Humber & Wolds Rural Community Council

Humber & Wolds Rural Community Council is a small charity based in Barton upon Humber and works with rural communities in East Yorkshire, North and North East Lincolnshire.

When it came to IT, Humber & Wolds Rural Community Council’s IT system had been an issue for some time. The charity were looking to improve their network, servers and internet service to achieve a simple system that would provide the charity with a system that works well both in the office environment and when the team are working from home or out in the communities they serve. Additionally they needed to achieve certain levels of security to meet the requirements of NHS Local Clinical Commissioning Groups.

In March 2016, Humber & Wolds Rural Community Council applied to CITA for a Tech Surgery. CITA’s volunteer, Steve Smith, discussed a number of questions around the internet provider and the services which the charity should have been receiving, plans to migrate to Office365 and the configuration of their local area network.

Steve suggested the charity contact their account manager with regard to their internet provision, seeking clarity on their present services and what could be available. Steve further advised that migrating services onto a Cloud platform would enable the charity to simplify their Local Area Network but noted that moving to Cloud services would not solve access problems when the team are in areas with no broadband or mobile data network cover. However, it would significantly reduce their dependency on hardware, local power and broadband issues, thus mitigating a number of potential business risks.

Peter Hirschfeld, Community Development Co-ordinator reported, “The Tech Surgery support that we received from CITA was extremely helpful and not too techy that we could not understand a way forward for us. It made us feel that we could do this, and that it would not be as difficult as we had thought.”

Initially the charity used the information from the Tech Surgery, and a pre-written letter provided by CITA’s volunteer, to contact their local network provider to ask about their current system and how they could upgrade to a faster service. The surgery also explained what they would need to do before moving to a Cloud based system. Following that advice, Humber & Wolds completed an audit of their current system and what they would need to do to get up and running on the cloud. This information was then provided to a number of local companies to quote for the work.

“I think that the support from the Tech Surgery has helped us to understand more clearly what we have to do and also what is possible for the organisation. The cost savings at the moment will be small, but the chance to be able to work more effectively remotely will be a great boon to us. Rurality means that internet connections will be somewhat hit and miss, but when working from a decent connection, either at home or out in the patch, we will be able to do and see so much more with our beneficiaries.”

“Your help has been invaluable. We would not have got to where we are today without the support and encouragement from CITA.”

Image courtesy of Goole Times