Continuity plan helps pandemic-proof charity

A charity helping alleviate homelessness and hardship in the North West has ensured its services go uninterrupted during the pandemic, after dialling into support from Nice Network.

Terry Lewis

03/02/2021

A charity helping alleviate homelessness and hardship in the North West has ensured its services go uninterrupted during the pandemic, after dialling into support from Nice Network.

The Brick, based in Wigan, is a charity with five key strands, all of which have one sole focus, to support the homeless, those in debt and those in poverty.

This includes the provision of supported and emergency accommodation, crisis intervention, outreach, asset coaching, three charitable retail sites, a foodbank and The Brick Works, offering training to increase the employment opportunities for those who are out of work with its wood working and machine workshop, and two social enterprises – a leather re-use enterprise, and Gearing Up, a bike recycling and repair service.

However, while diversification and providing a holistic approach to homeless support has been key to the organisation’s success over the past 13 years, the charity – like most others in the sector – was hit hard during the pandemic as the majority of its crisis intervention services, as well as back-office and admin support, were forced to go online to help fight the spread of the virus.

After agreeing to execute its business continuity plan, many of the organisation’s staff switched to remote working, with residents being moved to alternative accommodation where possible and phone lines – powered by Nice Network – being set up to help those most in need continue to utilise their facilities and ensuring staff could continue providing support.

Mel Walls, Admin & Infrastructure Manager at The Brick, said: “We were introduced to Nice Network through a local IT company that I had contacted in relation to procuring IT support. Terry, our account manager, was introduced to me in August and we started working with the company by September or October, the process was seamless.”

She added: “We are very pleased with the support we’ve received from the company over the past few months. Our account manager [Terry] is always very responsive to our requests and has been great in terms of ensuring we have had all of the relevant equipment for our staff, be it at the office or at home. They really have been incredibly helpful.”

Terry Lewis, Business Development Manager at Nice Network, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Mel and the team at The Brick over the past few months and ensuring its business continuity plan was able to be rolled out in as smooth and safe a way as possible.

“Charities the length and breadth of the UK have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic – not only due to the closing of facilities, but also the cancelling of events such as charity fundraisers.  Collaboration tools and mobile technology have been key to ensuring the vital services they provide have continued.”

For more information on Nice Network, visit: https://nicenetwork.uk/