Bringing the North Eastern communities together.

Vonne logo
Who are they?
VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS NETWORK NORTH EAST.

Where are they?
Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

What do they do?
Ensure the voluntary and community sector play a full part in the life of the North East

How big are they?
Regional umbrella organisation for local community groups

What did they receive?
MS Exchange Server with 20x Standard User CAL; 20x Windows Server User CAL; Office Professional Plus 2007. Symantec Norton SystemWorks SE

The outcome?
Systems upgraded without diverting money from other budgets.

VONNE – the Voluntary Organisations Network North East – exists to bring together the multitude of voluntary and community organisations that are based in that part of England.

A registered charity itself, it provides a backbone of resources, facilities and knowledge for its members, both large and small, whilst acting as a lobbyist for their interests amongst the ‘big players’ in the region.

Carrie Brookes, the Information and Communications Manager at the charity, takes up the story. “Our small groups don’t have many resources – but we get them a seat at the table,” she explains. “There is a huge amount of money that passes through the Regional Development Agency, for example – our aim is to help them get access to that.”

“We provide an information service – to let our members know what’s happening in the health sector, for instance. Or when there’s a large policy document issued by government, we’ll read it and try to make it accessible to voluntary groups.”

All the varied strands of VONNE’s work provide a major administration and IT challenge. “So much of what we do is computer based,” stresses Carrie. “We’re a huge user of email and products like Calendar – you could not overestimate its importance to us. That’s why CTX has been a great boost for us.”

The charity’s first encounter with CTX has led to a major systems upgrade – industry standard software from Microsoft and Symantec has been installed across the organisation. “We needed to have this anyway – we couldn’t have done without it” says Carrie. “The money would have had to come from another budget.”

In keeping with its role, VONNE has gone one step further in its relationship with CTX – its regional ICT ‘champion’ is pushing the scheme to member organisations, trying to ensure that even the smallest voluntary group is able to access donations from Microsoft, Symantec and others. In the meantime, VONNE itself counts itself as a very satisfied customer.

“We got discounted software before,” says Carrie, “but nothing like this. It’s fantastic!”

 

 
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