Press Release: March 12, 2010

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has overhauled its online presence for teenagers as it looks to invest in digital strategy to improve the health of children in the area. At a time when local government is being criticised for the usability of its websites and child obesity levels are at an all time high, the council has launched StreetBase (http://www.streetbase.info), to make it easier for children to find out what activities are happening locally, get advice on health issues and to try to change their behaviour in a positive manner

The borough appointed Digital Marmalade to build the StreetBase site, conduct a series of in depth consultations across the borough and ensure proper integration of the many systems involved with the project. The digital design agency worked with parents and children to develop a site that was easy to use and would hit the right note in terms of design.

This is the first time that we have brought all of our departments health, youth, advice, leisure together in one place and it was essential that we got the look and feel of the whole brand right or it wouldnt be embraced by the children of the borough. I was delighted with Digital Marmalade who demonstrated a real passion for developing this project from scratch and were a key component of the StreetBase team, says Kevin Taggart, Project Manager StreetBase Connect..

StreetBase is supported by an innovative Smartcard branded as StreetBase Connect, which will be given to all children aged 10 to 18 in the borough. The card being given will allow them to pay for school lunches, act as a library card, free pass for swimming and leisure facilities. Users will be rewarded with points for eating healthily or doing exercise which can then be exchanged for money cant buy experiences such as, a session in a music studio or the chance to train with West Ham football club.

Tony Brennand, director at Digital Marmalade continues We are proud to be involved with this project and feel strongly that with the right digital branding, campaigns such as this can prove a real success with the target audience. The project we have created demonstrates the councils strategy of using creative website design, social networks such as Facebook and Bebo and the latest technology to build a communication with the community by adding value rather than simply ticking boxes.

Digital Marmalade worked closely with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to deliver a channel of communication vital to the long term success of StreetBase. It is the first time that departments from across the borough have worked together to deliver a true 360 approach to Youth engagement and the unique issues facing young people in Barking. The local authority wanted to increase online engagement with families and promote the services and facilities available in the local area and will be working alongside the team at Digital Marmalade to implement the strategy and ensure that the campaign continues to receive interest from children in the borough.
About StreetBase
Street Base Connect, launched by Barking and Dagenham Council and NHS Barking and Dagenham, has been designed specifically to encourage young people from 11-19 years old to lead healthier, more active lives.

By taking positive actions like choosing healthier meals in their school lunch, taking part in sporting activities or volunteering for charities, the card holders will earn rewards points that they can trade in for exciting incentives.

Street Base Connect will provide access to youth, health, leisure and library services and a cashless catering system will be introduced into schools across the borough.

The pioneering scheme draws all services together on the card and will encourage young people to increase participation in positive activities within their communities and lead healthier lives.

Street Base Connect will help to deliver change and lifestyle improvements on a large scale. It will also increase participation in many of the services on offer supporting the five outcomes in the Every Child Matters agenda.

About Digital Marmalade
Digital Marmalade simplifies and demystifies the digital world, helping large and small businesses communicate more effectively with their online audiences. The company develops media rich websites, supported by powerful applications which transform businesses into online enterprises. Its Marmalade Suite application allows website managers to control the content of their web pages remotely through an online interface.

Based in London, the company was founded in 1997 by managing director, Marcus Brennand and its customers include Monarch Travel, Cosmos Holidays, League Managers Association and the Damilola Taylor Trust.

For further information, please visit: www.digitalmarmalade.co.uk

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Liam SherryLiam Sherry

Email: liam.sherry@berkeleypr.co.ukliam.sherry@berkeleypr.co.uk

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