Choices is one of Premier Charity Solutions longest standing clients. Their existing infrastructure is server based and the server was coming to end of life and needed replacing. The organisation also needed to implement best practice for GDPR.
Choices had recently fallen on hard times due a drop-in government funding and several difficult internal changes and therefore available funding for any upgrades to their infrastructure was minimal.
Premier Charity Solutions, being familiar with the charity and the way they work, recommended that Choices apply for the National Lottery Awards for All funding. The Big Lottery Fund offers grants between £300 and £10,000 to support charities and not-for-profit who deliver services that matter to people and communities.
The funding can cover:
- one-off events
- small capital projects
- staff costs
- training costs
- utilities/running costs
- volunteer expenses.
National Lottery Awards for All has three funding priorities. The funding must also meet at least one of these priorities:
- bringing people together and building strong relationships in and across communities
- improving the places and spaces that matter to communities
- enabling more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage.
Using our knowledge of both the charity and the funding programme Premier Charity Solutions met with Choices to discuss what solution was best for their organisation. The recommendation involved changing how they worked and moving them across to SharePoint. This recommendation not only had significant advantages over their current server-based solution in terms of remote working, it was also a significant step towards meeting the GDPR guidelines.
Premier Charity Solutions also advised that Choices should get Cyber Essentials Certified, a Government backed cyber security initiative, which provides five security controls that, according to the UK government, could prevent around “85% of cyber-attacks”. Part of this would involve installing a Sophos UTM (Unified Threat Management) which would offer all in one protection for their network, wireless, email and devices.
Having provided Choices with all the recommendations and details they needed, they went away and put their funding proposal together. Their proposal included:
- the name of their project
- when the project will start (which needed to be at least 12 weeks from when they submitted their application)
- where their project will take place
- all the costs involved in their project
- whether their project targets a specific group of people and, if so, who.
Premier Charity Solutions provided support throughout the process and reviewed and edited the final bid in March.
The funding bid was successful and was approved in June. Premier Charity Solutions are now ready to implement the full solution for Choices with all works completed by early September.
Choices was established in 1996 and was originally named Dartford & Gravesham Women's Aid and then North Kent Women's Aid before adopting the name of Choices. It exists to provide help to all those who are experiencing domestic abuse.
They provide community support services to men, women and children in Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Maidstone, and Medway.
- Established: 1996
- Location: London
- Users: 35
- Microsoft Exchange Migration
- Office 365 Tenant Configuration
- Microsoft SharePoint Migration
- Managed IT Support
- Cyber Essentials
- Sophos Cyber Security
- Remote Working
- Unlimited IT Support
- Improved Network Security
- Improved Data Management
- Improved Business Efficiency
"With GDPR on the horizon, and with a growing requirement in our sector for peripatetic working, we needed to secure funding to overhaul and better secure our IT infrastructure. In February 2018, on Premier Choice’s suggestion and with their support, we made an application to Big Lottery’s Awards For All scheme for the sum of £10,000.00. Adam’s guidance on our bid was honest, smart and straightforward, identifying ways to strengthen our application, from changes of emphases to full redrafts and he supported us through each step of the application process.
We were duly awarded the full £10,000.00 and the improvements we’ve been able to make have greatly extended the mobility and reach of our service, and the integrity and efficiency of our systems.