The NZST, a charitable trust based at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch provides programmes and services for people with spinal cord impairment. We empower people with spinal cord impairments and their whānau to embrace positive futures. We provide support and information services across New Zealand to help people overcome challenges, create strong networks, and pursue opportunities following their spinal impairment. Formerly known as the Allan Bean Centre Library, it provides unique service provided tailored resources and programmes not just for spinal impaired people but also for their whānau, carers, and the wider community. The Allan Bean Centre Library is now known as the Resource Centre.
The Allan Bean Centre was demolished in 2015 due to the Christchurch earthquakes. The former Allan Bean Centre Library was central to the work of the trust, so the loss of the building was devasting and had a huge impact on clients and staff. Since then, the library has gone through a number of changes but is still providing a service to patients and their whānau. The current space was previously an old office, but I actively sought funding and the room has been decorated, has electric adjustable desks, new flooring and customised shelving that is suitable for people in wheelchairs. While small, the new space looks great and is welcoming and friendly.
I also led a project to upgrade the NZST’s website, the new website was launched in July this year. The website is the front door to the NZST’s four key services: Vocational Rehabilitation, Peer and Whānau Support, the Resource Centre and the Volunteer Service.
Due to the rebranding in 2019 the website needed to be upgraded, as feedback and analytics showed that the website was slow, that people visited the site once and did not return. The new site incorporates the new branding as well as maximizes our potential as a one stop resource for spinal impairment needs
A working group consisting of four staff members and a website designer was established in February 2020 to brainstorm how visually we wanted the site to look and better emphasise/promote our services to clients. As well as reflect the core functions of the trust and anticipate information needs.
One aspect that is unique to the new site is the four portals, see image below. The four portals consist of the following: ‘New to SCI’, ‘I want to help’, ‘I need information’, and ‘How do I’? the portals will help guide users to the relevant information providing clarity and easiness of use.
The goal with the new site is to provide our clients access to services, resources and information which is user friendly, focused, and easy to find, and guide clients to where they need to be. Other services available are the online shop and the Dr. B Information service where clients can ask for help and advice on a variety of topics, and get the latest research.
There is still content to be added and we will be constantly updating the site with helpful information and resources.
Visit the site at nzspinaltrust.org.nz
I’m interested in feedback, ideas and suggestions, so please email email@example.com
Bernadette Cassidy PhD, ALIANZA
Bernadette is the Resource Centre Manager (formerly the Allan Bean Centre Library) for the New Zealand Spinal Trust where she developed and implemented a client centred library service for people recovering from serious injury or trauma. She has worked in a variety of academic and specialist information posts for over 30 years. In 2001 she emigrated to New Zealand from England and has been here ever since!