How it all started
Whilst going through IVF treatment in 2001 – Anthony and Melanie Reid were busy at their keyboard looking online for information and support. It quickly became apparent that there was a clear lack of internet based support for couples in the UK, and the best they could find was on the north American websites. However getting answers to questions with time zones getting in the way was more frustrating than supportive. Especially waiting 6 hours for an answer to a post.
Eventually giving up seeking support elsewhere - they decided to create their own support group. They Registered the web address on the 10th March 2001, but due to work commitments and things getting in the way FertilityFriends.co.uk had to wait until the following year.The website was completed on January 1st - and went live on 11th of January 2002.
Currently the team collective totals 59, made up of 6 Managers, 3 Team leads and 50 Volunteers. We are currently training a further 8 volunteers through a three month bootcamp to become volunteers. All volunteers are trained on the following 10 module course.
- Module 1: History of FF, Business Model and Professional Content
- Module 2: What is a Moderated Website, Volunteer Guide and Code of Conduct, role and responsibilities
- Module 3: Dealing With Complaints, Copyright, Libel and Defamation
- Module 4: Bullying and Harassment. Policy and what to do?
- Module 5: The basics; tour of the Volunteer functions.
- Module 6 Editing threads / posting external link disclaimers, resizing images in posts, removing posts.
- Module 7: Resolving conflicts.
- Module 8: (optional - technical) Creating tables
- Module 9: (optional) Using Chat room
- Module 10: Promotion to full volunteer - what you need to know now.
We own our hardware, which comprises of three physical dedicated servers - one is redundant which is used for failover), and we also own an offsite network area storage(NAS) backup server.
We run separate web-servers for images, and dynamic pages. Due to the number of searches performed by members - We also run a separate search indexing server.
The backend software and database has been heavily optimised for high performance. This setup enables us to handle thousands of users at any one moment and ensures our uptime.