Play schemes for disabled children and their families.

Who are they?
DISABILITY CHALLENGERS.

Where are they?
Surrey.

What do they do?
Provide play and leisure schemes for the county’s disabled children and young people.

How big are they?
20 Full-time staff, with a substantial pool of other employees and volunteers.

What did they receive?
Symantec backup exec, plus Microsoft software including Windows & SQL servers, Office Professional Plus and Office 2008 for Mac

The outcome?
Large multi-site operation running on top-quality IT and database systems.
 
 
Disability Challengers is a highly successful regional charity. Providing play and leisure/youth schemes at centres in Guildford and Farnham and through community-based programmes further afield, the charity has become central to the lives of hundreds of disabled people across the county of Surrey.

“We work with around 1200 children each year – that’s around 120,000 child-hours of commitment,” reports Jonathan Dobson, one of the charity’s twenty full-time employees. “We have people with a whole range of disabilities, including a high number with very complex impairments. We also have a few schemes that are totally open for both disabled and non-disabled children.”

Clearly, this is a complex operation. “We’re a multi-site organisation: a mix of home-workers and staff based in different offices using traditional PC’s. That’s why good IT is so very important. As well as the computers and phone network, we now run four Microsoft servers,” says Jonathan.
 
 

 
CTX donations have provided much of this infrastructure. “The SQL server was needed to run our new accounts software – very boring!” laughs Jonathan. “And then there is our bookings database, and a database for staff – at the time these were the biggest things that we’d done, IT wise.” Of course, one of the CTX scheme’s key benefits is that it provides charities with access to unglamorous yet necessary equipment – items for which many organisations find it difficult to raise funds.

Jonathan agrees. “We need a payroll system… because we need to pay people,” he says. “Just because we’re a charity doesn’t mean that we should run a second-rate infrastructure. We need to operate efficiently and professionally – but we’d have had to find a huge amount to pay market rates for this sort of software. CTX provides it at envy-making prices.”

“It’s brilliant,” Jonathan concludes of the donation scheme. “It was one of our suppliers who recommended CTX. We went to their website – and never looked back.”
 
 
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