Barnardo’s, one of the UK’s leading children charities, has turned to cloud content collaboration technology to enable volunteers nationwide to securely share information with the charity’s staff. Using Huddle, volunteers across the UK now have a fast and secure electronic way of sharing meeting notes, which include details of interactions with children, young people and families with internal teams at Barnardo’s.
Working with more than 200,000 children, young people and their families each year, the charity’s mission is to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children through its projects, campaigning and research expertise. With around 900 projects running nationwide, many of the ventures rely on volunteers to support their work. Activities undertaken by volunteers include befriending and mentoring, helping to run play schemes and day trips, and acting as advocates. When meeting with children, young people and families, all observations, interactions and activities have to be recorded to ensure that there are no gaps in someone’s story.
Traditionally, a number of different methods and extranet portals were used by volunteers to get their recordings on the central record. Although all methods were secure, the variance had an impact on the amount of training and support that volunteers needed. Managing the different processes was proving costly in terms of both time and money for the volunteers and Barnardo’s. Tom Rees, Assistant Director IS, Barnardo’s explains:
“Regardless of whether a volunteer had access to our internal system or extranet, training and time resources were becoming a real challenge and we needed a much simpler but still secure way to share sensitive information. Email simply isn’t secure enough and we’d used Huddle on a project previously so knew it met our security requirements. Pan-government accreditation at IL2 and other certifications such as ISO 27001 were essential and Huddle ticks all the boxes.”
Using Huddle Note, the volunteers can easily and securely write-up their notes on any internet-enabled PC, creating and saving them directly into Huddle’s secure cloud. Granular permissions ensures that each volunteer can only access the folder that has been specifically created for them. Once a document has been created via Huddle Note, the volunteer will then notify one of the internal staff members at Barnardo’s who will transfer the file onto their internal system for archiving.
“For us, Huddle is for our dynamic content – the doing and notifying – rather than long term storage and archiving, which is what our internal system is used for. Given the nature of the content we deal with, audit trails, permissions and security were all critical for us, but the great thing with Huddle is that it’s easy for people to understand from the offset. They should get up and running immediately with very little guidance. Everyone on Huddle’s team understands our requirements and the support we’ve had during the set up and ongoing from our customer success manager has been fantastic. As more and more people want secure access to information from home, the demand for services like Huddle is only going to increase and the service has given us an easy way of being able to work with external partners. ”
Looking ahead, Barnardo’s plans to roll out Huddle to more areas of the organization as it provides the ideal service for collaboration with external agencies and bidding on partnership projects.
“It’s great to see innovative cloud technology being used to support the fantastic work of one of the UK’s leading children’s charities,” says Alastair Mitchell, CEO, Huddle. “With almost 150 years of history, Barnardo’s is a shining example of an organisation that is now using technology to help achieve its goals and support the volunteers and staff nationwide.”