At Statement, we are passionate about education and our community and so we were glad to work with the HEART Partnership on their website along with a group of students from Wakefield College’s FdA Web Design course. We managed to catch Ian Brown from the team at HEART and ask him a few questions about the future of the organisation.
First of all, can you sum up HEART in more than 10 words?
HEART is a single point of contact to West Yorkshire’s Colleges and Universities.
What was the initial inspiration for setting up HEART?
The initial inspiration for HEART was to develop collaboration between colleges and universities in relation to supporting schools and businesses in engaging with higher education and higher level skills.
What drives HEART forward?
Driving HEART forward is the desire to improve working relationships between our partners and external contacts so that the value of the colleges and universities are recognised and utilised.
So what’s been the most exciting moment for you personally since you began your current role?
The most exciting moment always seems to go to the most recent success. In this case that would be the successful delivery of the National Lecture at the National Care Leavers Week 2014, featuring Lemn Sissay MBE and the first Lemn Sissay Scholar, Belinda Bluff. It was an inspirational input and we had amazing pledges from attendees.
What do you think has been the biggest challenge for HEART?
Like many businesses, we are only as good as our last success and therefore the biggest challenge would be survival through proving value and impact to our partners who fund us.
What encouraged you to put more focus on HEART’s digital presence?
Well, we simply needed to get ourselves known and to provide a platform to communicate to external contacts and the only effective way to do this is digitally.
How did you first hear about Statement?
We heard about the Statement team from one of our partners, Wakefield College, who recommended you when we were looking for a provider of service.
When you initially contacted us, what were you looking for?
We were looking for a website that was simple to navigate, easy to maintain and could be used to communicate to a variety of audiences.
Since the project has been live, what kind of comments do people make about your brand / website?
With little marketing budget, our website and use of social media are pretty much all we have to work with. Because of this, the website has to work hard for us. Perhaps the best testament to the website is the fact that other similar partnerships have asked who designed our site and asked if we could recommend Statement as they really rate the site!
And finally, what’s next for HEART?
Hopefully continuity! We are waiting to hear whether we will become the official Single Point of Contact for schools in West Yorkshire as designated by the funding council for England. We believe this will be forthcoming and if so, there will be a substantial increase in activity in the next 18 months. We would also like to get more value for our business Higher Level Skills Ambassadors such as your very own MD, Dan Conboy.
The HEART Partnership is a fantastic organisation that provides plenty of value and support for the education sector. Go visit their website to find out more them.