Supporting multi-agency collaboration

The Plymouth and District Mind Association has been serving people in the region since 1984 and aim to promote social inclusion for all, and to empower people no matter what their mental health situation.

Having large international projects to manage, the charity looked to the Charity Technology Exchange to obtain new tools for project management. Through CTX, Plymouth and District Mind obtained Huddle Workspaces, currently being used by 41 staff members located in Plymouth.

“What we were severely lacking was a management system,” explains Graham. “We’re currently developing pan-European projects, working with countries such as Romania, Poland and Greece. This is what attracted us to Huddle.”

Huddle is a network of secure online workspaces for sharing files, collaborating on ideas, managing projects and organising virtual meetings. It enables teams to work more effectively across boundaries, both inside and outside the enterprise. Huddle is new to the CTX scheme and looks set to make a big difference to UK charities.

“We’ve had it for a couple of months,” Graham says, “and it’s already heavily used. We have many, many documents to pass around, particularly in this project – information to share and to edit. When you send emails back and forth you get multiple versions of files, whereas with Huddle we have a full audit trail.”

“I’ve run an initial search on GRANT finder – the UK’s leading grants and funding search database, obtained at a dramatic discount through CTX – for the areas that would be appropriate for us,” says Graham. “This has given me thirty pages of results already. But instead of going through this myself and organising with the different managers what they should look at, I’ve been able to upload the whole thing onto Huddle. Now the managers can look at it themselves, and be semi-autonomous in looking for funding – it’s enabled us to work far smarter than before.”

“As an organisation, we can store all our policies and accounts on Huddle. When we make a funding application, it often requires information that we’ve used before – we can now get immediate access to this without having to locate old filing. Other big advantages are the secure access and offsite backups.”

The CTX scheme is often used to enable UK charities to perform back-office functions faster and easier, by providing up-to-date software that otherwise they couldn’t afford. But with Huddle, the potential is there to transform the very way that they operate.

“I’m so thankful that I could get it through CTX,” Graham says.

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