Together Trust

As one of the North West’s leading disability charities, Together Trust has been championing and supporting people with disabilities, autism, and complex health needs for over 150 years.

Offering over 40 different specialist services for young people and families, Together Trust wanted to better understand the needs of its service users and ensure that its staff and carers’ daily jobs are fully supported through the use of digital tools.

The charity wanted the people and families who use and commission its services to feel more connected and supported, but with so many different services available, it was easy for the user’s experience to become disjointed.

After many years using basic tools to manage workloads and day-to-day tasks, the charity recognised that a more collaborative approach was required to create a seamless journey for the end user. Julie Isted, Director of Governance and External Affairs at Together Trust explains, “We want to make it easier inside for people to connect, and we believe increased digital technology and its application will help get us there.”

Phoenix worked with the charity to devise the original strategy to integrate Microsoft 365 over a period of time. But, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it dramatically accelerated the charity’s need to put in place a standardised, secure solution that everyone could utilise to encourage service use, and the resolution was required almost instantly.

“Phoenix were very responsive to our needs as a charity. From start to finish it only took about 12 weeks, which is pretty remarkable. Microsoft Teams is very well embedded now, encouraging a lot more collaboration; it’s been really beneficial in terms of people being able to connect in ways that they didn't before.”
Trevor Kerr, Head of Digital Together Trust

Phoenix stepped up to help structure a roadmap that would take the organisation to where it needed to be, quickly. We combined all of its networks together from different locations, which allowed us to create a single workflow pinned on Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Outlook, and trained Together Trust’s workforce in how to use these tools.

Speed was crucial for this project to allow the charity to be able to continue to provide support and services to the community while working remotely during lockdown. For example, Microsoft Teams for Classrooms enabled the charity to continue some of the work it has been doing with students, such as speech therapy, which meant that that the service wasn’t impacted by the pandemic. We were able to use our expert knowledge to ensure that a solution was delivered not only rapidly, but securely too. Oliver Barrett, Solutions Business Manager at Phoenix comments, “The Together Trust has got a fantastic platform for its data, its security around the Microsoft Azure Active Directory, and its Office 365 platform.”

We are currently working on a Dynamics piece to create a fundraising page and CRM system, and over the next three to six months, we will work with Together Trust on a full migration to SharePoint. Andrea Cowell, Charities and Housing Account Manager at Phoenix says of the ongoing project, ‘We don’t view Together Trust as simply a customer; it is a partnership.’

A combination of Dynamics, PowerApps, and Business BI are the pillars of the Microsoft infrastructure that we’re putting in place to support the charity on their mission to create a society where people thrive because they are valued within their communities.

If you’d like to explore how Microsoft 365 can benefit your organisation, please contact Phoenix on 01904 562200 or email [email protected].