“We trust the team at StrawberrySocial because they are friendly, professional and reliable. They’re always willing to work with us to accommodate our requests, and are interested in the wider work that we’re doing and how it influences and impacts the way they moderate and manage our online community. This gives us reassurance that they really do care about what they’re doing. For them, it’s all about the people they’re supporting and keeping safe when we’re not in the office.”

Abbie Nichols, Digital Programme Manager - Mind

Mind, the mental health charity, provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. They won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.

Mind’s digital forum Friends in Need is a way for people affected by depression to meet and chat, both online and in their local area. The community can help members to maintain recovery, share their experiences and make a difference. Friends in Need has over 56,000 members and more than 2,000 groups. (Note: in 2018 FiN was closed due to CMS issues).

StrawberrySocial specialises in keeping charity communities safe and have moderated Friends in Need during evenings and weekends for almost three years. A major part of the role is to monitor discussion, as light-touch as possible, allowing people to answer each other’s questions, providing peer support. It is also to monitor for crisis situations, such as violence, eating disorders, alcohol or drug abuse, child safety, self-harm or suicide, and sometimes need to hide these posts to keep the community safe. The moderator will email the forum member (as well as notifying the community that the member is being supported) to explain why the comment/s were removed, to check if they are OK and to provide links to places they can get help, such as NHSSaneSamaritans and the Mind Infoline. If necessary, and with their permission, the moderator will pass on information to emergency services on their behalf.

The StrawberrySocial team is meticulous about following escalation workflows and also have clear and robust processes in place to ensure the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

Another part of the role is acting as greeter to help new members feel welcome and supported. The core of the forum is to enable users to help each other but, should a new member not receive a response from the community within a couple of hours, the ‘greeter’ will post as a greeter to help guide them as to how to use the forum.

The whole team have online safety qualifications such as CEOP and NSPCC as well as being Moderation Gateway certified and DBS checked.

“They are great at welcoming new members and encouraging a positive atmosphere where people feel they can share their experiences, and give and receive support.”

Abbie Nichols, Digital Programme Manager, Mind

Rebecca Fitzgerald, Managing Director at StrawberrySocial, says:

“Charity online communities, channels and forums require a different type of moderation and engagement. A subtler touch, an understanding of mental health and how it can affect people’s behaviour. Each community is different, each user important. At StrawberrySocial, we have the experience to understand how charity communities and social media works. Our community managers are flexible, empathetic, resilient and supported by Management. They are able to moderate emotive threads about sensitive topics, and are trusted to help ensure that the Friends in Need community makes a huge difference to its members.”


“Our peer support communities Elefriends and Friends in Need provide a safe and anonymous space for anyone with a mental health problem to share their experiences, create meaningful and long-lasting connections, give support and receive it in return. Peer support, whether delivered face to face through our network of Local Minds, or online via our communities is a vital and valuable part of Mind’s service offer, and something we’re committed to developing and growing in the years to come. We quickly came to value StrawberrySocial’s understanding of the needs of the users of our Friends in Need community.”

Abbie Nichols, Digital Programme Manager, Mind

Find out more about how we can help with your organisation's forum and/or channel-based communities.