Happy Days is a small charity that makes a big difference. Based in Luton, and operating across the UK, the charity provides memorable holidays and magical experiences to children who face adversity, reaching over 25,000 young people each year.
Launched in 1992, the charity employs 9 staff members at its Bedfordshire HQ, and relies heavily on local volunteer networks for practical and fundraising support.
The Happy Days website is an important focal point for the charity, acting as the main portal for funding applications.
Happy Days has been a FreshStance customer since 2016.
In 2016 Happy Days experienced significant IT problems. An ageing infrastructure, failing server and outdated software undermined the efficiency of operations, and both the website and email were unreliable.
Despite having employed a series of consultants, Happy Days could not find the right IT solution. Providers were often difficult to reach and offered no remote support, taking days to respond to issues.
“Because we are a charity we must be accountable”, explains Fundraising Manager Rob Cox. “We chose an IT option which wasn’t expensive, but was anything but cost effective in the long run. At one point we lost our website and email for 2 weeks, and that’s when we called in FreshStance.”
Urgent help was needed, to fix the website, email system and office network. The charity was also looking for longer-term solutions, including improvements to the IT infrastructure, reliable and secure systems and ongoing remote support.
FreshStance worked closely with Happy Days to develop workable IT solutions, meeting their immediate and longer-term requirements.
Prioritising the need to get the charity back online, the FreshStance technical team quickly restored the Happy Days website and email service.
“The crisis management response from FreshStance was absolutely fantastic”, said Rob Cox. “They worked outside of hours to get us back up and running and they managed to do so very, very quickly.”
Having brought the charity’s systems back to life, FreshStance discovered a variety of IT issues. Perhaps the most urgent of these was the lack of offsite back up – a solution, which Happy Days’ previous provider had failed to install.
FreshStance carried out a full network audit and moved quickly to reconfigure the existing server and install cloud back up. This gave Rob and his team complete peace of mind that charity data was stored securely, and could be accessed by staff from multiple locations.
“Security was certainly one of the issues that we were concerned about. Just knowing that our work is backed up and secure is so important to us”, said Rob.
FreshStance also migrated Happy Days’ emails to the cloud, enabling colleagues to access work remotely and allowing full calendar sharing.
Longer term solutions were developed to match the charity’s needs. FreshStance’s technical specialists worked with the Happy Days team
to build and deliver bespoke project support, providing lasting IT solutions, scalable for the future.
“FreshStance were different to our previous providers”, explains Rob.
“They spent time looking at our systems so that they could recommend solutions which were right for us. They put things in place which were right from the start, rather than adopting a sticking plaster approach. They made sure that the set up was right for our needs.”
With properly configured IT infrastructure, the charity now runs at maximum efficiency and can focus on raising valuable funds for young people. Staff can access work from multiple locations, and have peace of mind that their IT system is secure and reliable.
FreshStance provides Happy Days with ongoing remote support, responding quickly to IT issues whenever they arise.
“They always react quickly, even out of office hours”, says Rob. “The thing that really sets them above their competitors is that they get the job done whatever the time of day. When our website failed over a weekend, they had it back up and running within half an hour. Another big plus is their approach. The FreshStance team are always friendly, and explain things clearly without technical jargon.”
The charity has also seen a clear cost benefit in their new outsourced solution.
“More of our time can be dedicated to doing our jobs rather than sorting out IT problems”, explains Rob. “The fact that we are able to be more efficient, that we have good systems and support in place is a cost benefit. That’s the main advantage of finding a reliable outsourced IT provider. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Steve and the team at FreshStance.”
- Web Services: fix, secure, optimise and protect website
- Cloud Solutions: server and email
- Full network and security audit
- Reconfigure server and workstations
- Installed Office 365 to workstations
- Full anti-virus protection
- Ongoing 24/7 remote support