Age UK Berkshire

Age UK Berkshire’s vision is for a world where everyone can love later life. They are the leading organisation providing integrated health & wellbeing services for older people across Berkshire, a local independent charity, part of the Age UK brand. The charity provides services that support older people and promote inclusion into local communities.

Age UK Berkshire were looking at a number of initiatives to either improve the efficiency of the way that they provide services or improve the services to their recognised target audiences. Future plans included extending the website to support online payment processing for supplied services and supporting the growth of the Befriending service. The charity were also looking to CITA for advice around their current infrastructure.

Through a ‘Tech Surgery’ CITA volunteer David talked through the various issues and future plans before suggesting three levels of activity: ‘quick check’ tasks that should be a simple verification of the current state; ‘critical projects’ to provide comfort that business as usual services are robust; and ‘Improvement Projects’ that would deliver tangible benefits with potentially minimal investment.

Following a successful CITA Tech Surgery report, the need for an IT Consultancy was identified to prepare a detailed technical Request for Tender to cover changes to the network, telephone systems and IT service management.  By the end of the consultancy an IT Supplier had been selected by the trustees to proceed with a server upgrade and provide improved ongoing support. Age UK Berkshire were also looking to obtain specific funding to support the cost of upgrading their telephone system.

What difference did CITA’s support make?

“Careful consideration was given to the needs of Age UK Berkshire and using the technical specification information gleaned from the Surgery, we contacted suppliers direct and got quotations for the hardware (without the surgery this would have been difficult).  Decisions have been made on software upgrades/changes and a move away from google. Decision on VOIP telephony to be made at a later date.

By using the Tech Surgery as an information gathering/auditing tool, this has enabled us to make decisions and have the confidence to order hardware directly from suppliers creating a large saving.  Also with several new team members in post with an IT understanding and a network of contacts from previous positions has enabled us to take this route.

Without CITA we would not be at the planning stages of implementation and by utilising the information gathered from CITA, enabling Age UK Berkshire’s decision making a much simpler process.”