added that as a phase two for Dorset Hub, Salad was considering adding a section for business support, bringing the many valuable offers of support and guidance during the COVID-19 crisis into one place.

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