York Women’s Counselling Service: Guest Blog

York Women’s Counselling Service are a small charity based in central York, providing face to face counselling to women in York and the surrounding areas who are experiencing difficulties as a result of current or past emotional stress or trauma. We have two part-time members of staff who work alongside a network of qualified volunteer counsellors to support the many women who access our service.

As with many small charities, we have up until now been an organisation that has struggled to make the best use of technology to support and maximise on the work that we do. Consequently, we found that information was becoming more difficult to manage through paper-based systems, time was being wasted searching for data that should have been easily accessible and keeping in touch with our donors in a professional and consistent manner was becoming increasingly tasking. We knew that we wanted to modernise our charity by establishing a system that was more sophisticated, streamlined and secure, but we didn’t know how…until we met the team through York Cares!

York Cares connected us with Anaplan – an international IT solutions company that specialise in connecting communities of people with data to enhance decision making. Richard, one of their exceptional consultants responded to the call from York Cares and then brought on board colleagues, Dafinka from Anaplan and Nigel from CapGemini. Together they have given their time and vast amount of experience on a pro bono basis (3 days funded through company volunteering schemes the rest through their personal generosity) to help us to implement a Customer Relationship Management System into our small charity. This project is ongoing, and we are currently in the test and build phase, but the difference that it has made already is truly transformational for YWCS. We now have a low-cost one stop system which enables us to see and connect all of our key client, staff, volunteer and supporter information in one place!

Richard, Dafinka and Nigel have worked tirelessly and so caringly to make sure that all of our requirements have been met. This has included holding a number of workshop sessions with us to go through the detail of our workflows and regular briefings on options and solutions at every step of the way. Their expertise, knowledge and passion for what they do has been fantastic and we are truly grateful for the time they have given to us and the high quality product that they have developed for us. We cannot recommend the team highly enough!

Sam, York Women’s Counselling Service.