A Falkirk mum hopes her new website will become the go-to place for Scottish parents and carers looking for support and advice as well as suggestions on how to keep the kids amused.
With the help of Business Gateway Falkirk, Ria Marshall has rebranded her popular Facebook page, Falkirk for Mums, and launched a new website – in a bid to become Scotland’s top rated parenting site.
Built with the help of a £5k Digital Scotland Voucher, the website, which launched on December 1st, provides an easy to navigate online platform for her 10k Facebook followers whilst also giving Ria the capabilities to expand into other areas of Scotland.
She said: “I’m very proud of Falkirk for Mums but its growing popularity on Facebook meant I was spending more and more time administering it and dealing with an increasing number of requests from parents keen to have a similar site launched for their area. That’s when I turned to Business Gateway Falkirk, as I needed advice on how to rebrand and launch a website that would give me the opportunity to expand.
“I completed a number of workshops, including DigitalBoost social media, and received intensive IT support which really helped me get my head around what I needed to do to launch a site that would complement the support currently being offered on Facebook. The advice also allowed me to create a website that will help even more people. As well as offering information and support relating to Falkirk we now also cover Edinburgh and Stirling, and plans are in place to expand into West Lothian and Glasgow by the end of next year.”
Carron Smith, Business Gateway Falkirk, said: “Ria came to us with a clear idea of what she wanted to achieve with Mums Today. Thanks to the Expert Help Programme, which is funded through the European Regional Development Fund, she was able to build her knowledge and understanding of what had to be done to turn her support group into a business. She also benefitted from a Digital Voucher that went towards the cost of the website. Now her enterprise is perfectly positioned to expand its reach and has the potential to create jobs as more towns and cities are added.”
The idea for Falkirk for Mums arose after Ria’s son was diagnosed with Tourette’s. Finding it difficult to source advice and information on groups she could attend she decided to launch her own support group. Friends started adding friends and very quickly the Facebook page had a large following, sharing information and news. The page also became a source of help for local women in need.
She said: “The page is really a community of mums – and some dads – who are there for one and other. No question asked is ever left unanswered and people have told me just how much of a lifeline the page has been. The community has also come to the aid of mums who’ve asked for help when they cannot afford to clothe their child because bills have had to be paid or when their kids won’t get any Christmas presents because they’ve had to flee an abusive relationship.
“It’s heartbreaking what some people have to face but heart-warming to know that the page I started lets mums help others in need. I know the new website will continue to offer a safe place for people to come to for help as well as provide advice and general information on raising children in Falkirk and beyond.”
Find out how Business Gateway Falkirk can help your business by visiting their local pages or call 01324 808266.
Outwith the area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.
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