Better case management for peer mentoring programme
Children North East
Children North East works with children, young people and their parents who are living in poverty or whose lives are disadvantaged because of family misfortune – divorce or separation, eviction, redundancy, long term unemployment, victims of crime, imprisonment, long term ill health, depression or post traumatic stress. We believe it is just not fair some children do not get the same chances and breaks as their peers.
We run a Youth Link programme, which aims to improve communication and relationships between young people and their families, to help prevent family breakdown and reduce isolation. Youth Link peer-mentor volunteers provide one to one support to young people within their local community. The young people are referred for varying reasons and the support is focussed upon empowering their matched young people to achieve goals in order to get back on track within certain aspects of their lives. Examples of support vary from taking part in activities in order to meet new friends and build confidence, supporting them to access further education opportunities through to offering them time to talk about their problems.
The online referral and volunteer application forms have made a huge difference to us as it has removed a significant administrative burden of dealing with paper forms.
We had been using an Access database to record data about the Youth Link programme but this was showing it's age. It was difficult to use and it didn't generate all of the monitoring information that we needed. As a result we were also recording data in a number of spreadsheets, which lead to duplication and inconsistencies.
By moving to CiviCRM we hoped to keep all of our data in one place to make it much easier for us to keep track of our volunteers and the young people we work with.
The challenge was migrating our data to the new system and ensuring that we were able to generate the information that we required for our funders.
The Community IT Academy (CITA) provided the initial consultancy and developed a detailed specification for our needs. With CITA's help, we looked at a number of different options before selecting CiviCRM as the best fit for our needs. CITA also helped with the initial set up and provided some support and training during the first year.
GMCVO Databases were chosen to develop and host the CiviCRM system.
Why did this project use CiviCRM?
CiviCRM did everything that was promised and a lot more. We are now able to keep track of our volunteers and the young people we work with much more easily. A big bonus has been the ability to put our referral form online. This means that we no longer need to work with paper forms and new referrals go straight into the CiviCRM system.
We now have an online application form for volunteers and volunteers can to record their diary entries online. This has made it easier for our volunteers and increased the number of diary entries we receive. It has also saved us a lot of time recording this information manually.