From April 2009 to March 2010, DOT-COMmunICaTions supported and assisted 114 third sector organisations within the Borough and, in the process, healthchecked 83 computer systems.
Of the organisations, DOT-COMmunICaTions supported throughout the year
72 were local voluntary and community organisations
32 were not-for-profit social enterprises with voluntary sector aims
10 were faith organisations.
42 of these organisations elected to use pay-as-you-go services rather than opt for a service contract at this time.
In fact, ALL of our client organisations used additional DOT-COMmunICaTions services with the provision of refurbished IT equipment being the most popular secondary services, followed by our web design services.
Of the 20 survey forms returned by our clients, 98% stated themselves satisfied with ALL aspects of our service, including helpfulness of staff, avoiding unnecessary jargon and treating their problem(s) with respect and knowledge and professionalism of our staff as well overall satisfaction.
Throughout the year, we provided our clients with 65 on-site service visits including initial health checks (but not including telephone advice and remote support calls) and 18 other visits or sessions, as well as 32 in-house repairs and provided a variety of web design services to 9 of our clients.
We calculate that we saved our client organisations over £19,000 in the year with each client saving an average of £293 each time they used our services (not including return service visits, advice calls and remote support).
Note: the savings were calculated by comparing DOT-COMmunICaTions charges with similar services or costs from the cheapest alternative supplier, rather than our usual (and more expensive) local ‘competitors’.
For example the cost of our IT support contracts was compared with other voluntary sector IT providers, rather than PC World’s ‘The Tech Guys’ or Carphone Warehouse’s ‘the Geek Squad’ IT Support schemes.
The biggest savings were in services provided by DOT-COMmunICaTions itself followed by reductions in the cost of licensed software obtained through us.
One of our independent services is 3R-iT, a computer recycling and refurbishment pilot project.
3R-iT (Refurbish, Recycle, Retrain through IT Recovery) is a not-for-profit scheme which aims to collect unwanted IT equipment for repair, refurbishment and sale or donation to local not-for-profit organisations, as part of the Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher scheme (the only such registered body located within Calderdale). Older, damaged, or below minimum specification hardware is recycled in-house to above WEEE specifications. All data is securely wiped to above MoD standard.
In 2009, we qualified as an accreditted member of the Regional Electronics Initiative, the first new organisation to qualify for three years.
Throughout the year, 3R-iT managed over 26.9 tonnes of unwanted IT equipment from within Calderdale intended for landfill, with almost 85% of that material being subsequently refurbished and reconditioned to benefit local community groups, and individuals on low income.
The remainder of the material was broken down into base components and properly recycled through local WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) recyclers. For example, the plastic from the cases was separated out and sent to a nearby plastic recycler to be remade into plastic furniture.
Some plastic recycling facts:
In addition, 3R-iT carries out a weekly collection of cardboard and packaging from a number of local businesses for reuse as packaging for our refurbished equipment, further reducing landfill and saving donor businesses disposal charges.
DOT-COMmunICaTions, primarily through 3R-iT, also provides employment training and work experience in IT and refurbishment techniques to long term unemployed people, or those who have previously experienced mental health problems.
Our parent organisation was named West Yorkshire’s Best New Deal Placement Provider in 2007 and DOT-COMmunICaTions was named Employer of the Year in 2008. They were also awarded the Duke of York Community Initiative in 2007 and again in 2010.
38 trainees receiving work experience in 2009. 16 of the trainees had previously suffered from mental illness or a history of depression or problem behaviour and 22 had been long-term unemployed. We also had 37 volunteers and mentors working alongside our staff supporting the trainees.
14 trainees and volunteers subsequently found full-time employment (classed as 16 or more hours a week) as a result. This has saved tax payers a substantial amount in benefits.
As of the 1st of April 2010, we had 5 trainees, 7 volunteers, 7 volunteer mentors and 5 staff in residence. Several of the staff team have over 27 years of experience in ICT.