Update About Find Support Services

Having worked at a lightening speed to build the directory at the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020 (*shudder*), Find Support Services is now a living, breathing, functioning tool that provides residents a simple way to find local support in and around Hackney and City of London. After just over 18 months since its conception, the Find Support Services map is in full swing! Between October and September, we’ve seen a 28% increase in unique page views, and a 30% increase in users. Although we’re pleased to see such positive statistics, our focus will be on improving bounce rate and average session duration over the coming months, indicating that users are engaging with the site and finding the support they need. 

What is Find Support Services? 

FSS is a digital directory, housing all of the local support available to residents in Hackney and City of London. These services are displayed on a handy dandy map, to show users how far away they are from each service. Each listing is maintained by the individual service provider, which contributes to confidence in the reliability of the listings, whilst allowing an element of self-maintenance. Available services span lots of different things, from food banks and deliveries, to loneliness and isolation, and mental health support. 

Updates from the last 6 months:

  • We have just passed 200 organisations signing up to appear on the map across the two boroughs (hooray!)
  • New functionality has been added, including a ‘remote’ option for organisations to select and users to filter by 
  • Actively encouraging residents to use the tool, and engaging internal usage across social prescribers and frontline workers, so that FSS can act as the ultimate digital  crib sheet
  • Undertaking user research to ensure that we’re optimising the site – answering two main questions: 1) can we make FSS easier to use for residents and participating organisations? 2) Are we engaging users as effectively as possible?

What’s on the agenda for the next 6 months:

  • We’re working on an automatic reminder process for organisations to be notified when listing information should be checked and/or updated. This will ensure that the directory stays up to date, and therefore useful to residents looking for support
  • Re-evaluating  criteria for organisations to list their services – this includes expanding out to statutory services like housing and social care, as well as broadening the catchment area for local organisations, expanding into boroughs like Tower Hamlets and Islington 
  • Following this, we will also be working with our North East London council neighbours to see what we can do to learn from each other, focussing on data quality and supporting residents who live closer to boundary lines
  • Ramping up our social media presence to combat lack of awareness of FSS. Research shows that Instagram and Facebook are among the most used platforms in Hackney, so it’s time to put our ‘influencer’ hats on!
  • Finalising a more robust analytics process to understand the behaviours and journeys of our users around the site and beyond

Fancy getting involved and helping us improve the tool? We’re always looking for new voluntary and statutory services to join the FSS network, and for as much feedback as we can get! If you have any recommendations, feedback, or want to get involved in some user research, get in touch with us via fss@hackney.gov.uk.