“Because people are worth mending.”

logoWho are they?

Where are they?


What do they do?
 Provide counselling for individuals, couples and families

How big are they?
Turnover of under £200,000

What did they receive?
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional and Office Professional Plus 2010.

The outcome?
Office systems moved from old floppy disk model to a new, modern database.
The charity Cogwheel was founded 22 years ago to provide confidential counselling and related services for individuals, couples and families in the Cambridge area.

“In this country – whatever your opinion of the NHS – we are very good at caring for people’s physical health,” explains Jeremy Barnett at the charity. “But when it comes to non-physical conditions – stress or depression, for instance – this country has been very poor. When we started, we provided the equivalent of a doctor’s help for these conditions.”

Cogwheel’s professional counselling and psychotherapy sessions have helped thousands of people over the years, and as attitudes to that area within the NHS have developed, the charity has found itself closer to other healthcare professionals. “In the past few years, we’ve started working directly with some surgeries,” says Jeremy. “So we will have somebody based in a surgery, with the GP providing the room and reception facilities.”  

2010 has been a year of change for the charity, with the lease expiring on its old premises. A move to a bigger building provided the opportunity to introduce more PC workstations, and was a natural time to review Cogwheel’s IT.

“We had one new desktop donated, and we bought two more,” says Jeremy. “But our old software dated back to 2001. The charity i-Trust looked at our requirements, recommended new software and put us in touch with CTX.”

With up-to-date versions of Microsoft Windows and Office now installed, the charity has found its IT working environment transformed. “It’s been a key improvement,” reports Jeremy. “In our area, if you want grants you have to provide detailed statistics with regards to your clients; there are set measures within our profession. This requires an extensive database. Before we upgraded, we were working on floppy disks, maintaining a system on a machine that dated back to the 1990s.”

Like so many other small charities on limited incomes, Cogwheel have been adept at this ‘making do’ over the years – there can’t be many commercial businesses who still managed with floppy disks at the beginning of this year. Nevertheless, upgrades were needed, and acquiring the Microsoft donations will bring big improvements and save much staff time – without eating into core budgets.

“Getting the software from CTX was a straightforward procedure,” says Jeremy. “CTX is the kind of service that greatly assists small charities. It makes them much more cost-effective.”



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