A Guide to the Brand Partner Portal Week 3 – The Website Integration Function

Week 3 of our six-part series “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Brand Partner Portal” takes us through the Website Integration function.

Welcome to Week Three of the Brand Partner Portal (BPP) overview! Last week we wrote to you about the I&A Integration function. If you missed it, you can click here to view all the articles in this series so far.  This week, we’re looking at the Website Integration function – we recommend sharing this article with the staff member at your organisation who manages your website.

Website Integration is the BPP function that will make your organisation’s Services & Shops (and shortly Events & Activities) searchable for the 2 million monthly viewers of the Age UK website. This function will increase traffic to local websites by increasing visibility of local service/shop/event offerings to visitors on the national website. It will also allow users to filter results on your own site so they can more easily find what they are looking for.

Changes to the way your website works

In order to achieve this searchability, we need to make some changes to the way you upload content to your website. Currently, websites are created and managed through Episerver – a Content Management System (CMS). However, in order to allow your services/shops/events to be searchable through the national site and to be filtered on your own site, we need to restructure the way this information is input into your websites.

This will happen through a process known as content rationalisation and migration.

What is Content Rationalisation and Migration?

This is a lot easier than it sounds! We’ve created some dedicated templates for partners to use for uploading Services/Shops/Events to their websites. In the first instance, we’ll be asking you to simply move your existing Services/Shops/Events website info into these templates. Once this is complete, we will be supporting you to then replace your existing Services/Shops/Events pages with these new portal pages.

This exercise is a one-off. Once you’ve moved the existing content, adding and updating Services/Shops/Events will simply happen as usual except this time, you’ll be inputting this new information into the portal templates instead of into the CMS.

We will be guiding you through this process to make the transition as smooth as possible – you can find out more about this in the next section.

The new portal pages will still be found under the same navigation bar you currently have on your websites (see below).

Once your Services/Events/Shops information is migrated to the new templates, not only will the information be searchable through the national website, it will also be searchable on your own site. Users will be able to filter results to find exactly the Service/Event/Shop they are looking for.

See below for an example of what this will look like. In the example, we have filtered the results to only show us Day Care Centre Services.

Guiding you through the process

The initial migration of existing content to the new portal templates is underway. We’re running a series of 6 “Sprints” to help partners through this process.

Sprints are blocks of time in which we help partners to upload their Services and Shops content into the BPP. Some of you have already been part of our Website Integration sprints and we are currently in Sprint 3. We’ve been working hard to streamline this process for partners and our current sprint is running like clockwork.

For those brand partners who have not yet joined a Website Integration sprint, this is what you can expect:

1. Overview webinar – A couple of weeks before the sprint begins, we’ll run an overview webinar for your teams to give them an idea of what to expect and how they can prepare for the sprint.

2. Kick-off workshop – This is when we go over the nuts and bolts of the website integration process with the brand partners’ lead person. This is usually your website lead or marketing person.

3. 1 to 1 Meetings – Our team holds 1 to 1 meetings with each brand partner on the sprint to go over the details of the portal templates and to support you with any questions you might have. These happen in the first two weeks of the sprint.

4. Weekly drop-ins – we also hold a weekly drop-in session with our team. This is where you can come along to ask us any questions that may come up while you are adding your content to the portal. Though each session has a subject theme, we also encourage partners to treat it as an open forum for questions/suggestions/discussion.

5. Content deadline – the sprints give partners about 2 months to complete their content entry.

6. Content checking – once the content has been submitted, our team will check it and discuss any necessary amendments with you.

7. Integration Meeting – once we’re sure that all the content is sound we’ll schedule you in for a website integration meeting where we integrate your portal pages with your website and make it public-facing.

Our final two sprints are Sprint 5 (starting Jan 2023) and Sprint 6 (starting May 2023).

If you are not yet signed up to a sprint, please get in touch with us at portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk. We currently have space available on Sprints 5 and 6.

Progress so far

  • 7 brand partners have completed the process and the portal pages for their Services and Shops are integrated with their website
  • 25 brand partners are going through their integration meetings now and their new content will shortly be public-facing.
  • 19 brand partners are taking part in Sprint 3
  • 25 brand partners are signed up for Sprint 4 (Sept-Dec 22)

Our final two sprints are Sprint 5 (starting Jan 2023) and Sprint 6 (starting May 2023).

If you are not yet signed up to a sprint, please get in touch with us at portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk. We currently have space available on Sprints 5 and 6.

Live Demonstration

We will be running a live demonstration of a website integration at our drop-in session on Wednesday the 1st of June from 10.30-11.30. Age UK Cheshire have kindly agreed to take part in this demonstration, so that other partners can see what this part of the process looks like. If you are interested in joining us, please email portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk and we’ll forward you the invite.

How to find the Website Integration function on the BPP

Once you’ve booked onto a Sprint and completed the process, this is where you will manage any new Services/Shops/Events going forward.

Brand partners can login to the portal (as described in the Introduction to this series) and choose the tile called My Portal (see below outlined in red).

From here, you will be taken to another page with a number of options for entering content into your portal pages:

We’ll discuss the tile called Our Organisation Info next time. But the other five tiles in this view are where you will manage your portal content.

We have developed portal driven templates for you to use for your organisation’s Services and Shops content. (NB- The Events/Activities templates and functionality are still in development.)  The templates are straightforward to use. You can see a clipped example of the template to enter a new service into the portal below:

The content in these templates live inside the portal and the data is searchable by the national website’s local directory.* This means that when someone comes to the Age UK website looking for services/shops/events in their area, the results they receive will be for the brand partner nearest to them.

When the user clicks on those results, they are seamlessly transitioned to the brand partner’s website. The user is not aware that they’ve moved from the national to the local website so the experience feels consistent for them. The new templates will also allow users to filter results on your Services/Shops/Events pages.

* The local directory feature has not yet been switched on. We are waiting for enough partner websites to be integrated to ensure that users have a good experience with the results coming back for their search. We anticipate this will be late summer/early autumn.

Until next time!

If you have any questions about a particular BPP function mentioned above and would like to explore how this can help your organisation, please feel free to get in touch via email on portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk.

Thanks for sticking with us during this series. Next week we’re taking a break due to the shortened bank holiday week, but we’ll be back the week commencing 6th June to look at the Organisation Info function. See you then!

Best wishes,

Alisa Yingling
Programme Manager

Brand Partner Portal
Age UK

New Physical Activity Hub Launched!

Age UK’s Health and Wellbeing Team have created a Physical Activity Hub on our Wordpress site to house all of the updates relating to physical activity and sport that appear in our e-newsletter Signpost.

We share a variety of communications with you via our e-newsletter Signpost. With that in mind, Age UK’s Health and Wellbeing Team have created a Physical Activity Hub on our WordPress site where all the Signpost updates relating to physical activity and sport can be stored, so that you can refer back to them quickly and easily in the future. Read on to find out more, or click here to visit the Physical Activity Hub. Please note, this Hub is for internal use only.

Our passionate physical activity professionals from across the organisation will use the Physical Activity Hub to house all the relevant physical activity resources, campaigns, funding opportunities, research, events that we share in Signpost to help Partners to keep up-to-date with all that is going on in this ever-growing sector.

Take a look at the physical activity hub below, to see the type of communications that are shared, or click here to sign up for Signpost if you don’t receive it already. You may also want to bookmark the Hub in your internet browser so that you can easily return to it in future. Please note, this Hub is for internal use only.

If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Barnham or Peter Dutton, Project Managers in the Wellbeing Department at Age UK.

We have set up several Hubs on our WordPress site so far which you may want to take a look at, including a Campaigns Hub, a Network Infrastructure Hub, and an ICS Hub. You can use the pink menu at the top of this page to explore them.

We plan to add more Hubs soon so that Partners can more easily locate news that has been shared in Signpost. If you have any questions or feedback on Partner Communications, including Signpost, the loop, or the WordPress site please get in touch at signpost@ageuk.org.uk.

Civil Society Article on the Impact of Inflation on Charities

This Civil Society article looks at some of the challenges posed by rising inflation and suggests some steps that charities can take.

With inflation in the UK jumping to its highest level in 40 years, charities are likely to face both new financial challenges and increased demands to support people. This Civil Society article looks at some of the challenges this will pose and suggests some steps that charities can take. Click here to view the article.

A Guide to the Brand Partner Portal Week 2 – The I&A Integration Function 

Week 2 of our six-part series “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Brand Partner Portal” takes us through the I&A Integration function.

Welcome to Week Two of the Brand Partner Portal (BPP) overview! This week, we’ll look at the first of the four functions the BPP Supports: I&A Integration. If you missed last week’s introduction to the Brand Partner Portal, you can find it here

Many brand partners may remember a previous iteration of I&A integration which allowed brand partners to divert calls to the National Advice Line.  

I&A Integration through the Brand Partner Portal is a far more powerful version of the old I&A integration and can help brand partners manage calls to their I&A service whilst also giving callers to the National Advice Line the option of receiving advice that is local to them directly from their local Age UK’s I&A Service. 

I&A Integration has three tools in its belt: 

1. Call backs*  

* Brand Partners must offer the call back service as part of I&A Integration 

Call backs are when the national line books a call back for you to make. This will only be with a caller that lives in your area of benefit.

Here’s how it works: 

  • The National Advice Line Adviser takes a call from a person who wants you (the local brand partner) to ring them back. 
  • The National Advice Line Adviser fills in a form on our CRM system, triggering an email notification to be sent to the brand partner’s email address. The email lets you know there is a call back to be done.  
  • The details about the caller and their enquiry are then transferred to the BPP where you can login to access them. The transfer can take up to 15 minutes after the email notification has been sent.  
  • The brand partner makes the call back which needs to be completed within 5 days working days.
  • You can add progress notes to the call back case in the BPP if, for example, you haven’t been able to speak to them.
  • Once completed, the case can be marked as resolved.  

We monitor the call backs and will remind you if a call back hasn’t occurred within the expected time period. Adding progress notes to the case is really important because it helps provide context to an incomplete case in the event a brand partner has been unable to contact the caller.

Cases should only be resolved in the BPP once the caller has been contacted and the enquiry completed. If you have been unable to contact the caller after several attempts, the case can be resolved with details included in the resolution notes.

2. Warm Transfers  

Warm Transfers are when the national line transfers a caller from a brand partner’s local area directly to their I&A line. The national adviser will speak to the local I&A adviser directly, before completing the transfer. All brand partners need to do is let us know what number to transfer to and we’ll set it up from there. 

Because of how we enter Warm Transfers on our CRM system you may receive an email notification and see a case in the Portal for it, but you shouldn’t need to do anything with these.  

NB – We can only transfer to a dedicated I&A line and not a general or reception line. 

3. Call diversions  

Call diversions are when brand partners divert their I&A line to the national line. It can be helpful if a brand partner has shorter office hours on certain weekdays or during busy times when staff capacity can’t keep up with the call volume.

Call diversions are only possible from a brand partner’s dedicated I&A line. Brand partners cannot set up general or reception numbers for diversions. To set up call diversions, brand partners will need to contact their telephone provider who may charge for this service.

NB – this feature is now only available to Partners 6 months after joining I&A Integration  

How do you sign up? 

Brand Partners wishing to join the I&A Integration should first get in touch with the I&A Integration team on integrationcustenquiries@ageuk.org.uk. Our team will get you onboarded with a helpful email, a questionnaire and a handy instruction guide.  

How is I&A Integration linked to the BPP? 

As described above, when a caller to the National Advice Line requests a local call back, their information and enquiry is logged securely in the I&A Integration part of the portal. This is only accessible to the brand partner in question. Brand partners can login to the portal (as described in the Introduction to this series) and choose the tile called View all Cases (see picture below outlined in red). 

 From here, you will be taken to a new view of any cases assigned to your organisation: 

How I&A Integration Call Backs work with mobile phones

We know that lots of you are still working remotely and using mobile telephony. Good news! Mobile telephony will not stop you from being able to do call backs! Since the call back notifications come via email and you access call back cases through the portal, all you need to do a call back is access to the internet and a phone that can make outgoing calls.

Until next time!

Next week, we’ll be looking at Website Integration. But in the meantime, two reminders: 

  1. CEOs – don’t forget to request access to the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) on the BPP. Get in touch with the team at portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk if you don’t yet have access. 
  1. If you want to sign up for I&A Integration, get in touch with the team at  integrationcustenquiries@ageuk.org.uk.

Finally, f you have any questions about a particular BPP function mentioned above and would like to explore how this can help your organisation, please feel free to get in touch via email on portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk.

Best wishes,

Alisa Yingling
Programme Manager

Brand Partner Portal
Age UK

The Brand Partner Portal – Everything you’ve ever wanted to know

Week 1 of our six-part series “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Brand Partner Portal” gives an introduction to the Brand Partner Portal and its functionality.

Welcome to the first edition of our six-part series “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Brand Partner Portal”! Whether you’re completely new to the Brand Partner Portal (BPP) and want to learn the basics, or whether you use it frequently and want to know more about its full functionality, this series is for you!

To kick-off, I’d like to introduce myself – I’m Alisa Yingling, the Programme Manager for the BPP and I’ll be appearing in Signpost over the next six weeks to share a series of short articles to help you become acquainted with the BPP and the functions it supports.

I’m writing this series because we know that many of you want to know more about the full functionality of the Brand Partner Portal. We’re also aware that some of you have just joined your organisations and might not be aware of the BPP, or know it only by name. So as the development of the BPP is zooming forward, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk to you about what’s happening and how you can make the most of the functionality that the BPP brings to the Network.

This week, I will be introducing you to the Brand Partner Portal and its functionality.

The History of the Brand Partner Portal

The BPP started as an idea way back before the pandemic began when a pilot programme was established to build a platform to make it easier to work together with brand partners to share data across the Network. Currently, the BPP looks after four functions, though more functions are being proposed and added. We’ll be talking about future development in Week 6 of this series.

The Purpose and Functions of the Brand Partner Portal

The BPP’s primary purpose is:

  • to boost the visibility of brand partners’ local services information to members of the public
  • to make it much easier to share information with Age UK national 

The Portal currently has four functions designed to support this. We’ll be looking at each of these in greater depth in the following weeks:

  • Website Integration – Increase web visibility of brand partners services/shops/events and boost traffic to local brand partner websites.
  • I&A Integration – Support a referral system from the National Advice Line to Brand Partners to help older people access local support.
  • Organisational Information – This is a dashboard in the portal that collates headline data about your organisation including the systems that you use. In the not too distant future, we hope this will help ease the current burden of submitting partner organisational information through multiple channels.
  • Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) – Improve and ease the process of assessment and reporting submissions for the Quality Assurance Framework through continuous assessment. Provides a place to report incidents to the Quality team and seek help if needed.

How to access the BPP / Becoming a User

It’s likely that your organisation is already using at least one of the portal functions and different teams will have access to and use different functions.

We’ve set up BPP access to allow brand partners to manage your own internal users. Each brand partner will need a Primary User within the organisation. This is usually the CEO or a person in a management role and more than one person can be set up as a Primary User. The Primary User has full access permission to view, edit and create records associated with the brand partner organisation. The Primary User will also have rights to invite colleagues within their organisation to be portal users.

If your organisation’s Primary User has invited you to use the portal, you will be a Local Age UK User but you will not be able to invite other users.

If you aren’t sure whether your brand partner organisation has a Primary User set up, our team can help you with access to the BPP. You just need to contact us on portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk.

One important thing to note is that access to the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) function* within the portal is restricted due to the sensitive nature of the information living here. This is managed through our Portal Access Team only. If you require access to the QAF part of the BPP this needs to be specifically requested even if you are a Primary User.

*Our Quality Assurance Function will be coming online in June 2022 and it will be very important for CEOs to have log-in details for this part of the BPP. If you do not already have a login to the BPP, please get in touch with our team to arrange the correct permissions.

What does the Brand Partner Portal look like?

To access the Brand Partner Portal, just use this link – https://ageuk.microsoftcrmportals.com/SignIn. If you are having any difficuly logging in, please contact us on portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk.

You will then be able to login via a screen that looks like this:

Once logged in to the BPP, the Home Page looks like this:

Until next time!

In the coming weeks we will describe the BPP functions in greater detail including which of the 4 tiles displayed above will lead you to the different functions you require.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about a particular BPP function mentioned above and would like to explore how this can help your organisation, please feel free to get in touch via email on portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk.

Until next week…

Alisa Yingling
Programme Manager

Brand Partner Portal
Age UK

New physical activity resource packs for people living with long term health conditions

The Richmond Group have developed a series of Physical Activity and Long Term Health Conditions Resource Packs aimed at the sport and physical activity sector, health and care organisations and the health and care workforce.

The Richmond Group of Charities (which includes Age UK) has released a new series of Resource Packs to support those living with long term health conditions to take part in physical activity. These resource packs are aimed at the sport and physical activity sector, health and care organisations and the health and care workforce. Click here to view the resources packs and click here to read the accompanying press release for further details.

Local Elections 2022 – Campaigning Guidance and Template Letter to Candidates

An update from Age UK’s Campaigns Team on the upcoming Local Elections on 5th May, including guidance from the Charity Commission, a template letter to candidates, and social media wording.

With local elections happening across London and parts of England on 5th May, here’s a campaigning guide from Age UK’s Campaigns Team. Read on for details on the Charity Commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity, as well as access to a template letter to candidates and some social media wording.

Local elections are happening across London and parts of England on 5th May. All councillors in all London boroughs, as well as elections for councillors in some Metropolitan boroughs, District Councils, Unitary authorities and the Somerset and North Yorkshire County Councils, will take place. The Mayor for the South Yorkshire Combined Authority will also be elected. You can check on the Electoral Commission website what elections are taking place near you.

As ever, charities must ensure they adhere to the Charity Commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity. This means charities must not endorse candidates or campaign to influence the outcome of an election. To ensure they remain neutral, Charities must also consider:

  • How to respond to requests by candidates to visit your events or services.
  • How to limit any association between a particular political party and your charity if a member of staff is running as a candidate.

Age UKs based in London may want to use Age UK London’s resources for engaging with candidates, which includes a template letter and a manifesto.

Engaging candidates

You might want to email candidates in these elections to highlight the issues older people face locally and ask for a commitment from candidates to tackling these issues.

Alternatively, you might want to engage newly elected councillors once the results have been announced. It would be helpful to build relationships with local councillors and the leader of your council once they are in position, perhaps by inviting them to attend one of your services.

If you would like to write to candidates ahead of the elections and promote issues facing older people, you can use the template letter below. We recommend highlighting two or three issues that are impacting older people locally or that your Age UK has been working on tackling.

Social Media Wording

If you would like to promote participation in local election voting, you can share the “Where Do I Vote?” tool to help people identify their polling station.

You can also promote this on Twitter:

Local elections are taking place today! Don’t forget to cast your vote – you can find your polling station here: wheredoivote.co.uk/

And on Facebook:

Local elections are taking place today! There are multiple council positions being elected and this is your chance to ensure older peoples’ voices are heard. You can check where your polling station is here: wheredoivote.co.uk/

For any support with your local election activity and engaging candidates, please contact luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk.

Sources of Support for Local Partners – Latest Information for Spring 2022

Get help and support for your organisation via the latest edition of the Quality and Transformation Team’s Sources of Support document.

Navigating the ‘new normal’ can be difficult but Age UK’s Quality and Transformation Team can offer you support to tackle some of the challenges you face. In the latest edition of their “Sources of Support” guide there’s up-to-date insight on managing your organisation’s finances and you can also find out more about Age UK’s e-Learning platform along with other resources that can help support staff development.

The guide draws together a range of useful resources which can either be accessed directly (via this site, The Loop or through external organisations) or by contacting your Regional Link (contact details for Regional Links are listed in the guide). 

We want this guide to be as useful as possible, so please let us know if you have found it helpful or if you have any questions, comments or concerns please email partnership@ageuk.org.uk.

The full guide can be viewed or downloaded below:

Reminder: Dementia Awareness eLearning Available

A quick reminder that there are three dementia awareness eLearning modules developed by Alzheimer’s Society available to the Age UK Network until July 2022.

This is a quick reminder that there are three dementia awareness eLearning modules available to the Age UK Network. Whether you work directly with those living with dementia or not, we hope this eLearning will help to equip Age UK staff and volunteers with the skills and confidence to communicate with people living with dementia, face to face and virtually. Currently the Age UK Network’s access to these modules will end this July, so find out all the details below.

The three eLearning modules are:
  • Understanding dementia
  • Engaging with people in the early stages of dementia
  • Responding to distressed behaviours
Who can complete the Dementia eLearning?

All modules are open to everyone, all staff, and volunteers. Every learner will receive a certificate upon completion.

How were these modules developed?

These new modules were developed by Alzheimer’s Society.

When should I complete the modules?

Currently the Age UK Network’s access will end at the start of July 2022, so best to complete them sooner rather than later!

Please note, it may take up to one hour for the course to be marked as completed and for you to receive the certificate in your inbox. We thank you in advance for your patience.

How long is each module?

Each module takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. Once you start, you can save any progress and come back to it.

How do I access these modules?

If you already have an eLearning account, this course will automatically appear under the “learning” section of your dashboard in the eLearning site. You can access it straight away and no action is needed.

If you need to sign up, please complete this form.

Please note that registration to the e-learning site may take a few days. You will receive an email with your log in information once you have been registered.

What do I do once I am logged in?

If you cannot see the modules on your dashboard when you log in, you can find it either by:

  • Clicking onto ‘courses’ and then ‘Dementia eLearning’; or
  • Using the search bar on your home page by typing in ‘Age UK Dementia E-learning Programme’.

If you have any questions on access to the e-learning site, please contact: adviceunit@ageuk.org.uk

What other e-learning is available from Age UK?

For a number of years, Age UK has provided a range of e-learning options to support Partners’ delivery of training online to your staff and volunteers. This includes the Age UK e-learning Platform and Grey Matter Learning – find out all about both training platforms here.

“The Role of the Local Authority” Safeguarding Knowledge Share – Recording now Available

Thank you to everyone who attended last week’s Safeguarding Knowledge Share “The Role of the Local Authority”! You can find the event recording below.

Last week the Safeguarding Team delivered the 3rd of our Knowledge Share series “The role of the Local Authority”. If you missed it or would like to watch it again, please click here. Please note we will now be taking a break from delivering these events until later in the year. If you have any ideas for future content you would like us to deliver or have any feedback, please contact us: safeguardingteam@ageuk.org.uk.

In the meantime, you can view any of the series by clicking below:

If you have any feedback for the team or wish to discuss anything related to the session you can contact the team on safeguardingteam@ageuk.org.uk or 020 3033 1755.