CASE STUDY: South London Sure Start Children’s Centre uses TextMine to reach out to its community.

A South London Children’s Centre has recently started using TextMine’s low cost and simple-to-use online text service to help promote its services to local parents. Government backed Sure Start Children’s Centres provide services for young children and their families – they are accessible to all and support families in greatest need.

After a quick tutorial the Children’s Centre was ready to start using TextMine. Once logged on to the website on their normal office computer, the Centre Administrator was able to type a simple message (a bit like writing an email) and choose which parents and carers to send the message to. Whether the message was received by a new Smart phone or an ‘old brick’, the message was the same: clear, concise and immediately received. There was definitely a sense of surprise that the system was so straight forward to use! As the TextMine system is simply there so you can send bulk text messages from your computer it has the added bonus of not interfering with any other system that the Centre uses and can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection.

One of the problems Children’s Centres encounter is reaching out to isolated parents spread out in the community. TextMine has enabled the Centre to communicate directly and immediately to a targeted group of parents.   Young parents can benefit from receiving text messages, as this is often a very familiar method of communication, as do isolated parents who do not have access to the internet and email at home.

The Children’s Centre provides a wide range of services to support parents in the early years of their child’s development, but not all of the things on offer are suitable for every parent. This is where TextMine is really useful as it has allowed the Centre to target specific groups easily by ordering their contacts into groups. Each parent can be part of as many groups as they wish, depending on what information they want to hear about. This simple grouping of contacts has solved the problem of unwanted information (or an overload of information), making it targeted and specific.

Prior to using TextMine, the Centre used to rely on telephoning parents and carers to relay information and promote new sessions and timetables. All in all TextMine has saved the Children’s Centre significant amounts of time and money.