Introducing Reading Room: a trusted digital partner


Last year, Reading Room became the latest company to join the Idox group. Reading Room is an award-winning digital consultancy with an international reputation for innovative strategic consultancy, design, and technical delivery.

The experienced team, based in London, Manchester and Glasgow, blend the best design and technical expertise with insights from behavioural science and psychology to deliver highly effective solutions. For public and private sector organisations looking for help to reach their full digital potential, Reading Room is a tried and trusted digital partner.

Diverse clients … diverse needs … diverse digital solutions

  • NHS Lambeth Federations : Reading Room supported the organisation to transform their business via a digital strategy to encourage more people to interact with their surgeries online and establish trust. New digital features, including digital triage of symptoms and conditions, tools to support online appointments with a GP, and a social media campaign all encouraged behavioural change.
  • Durham at War : In 2014, Reading Room developed an interactive online presence for the Durham at War project, which tells the story of County Durham and its people during the First World War. Managed by the archive, museum and archaeology services at Durham County Council, the resource allows members of the public to upload and share their memories and reflections. Reading Room were also responsible for a striking brand identity for the project, based on a First World War poppy from France that was sent home by a soldier from County Durham.


  • Victim Support : Reading Room worked with a specialist young people’s research company to explore the questions and fears of children who are required to give evidence in court cases. Following in-depth audience co-creation sessions, an innovative online interactive courtroom now familiarises young witnesses with the court system and guides them through what to expect when giving evidence.
  • Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) : Reading Room supported OCC in presenting their work in a way that appealed to both adults and children, and addressed some sensitive subject areas. The result was colourful and clear web pages that covered the range of services provided by the organisation.


  • Australian Government, Department of Communications : Reading Room’s online version of the Australian Department of Communications 2015 annual report set a visually rich, new benchmark in the way government agencies present complex information.
  • London Councils : The organisation represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London and wanted a new website that allowed users easy access to information about services. Reading Room worked with London Councils to create an intuitive website as well as a simplified Content Management System.
  • National Archives : Reading Room partnered with the National Archives on a digital resource to help children understand the significance of the Magna Carta. Activity focused on the idea of a ‘Chronicle’ which the children write as they move through chronological chapters featuring original videos, maps and other digital assets from the National Archives. Children can earn badges and points by answering questions about what they’ve learned in the chapters and receive instant feedback. The resource helped mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede.

Reading Room has also provided digital consultancy to support many other clients, including Visit England, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Skoda and West Yorkshire Police.

Award-winning digital consultancy

The expertise and client-focus of the Reading Room team has led to some great accolades for the company:

  • Top recommended digital agency – Recommended Agency Register 2015
  • Best in Web Design & Web Development – Recommended Agency Register Digital Awards 2015
  • Ranked number 1 for digital design services in the Marketing Week Independent Agency Reputation Survey
  • Top 5 Marcomms Agency – B2B Marketing Magazine UK Agency League Table 2015
  • Top 10 for customer satisfaction – The Drum 2015 independent agency census.

Reading Room is also part of the UK government’s G-Cloud framework, which provides an online marketplace where public sector bodies can buy cloud based services. There are now over 100 software solutions and consultancy services across Reading Room and the wider Idox group on the marketplace – helping to deliver a simpler, clearer and faster way for public sector bodies to buy what they need from the group’s offerings.

Reading Room are especially proud that in January of this year, their development of the Magna Carta educational resource for the National Archives won the British Educational Training and Technology Award for Free Digital Content/Open Educational Resources. And in March the Magna Carta resource was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the MEDEA awards for “exceptional innovation in pedagogic or technical design.”

magna carta

Find out more about Reading Room’s work, or get in touch with the team.

Our blog has also featured Reading Room in previous posts:

The way forward for mental health services for children and young people

Black and white photo of young girl.

Image courtesy of Flickr user darcyadelaide using a Creative Commons license

By Steven McGinty

“Not fit for purpose” and “stuck in the dark ages”

These are two of the phrases used by the Care Minister, Norman Lamb, to describe mental health services for children and young people in England. The minister admitted that young people are being let down by the current system and has announced that a new taskforce will look into how the system should be improved.  To coincide with this review, I decided to look at the current situation for children and young people with mental illness, as well as highlight some of the main themes from the latest evidence.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that one in ten children and young people (aged 5-16) have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder. This covers a broad range of disorders, including emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression, as well as less common disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and eating disorders. Approximately 2% of these young people will have more than one mental disorder. The most common combinations of disorders are conduct and emotional disorders and conduct and hyperkinetic disorders.

The likelihood of a young person developing a mental disorder is increased depending on a number of individual and family/ social factors. There are a whole range of risk factors, but some of these include:

  • having a parent in prison
  • experiencing abuse or neglect
  • having a parent with a mental health condition
  • having an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)

It’s important to note that mental illness is complex, and that not everyone in these risk groups will struggle with it. This is particularly true when a young person is in receipt of consistent long-term support from at least one adult.

The impact of mental illness can be particularly difficult for young people. For instance, the National Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Support Service reported that young people who suffer from anxiety in childhood are 3.5 times more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety in adulthood. There is also an increased chance of young people coming into contact with the criminal justice system, with Young et al highlighting that 43% of young people in prison have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The Centre for Mental Health also suggests that young people with mental health problems struggle to achieve academically, as well as in the employment market.

When a government minister condemns his own department, it’s evident that there are severe problems.  However, this does not have to be the case.

Below I’ve outlined some of the key lessons to come from evidence on what makes a good mental health service for children and young people.

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