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Scarborough, Whitby, and Ryedale MIND
‘We have invested in ICT in order to save time and money. It helps us to
be more efficient whilst at the same time reaching people that we can’t
otherwise reach. For many of our clients computers can be a lifeline.’
Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Mind is a Local Mind Association (LMA) affiliated to National Mind, but independent in all areas. They offer a befriending service, housing related support and community drop ins, with 12 staff and supported by 60 volunteers. Their admin centre is in Scarborough but all work is focussed in the community so they can be responsive to people’s needs where they are.
- Installing a server network (set up through netgain with funding from national Mind and Yorkshire Forward, and licences from CTX) has made a huge difference – file sharing; calendar sharing; everything in one place. Originally there was some resistance but we worked closely with all staff to help them to access the benefits. The system works well and we continue to work with staff to help them to make the most of ongoing developments.
- Developing a database to meet requirements means we can now manage and report on information quickly and easily, inform evaluation of services, as well as providing information for funding bids.
- Using mail merge which is linked to the database enables us to personalise newsletters and print letters and envelopes.
- Setting up networked printers speeds up printing and saves money.
- Producing training booklets in Word and Powerpoint provides a professional image which can be replicated and which updates quickly and easily.
- Having high levels of security by backing up data on site and off site gives confidence
- Julie Nichol (CEO) uses a handheld PC (Dell axim pocket pc)which synchronises to Outlook ensuring she is always up to date with calendar appointments, emails and documents.
- We had an ICT training day which was bespoke for each individual and which was based on a training questionnaire which had been sent out before hand. This built up expertise in key areas and now staff take on tasks that previously they would not have had the confidence to do, and as a result are driving changes to keep improving.
- Website – we want to update this to reach more people and provide the opportunity for them to have their say. It wasoriginally set up free by volunteers but now we can’t update it. We will be attending a Website in a Day course (part of theElectroville Improving Reach program ‘Take Control with ICT’) toplan and implement a new website.
- There is an issue around a few slow running computers leavingstaff frustrated and unable to get on with their work effectively. This is being tackled through the Improving Reach program with all PCs being audited, and where necessary, upgraded (mostly this is extra memory breathing new life into the computers).
- Gradually working towards a predominately paperless office with files being transferred to PC.