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Digital Journeys Case Study: Grimm & Co

Welcome to the first case study in our Digital Journeys series, where we delve into the success stories of creative and cultural organisations and individuals who have received long-term support from the Digital Culture Network. 

In this opening exploration, we focus on Grimm & Co, an organisation that has thrived by embracing the chance to learn new digital skills at every step. Get ready to be inspired by their journey as we uncover how they took our free support and used it to build digital confidence throughout their team, from the ground up!


Case Study: Grimm & Co 

Louise Treloar, Communications Co-ordinator with Grimm & Co, is responsible for communications, marketing, and IT. Here, Louise explains the benefits of long-standing relationship between Grimm & Co and Digital Culture Network. 

Tell us about your organisation 

Grimm & Co is a Rotherham-based story destination, a charity that champions the writer in every child.  We empower children and young people and those around them who influence their lives.  We use immersive, imaginative approaches and spaces to build creative courage, confidence and self-esteem, changing lives one story at a time.  We welcome schools, young people, and families to our centre to take part in creative writing workshops for ages 0-18.

Family learning session

Image: Grimm & Co

What is your organisation’s digital ambition? 

Our website has the job of spreading the word about our charity, showcasing our young people’s work, and encouraging people to support us with their time or resources.  We also have a retail offering (a magical apothecary) that helps to support the charity and the physical shop acts as a bridge between the real world and the creative, imaginative goings-on inside our workshops.   

As a small charity, our website is very important to us in terms of reaching wider audiences and promoting online sales, which in turn help to support the charity.   

We had previously sold our products on Etsy, and our website was relaunched in 2017, looking beautiful as it was created by our design team.  However, our designers were unable to support the website going forward and we needed to be ambitious in upskilling our in-house team to maintain and improve the website.   

At this point, we didn’t know what we didn’t know! It is only through the support of the Digital Culture Network that we have been able to improve our website and the content that we offer.

What led you to reach out to the Digital Culture Network?  

Extract of Genius bottle

Grimm & Co

As an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO), we knew that ACE offered support with digital issues, and the first contact we had with the Digital Culture Network was on a very wet day in Manchester at a Google Arts and Culture event in 2019.   

When I saw two training days being offered in Birmingham in March 2020, I was excited to attend, especially as the training was free!  These training days were on Marketing Fundamentals: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Keywords and Pay Per Click advertising and Google Ads.  These were subjects that I had very little understanding of in advance, and at that point, I had not done much to the website at all, other than adding a news post or two, and amending pages.  This training gave me an initial grounding in the subjects mentioned, but also made me think about accessibility, social media content and much more.  I returned to work after this training full of excitement about what could be, and needed to be done, and then…   

The following week, we were told to avoid unnecessary social contact, and just 10 days later, we went into full lockdown.  Our activities with children and young people ceased in person, and we needed to transfer to online and digital provision immediately.  We had to react and do what we could to make our activities accessible. The website was under pressure to deliver!  Support from multiple Tech Champions helped us to move everything online in a safe, practical way.   

When I was furloughed, planned improvements were set aside. During this time, I continued to learn through Digital Culture Network webinars, building a list of tasks for my return to work.  I have steadily been working through these, and while we still have a way to go, the DCN support has been invaluable in providing examples of best practice, new things to consider and practical support. 


Tell us about your Digital Culture Network support and how that relationship continues to grow.  

Since the initial training in March 2020, I have taken advantage of a great deal of the information, support and webinars provided by the DCN, attending over 20 webinars, accessing the Knowledge Hub and having one-to-one support sessions over Zoom with a number of the Tech Champions.   

I have encouraged the rest of the team to access this information too, so the reach of your organisation has helped across the team.   

James Akers has been of great help throughout the time, with practical help with our analytics, cookies, and more website data issues. Former Tech Champions Syed and Nick helped me with SEO, keywords, and CRM woes. 

I have had several meetings with Roberta Beattie about the website.  This has been ongoing as I am now looking at her recommendations for a rebrand of the website, bringing in accessibility and sustainability, she helped me to really consider our audiences and what they need. 


What have you learned and where are you on your digital journey now? 

Young people working in WP

Grimm & Co

The support gained from the DCN Tech Champions has helped me grow in confidence and develop my role within the charity.  It has enabled us to become independent, as we now have the skills to make improvements ourselves, with the support network of the DCN if we do have any problems.   

The Tech Champions have helped us to understand the right questions to ask before we could even think about the right answers.  As an example, we were looking into a CRM system for a long time and risked being pulled into a large multi-national system without understanding what we needed.  We were able to chat to a Tech Champion about our requirements and get it straight in our heads what was important for us, saving us from making an expensive mistake!   

At a small charity like Grimm & Co, team members are often thrown into roles because they need doing, possibly without the skills and experience to be able to fulfil the roles well.  The Tech Champions allow you to learn, consolidate and improve, and we have ambitious plans to improve further, with accessible, inclusive sensory journeys on our website, effective content that engages return visitors and reaches new audiences, and an improved customer experience. 


What advice would you give to organisations considering working with Digital Culture Network?   

I started with little to no knowledge of websites, SEO, keywords, Google Ads, and through the support of the Tech Champions, my confidence has grown so much in my ability to take things forward.   

I know that I can ask whatever questions I have, however daft I feel they may be, and while they may be low level for a Tech Champion, they approach every contact with enthusiasm and are always super helpful and willing to chat.  I would 100% recommend DCN to everyone and I do! 


Our relationship in numbers 

At the time of publishing, Grimm & Co had received 15 Tech Champion one-to-one support sessions, attended 4 Digital Culture Network events and had representatives learn from viewing 31 DCN Webinars.


Education is not the learning of facts, but the mind to think.

Peckham Platform – Curricula of the Future. Image credit: Carmen Valino


Want to discuss your digital ambitions?

Maybe the Digital Culture Network can help! Our digital experts can provide free 1-2-1 support to all creative and cultural individuals and organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help with a specific issue or would just like to chat about your digital ambitions, please get in touch.

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