Youth for Christ's SharePoint development

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Polymorph create a robust, reliable infrastructure for charity Youth For Christ.

Challenge

YFC is a unique organisation, with staff members dealing with a wide variety of issues, from child protection policies through to managing holiday requests. With such a wide remit of work, YFC required a system that enables staff to respond to general queries and other administrative tasks whilst offering the functionality to also deal with emergency responses and other important duties.

YFC has been migrating away from its existing on-premise architecture, comprised of Office 2003, Exchange 2003 and SharePoint 2007. It has transitioned onto Office 365 to provide increased service and functionality for email and Office capability, and as part of this move, a migration and enhancement to the SharePoint portal was required.

YFC therefore needed an update to SharePoint that could be rolled out across the 71 centres and easily used by its staff with minimal training. It needed to be a quick, easy-to-manage system so that staff can access, edit, and send policy and procedure documents, and record activity in sensitive cases where child protection comes into play.

Solution

Polymorph was tasked with creating an update to SharePoint that met the internal as well as external needs of YFC, with policy documents kept up-to-date so that the correct versions are sent to external parties such as social workers.

One of the areas that necessitated the upgrade was an old server that was liable to failure, meaning YFC would be exposed without any back-up servers. The server had failed in the past and meant the network was offline for a week during the server rebuild; a disastrous position for any organisation to be in.

Polymorph stepped in to help YFC, understanding that the upgrade was extremely business critical, but needed to be achieved at a reasonably price considering YFC’s charity status. This is where Polymorph’s longstanding relationship with Microsoft came into play, with Polymorph negotiating on behalf of YFC for the lowest cost for the Office 365 and SharePoint upgrade.

Polymorph then set about designing a custom intranet portal in YFC brand guidelines, which contained all new applications for expenses, holiday and meeting management as well as the important new policy and procedure document libraries. Within these new applications, bespoke workflow enhances the capability of the new product and ensures it is easy to use.

Result

The new intranet is so easy to use that only basic training was required for the senior staff, so that they could feed this information down through their teams. This allows users to learn the system on the job, saving time taken up by training.

With this new intranet in place, YFC is now able to return focus to its core operations, looking after youth around the UK. It no longer needs to worry about email systems crashing, helping staff on the ground to carry on caring for the youth in their respective communities.

Client

Youth for Christ (YFC) is a national Christian charity whose purpose is to work with the huge number of young people in the UK, from every background and culture, communicating the Christian faith. With over 200 staff operating from 71 locations, it is a unique organisation catering for a vast demographic of young people.

Throughout the UK, the YFC local centres tackle real issues facing youth today, such as family breakdown, binge drinking, bullying and self-worth. It does this by running activities such as drop-in youth clubs, school lessons, social action projects and youth work on the streets.

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Polymorph provided us with a new intranet that created a better synergy between teams as well as a new level of professionalism, exactly what we needed as the organisation grows to help more and more young people in the UK
Richard Bromley, Local Ministries Director
Youth for Christ