Charity wields futuristic technology against an age-old problem

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By eightwireify | Friday, January 10, 2014, 15:56

A new charity has turned to technology to

address the age-old problems associated with sexual violence and domestic abuse

in the community.

The charity, named Skoodhya after the

Cornish verb to assist, has installed a state-of-the-art "private cloud" system

that allows charity workers to operate remotely while keeping information safe

and secure.

The private cloud will, its trustees say,

help it offer support to victims of violence and abuse with vigour and


As well as building public awareness of how

to deal with abuse, the charity offers vital support to victims of harmful

behaviour and educates the public to help reduce the likelihood of such harmful

behaviour in the future.

Supported by organisations, including the

NHS, the police and Cornwall Council, Skoodhya runs several related projects

including the SAFE Project that builds awareness in young people of abusive

relationships and ways to keep safe, the Willow Centre, Cornwall's sexual

assault referral centre, a  support

service for men and women who have been sexually assaulted and a service to

support people who are called to attend inquests.

The charity's work requires its team of 24

core staff and additional volunteers to hot-desk and work efficiently together

regardless of where they are in the county.

To make this work the charity, which is

about  to mark its first year in

operation, operates the private cloud which, as well as being secure, manages

document versioning as well as handling vital backing-up automatically. It

offers a high degree of security which is vital for an organization dealing

with sensitive client information relating to victims of what are the most

serious crimes.

The system was installed by CF Systems of

Redruth who have become big supporters of the work of Skoodhya—even donating

some of the IT hardware in an effort to help.

Sally Piper, chief executive of Skoodhya,

said: "As someone who has worked in charities for some time I know that poor IT

infrastructure is capable of keeping a charity from performing its best and we

are not prepared to let that happen. We are very grateful for the support and

help of CF Systems.

"It's possible to waste precious time

finding workarounds to IT problems but I am a firm believer that there is no

substitute for setting up a robust infrastructure from the outset that will

allow us to take this charity into the future."

Tim Neasom, business development manager

for CF Systems, said: "Domestic abuse and sexual violence  is clearly a serious issue and we've

been really impressed to see this charity with a vision of how technology can

work for them. Though a small gesture, we were pleased to have been able to

help by donating a small part of the system hardware—but the real win for us is

seeing this charity able to help people more effectively."

Sally added: "I think this is the way

charities should be going in the future and I would recommend to anyone running

a charity that they consider what IT infrastructure they think they need from

an early stage and find someone who can work with them to make it a solution."

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