Keeping Lothian’s not-for-profit sector on the move

Lothian Community Transport Services logoWho are they?
LOTHIAN COMMUNITY TRANSPORT SERVICES.

Where are they?
Offices in Edinburgh & Midlothian.

What do they do?
Provide transport services for not-for-profit organisations.

How big are they?
Turnover of around £500,000.

What did they receive?
Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, Encarta Premium 2008 DVD, Digital Image Suite 2006, MapPoint 2006 Europe; Symantec Norton Internet Security 2008.

The outcome?
Office systems re-equipped with latest software.

One of the UK’s oldest community transport projects, with a history dating back to the early 1970’s, Lothian Community Transport Services exists to provide non-for-profit organisations in Edinburgh, Midlothian and West Lothian with the transport that they need to carry out their activities.

Lothian Community Transport Services

“There’s no typical client,” says the charity’s Kenny Duncan, talking through some of the 350 member organisations that use LCTS’s vehicles. “We have everyone from pre-school playgroups through to youth groups, pensioner groups and people with disabilities.”

These vehicles are provided on a self-drive or with-driver basis, at a fraction of the cost of basic commercial hire. But LCTS’s minibuses are anything but basic. “These are fully-accessible vehicles,” explains Kenny, “equipped with lift equipment and other accessibility aids. Our drivers are also there to provide assistance to the users, and are trained accordingly.”

Despite boasting a website that offers online minibus booking and details of the extensive driver and assistant training packages the charity provides, Kenny cheerfully admits that the office IT facilities are ‘basic’. With the charity’s turnover around only £500,000, the budget available for computer software is tight at best.

“We found CTX provided software at a fraction of the cost that we were paying before,” says Kenny, who has recently taken delivery of a second donation from Microsoft that has equipped the charity’s computers with up-to-date Office software. “To do this and pay full price for the licenses would have been cost prohibitive,” he comments. The charity can also now use MS Digital Image Suite to help produce its newsletters and website.

From Symantec, the charity received donations of Norton Internet Security in order to defend its computers and data against external threats. “Norton is invaluable to us,” insists Kenny. “We don’t have greatly advanced IT requirements, but we need to know that what we do have is safe.”

LCTS is a great example of a small charity who have found themselves suddenly able to acquire software facilities that larger organisations might take for granted, and Kenny professes himself delighted with the results. “Even the service from CTX was top-class – getting the licenses and the physical delivery of the software. We’re extremely pleased.”

 
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