Home-Start Lincolnshire – How we helped


Here at Clear Cloud we also help the charities sector with their needs. Locally, we have helped Home-Start Lincolnshire with their cloud computing.

Home-Start Lincolnshire consists of a group of charities based in Lincolnshire. Due to a significant loss in funding from Lincolnshire County Council decided to merge and create a single larger charity. They have been working in Lincolnshire since 1984 and the eight Home-Start schemes throughout Lincolnshire have trained volunteers to support local families for a combined total of nearly 32 years, helping over 1,000 families and 2,300 children each year.

The charity recognised a need for a flexible and cost effective IT foundation that would enable the charity to deliver its valuable family support services from any location. Some of the key drivers were to ensure staff could communicate with each other and access their documents from any location, including from home.

A member of staff at the Home-Start Lincoln office attended one of Clear Cloud’s free breakfast events for charities. They learnt about the cost savings which can be achieved by adopting Microsoft’s 365 platform versus an on premise server based model. Many organisations adopt Office 365 to store their emails and do not utilise the additional features they get which are included in their subscription.
For example, Home-Start Lincolnshire are using SharePoint and OneDrive to store all of their files and folders in team sites which has helped communication and collaboration. By using the full Office 365 feature set, Home-Start Lincolnshire are now 100% cloud based and have not needed to purchase costly servers. This also means they can move offices very easily and do not need to worry about server hardware replacements every 4-5 years.

Clear Cloud have ensured the charity is being as cost effective as possible by moving to Office 365, with significant efficiency and productivity value now too. All minutes for meetings and action points are stored and shared via OneNote, the time saved in this alone has been significant.

We live in a world where communication and access should be available 24/7, and a key driver was the ability to communicate with each other from various locations. The fact different charities were merging into one meant it was important that staff could ‘see’ and communicate with each other across all their offices. In order to assist with this aspect of the project we rolled out our hosted Skype for Business unified communications platform which integrates tightly with Office 365.
Tracey Ruddock, CEO of Home-Start Lincolnshire stated: “I no longer send an email which gets lost in the hundreds of others, or pick up a phone to call the office to simply ask if they are free to talk to me. I can now see instantly what they are doing.”
“We had a process problem in one of our offices and we were able to get it solved within seconds by asking the question by instant message, that alone saved hours of time trying to problem solve.”