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How we look after leading charity, Black Country Women’s Aid

July 03, 2023
5 min read

Black Country Women’s Aid (BCWA) is a progressive West Midlands charity that has supported victims of domestic abuse, rape and sexual violence, exploitation and stalking for over 35 years supporting thousands of victims. As the charity has grown they have expanded their locations across the West Midlands to meet the needs of victims.

BCWA is a quality provider commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Office of the Police Crime Commissioner, local authorities and grant funders. They operate a 24/7/365 service responding to victim’s needs, providing in-person, direct support, emergency accommodation and help and advice.  Referrals are received from a range of statutory and non-statutory providers where information security is paramount. This busy highly confidential service has therefore needed reliable high tech IT and communications infrastructure that enables the charity to function efficiently and effectively.

BCWA does not compromise on standards and has achieved nationally accredited standards for service delivery. They are clear that these standards needed to be matched by an IT provider as they do not have onsite technical support to address issues and problems. Due to the nature of their services and risk to people’s lives they have robust business continuity plans that reduce the potential for “down time”.

Hubtel IT has assisted BCWA throughout its many years supporting victims initially providing a simple telecommunications infrastructure in one site and a handful (6) of mobile phones. This has since expanded to provide a networked system across all their sites (5) with all 200+ support workers having mobile phones.

Like many organisations they had separate providers for IT and photocopiers. On a practical level they were faced with liaising with a number of providers whose contract was interdependent with each other but operated as separate contracts. They were frustrated with many “down days” that affected their services provision and the amount of time it took to “get everyone in the same room at the same time” when problems occurred. In addition they assessed their financial situation and having separate providers of telephones, IT and photocopiers and considered the overall costs unsustainable for the charity.

BCWA researched comparative costs working with a number of integrated providers of IT, telephone and photocopier and chose Hubtel IT to be their managed service provider (MSP).

The benefits of having Hubtel IT as one integrated provider are:

  • Systems of IT, phones and copiers are interconnected
  • Expertise of one provider with a skilled and expertise team to provider a tailor made infrastructure that meets business needs
  • Responsive reducing “downtime” with minimal impact on the service
  • Competitive pricing creating better value for money and “buying power”
  • Use of latest technology to ensure standards remain high
  • Can assist in reviewing IT infrastructure strategy as the organisation expands and grows
  • Adherence to industry standards ( Cyber Essentials standards)
  • One account manager Marie Gauntlett who is responsive, solution focused and understands the needs of the charity and meets and discusses regularly the day to day use of equipment as well as the short- long term strategy.

How BCWA has progressed since Hubtel IT has provided the IT, Communications and Copier services:

  • Achieved Cyber Essentials (CE) and CE+ standards of security
  • Achieved IASME governance standards
  • Working within ISO Information security standards
  • Provision of regular reporting of risks, asset register, issues and problems
  • Training and development where needed (issues identified that BCWA staff needed training)
  • Good systems for renewals and replacements
  • Easy system to report problems and Hubtel IT and excellent response time
  • Excellent communication with quarterly business review meetings  – one call provides immediate solutions
  • IT network moved to the Cloud allowing scalability and flexibility for agile working  
  • Significant reduction in costs for copier/printing services
  • Competitive pricing for IT and telecommunications (comparisons are regularly undertaken).
  • BCWA has been chosen as Hubtel IT charity of the year and  fulfils its corporate social responsibility  by contributing to fundraising events either participating or sponsoring prizes

Sara Ward BCWA CEO said:

As our charity grew so did Hubtel IT; they understood our needs, the money we had and how ambitious we were and translated them into IT solutions that meant we could get on with supporting victims at an affordable price . We would not be where we are today without them. They are a pleasure to work with and no problem too small. We know we are in safe hands having them support the charity with their technical expertise.”

Hubtel IT also supports the charity sector through a pledge of our services on the Make Good Grow platform and are an affiliate member of the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands who actively support charities against the threat of cyber crime. 

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