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Local Authorities Secure Forms Use Case

Use Case: Secure Forms for Local Authorities

Local authorities need information from their residents, staff and suppliers all the time, and these records are highly likely to include personal or sensitive information.

It is definitely not appropriate to ask users to share this information over email, but it’s still common practice. Email is not secure, which means risking a GDPR breach, plus there is no guarantee of delivery. Furthermore, email cannot support the transfer of large files.

Online forms provide a secure, customisable mechanism for users to submit information. They are a popular feature of managed file transfer systems, because they can capture any type of information, including files of any size. Fields can also be configured to trigger onward processes, or integrate with other systems.

To demonstrate the versatility and functionality of secure online forms with automation, let’s look at some use cases.

Use case #1: Reporting incidents

When a local resident wants to report an incident such as potholes, vandalism, litter, or drug use, secure forms can be used to capture the data and automate onward processing.

To begin with, the secure form is capable of matching the location of the incident to the local authority’s jurisdiction. The form can also capture images, of any file size, and then automatically move them to a defined file location.

Integration with other in-house systems also allows incidents to be assigned to the relevant team, or for automated responses about the progression of the report to be sent.

Use case #2: Adult and child social care – reporting concerns

In this scenario, any data relating to the reporter, or the subject, is highly sensitive so security is critical.

Capturing this data in a secure form enables it to be automatically and securely moved to the correct file location. In addition, alerts could be set to notify the relevant team member based on keywords in the submission.

A human action can be inserted at any point in the automation sequence. For example, once the form has been submitted and data distributed to the correct file locations, a human action can be set for an employee to review the submission and categorise the report in terms of urgency, refined locality, or severity.

Alternatively, or once this human action is complete, the report can be automatically assigned to a case handler, or a call out can be automatically set up.

Use case #3: Community transport and parking permits

A secure form can automate the booking process for community transport by capturing user data and matching it against a database. This ensures that bookings are recorded and remaining spaces are updated accordingly in real time, maintaining accuracy of availability information. Users’ eligibility can also be checked by validating a postcode against a database of accepted locations.

In the case of parking permits, uploaded files of car ownership and insurance documentation can be submitted and matched against each other. When a match is identified, an action to grant the permit can be automatically triggered, freeing up employees’ time to focus on other tasks.

How could this work for your organisation?

All of these processes take place without human intervention, demonstrating how much more efficient these time-consuming tasks could be. Similar examples are also applicable to other industries, such as mortgage brokers, doctors and private healthcare providers, or any outsourced business service, such as HR or payroll.

These are fairly simple use-cases, but there’s no end to the automation capabilities that can be applied. We recently customised secure online forms for a company sequencing hundreds of thousands of anonymised records of biological data. Customised logic built around metadata in mandatory fields in the form triggered the next step in the process.

Can you see how your organisation could benefit from adding secure online forms to your infrastructure? Get in touch for a chat now. Alternatively, complete our Managed File Transfer (MFT) comparison – answer a series of questions about business requirements and our technical experts will recommend the best solution.

Little John’s House Donation

Essential items delivered to Little John’s House in Romania

Throughout the Christmas season Pro2col have been collecting donations of items which are desperately needed by Little John’s House, a charity based in Romania providing care for children and young adults with special needs.

The organisation is in need of basic items such as toiletries, sweets, second hand clothes, toys, tooth brushes, colouring pens and pads for Christmas parcels for deprived families. The donations will be made into parcels for families with children with special needs, who still get very little support from the state or their local community. This appeal for donations is made more urgent by the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Romania and the vulnerability of those who rely on Little John’s House.

About Little John’s House

 

Little John’s House is a product of Mags Zahariah who travelled to Romania in the early 90s. She had planned to help care for children living in poor conditions in orphanages across the country, but ended up staying for ten years to set up the charity.

Situated in the heart of Transylvania, Little John’s House was established in 1993 as a secure and safe home for children and adults with special needs. Originally the property was purchased for Ionut Balan (Little John) who suffered from hydrocephalus, a condition causing excess fluids to increase pressure on the brain. He sadly passed away in 1997 but he was an inspiration to everyone who met him and his memory lives on at Little John’s house.

Six young people currently live happily full time at Little John’s house. Alongside that the charity runs outreach programmes to support children from the surrounding areas, the Romanian state-run orphanages and those in psychiatric homes.

 

This is a truly special place which inspired numerous volunteers over the years and helped many children and their families. This is also a cause especially close to Pro2col’s Ailsa Gibbs who knows Mags personally. 

“My amazing friends Mags and Liviu set up Little John’s House in Romania over 25 years ago and I have had the privilege of seeing their work in person over a couple of freezing Christmas visits.  Nobody leaves Little John’s House untouched by the love and kindness shown to children and young people who have had the toughest of starts.  Like so many charities, they have really struggled with fundraising this year so I am delighted by the response from the Pro2col team and our local community”. 

At such a difficult time for many, the Pro2col team wanted to make this donation as easy as possible and thanks to a generous discount from FAR logistics, the palette of donations (pictured) will soon be arriving at Little John’s House.

Team Willow

Virtual Marathon 2020 raises £1,893 for the Willow Foundation

On a very windy and rainy Sunday in October Pro2col MD James ran the London marathon for the Willow Foundation, although the race was very different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Participants were invited to run, jog or walk from anywhere in the UK and record their times virtually having 24 hours to race the 26.2 miles.

This year has been tough for many people, but particularly for charities who have seen repeated disruption to their normal schedule of fundraising, having a knock-on effect for those who rely on them. This makes the amazing total of £1,893 raised by James especially important.

About the Willow Foundation

The Willow Foundation is the only national charity who have been working with seriously ill 16-40-year olds to provide uplifting Special Days. Since 1999 Willow have facilitated more than 17,000 of these special days which include day trips to the zoo, hotels, rugby matches and afternoon tea in London.

Often it is not the activity itself which makes these days so memorable, it is a chance to return to normal life, even if it’s just for a day, and for others it is their last chance to fulfil a dream. No matter the person’s condition special days aim to lift the spirits of ill young people and their loved ones, and be a source of much-needed strength in difficult times.

However due to the pandemic and related restrictions, over 700 young people have had their special days postponed. However, in the meantime special positivity packs have been given to those who missed out, providing a source of happiness even in such uncertain times. That is why the fundraising gained through the marathon is especially needed now to keep putting a smile on the faces of people who have had it particularly tough this year.

 

Additionally, we would like to say a huge thank you to our friends at Flat White, Tuckton. Their coffee and cake morning has raised £674.18 for Team Willow.

Office Move

The Big Move- Pro2col moving to a new office

We are delighted to share with our network that we have recently moved to our brand-new office space in Christchurch to accommodate our continued growth. We are looking forward to settling into our new space as this is an essential upgrade from our old space which was just a little cramped to say the least.

Alongside our charity and environmental focus here at Pro2col we are proud to have an employee wellbeing strategy which goes above and beyond standard practice. The new and improved office space offers us the opportunity to welcome more of our staff back in a physical capacity after months of homeworking. With this in mind we have worked towards making a COVID-secure space, ensuring that all our staff to feel safe coming into the office for some much-needed human interaction after lockdown has ended.

This is an especially important moment for MD James who has built Pro2col from the ground up:

“I’m delighted with the significant investment we’ve made in upgrading to a more professional working environment for the team. It boasts views over the beautiful town of Christchurch, is three times larger than our previous office, providing great scope for further growth. It’s a space I know the team will feel proud to work in when they return and we look forward to welcoming our customers and suppliers in 2021”.

Pro2col has worked extremely hard over the last 11 years to build a community among the businesses on Tuckton High Street. Making a positive impact within the local area is a foundational part of what Pro2col does, we are not just about managed file transfer.  In the last year the team have all got on board in some capacity to contribute to initiatives such as beach cleans, charity runs, school outreach and most recently a huge donation for local food banks. This is all part of our Corporate Social Responsibility focus where we aim to set an example for other businesses, showing that growth is still possible whilst also giving back.

With this in mind, we look forward to engaging with the business community further in Christchurch and continuing to follow our company motto of ‘doing things right, doing the right thing’ and making a difference wherever we can.

Food Bank

Huge food bank donation from the Pro2col team

Throughout October the Pro2col team and neighbouring businesses collected supplies for the food banks St Joseph’s Church in Christchurch and Immanuel Church in Southbourne.

Both food banks are passionate about helping people at crisis point in their lives and supporting them through to the other side.

Many food banks across the UK are expecting an increase in demand so Pro2col decided to chip in and help those in need. Ailsa Gibbs, who drove this donation initiative said:

“The team at Pro2col were inspired by the example of Marcus Rashford to ensure that no child goes hungry during these difficult times. More families are reliant on foodbanks as a result of the pandemic and going hungry doesn’t just impact children’s welfare today, it can affect their long-term welfare and future prospects”.

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Pictured: Pro2col’s food bank collection 

As harvest festivals are cancelled and older volunteers are placed in the at-risk category, food banks face shortages in donations and manpower. This is especially concerning given that statistics from The Trussell Trust which show food banks were already experiencing increased usage, even before the pandemic. They’re now predicting a 61% increase in demand for food parcels across the UK.  Pro2col wants to support the work many organisations and individuals are doing to prevent people from going hungry.

Ailsa said: The team all recognise how fortunate we are to have security in these difficult times and have pulled together and donated so generously to support our local community”.

Resources for accessing and donating to local food banks can be found here: https://faithworkswessex.org.uk/projects/foodbank/christchurch/ and https://www.immanuelsouthbourne.org/40/Food-Bank

The Dorset Hillfort Ultra Challenge

Team Nadia: The Dorset Hillfort Ultra Challenge

This weekend, Jasmina Chehlarova and Pro2col colleagues Daisy Shaw, Benjamin Smith and Helen Gilbert, tackled the Dorset Hillfort Ultra Challenge. As ‘Team Nadia’ they have raised almost £500 to support Nadia Dafova in her fight against stage 4 melanoma and the search for alternative therapies.

The Challenge

 

This really was an ultra challenge. Beginning in Cattistock, the 57km route took participants through a demanding course around some of the highest points of West Dorset. But Team Nadia put in months of training for this extremely worthy cause, and together completed all 57km in just under eight hours. Team Nadia is especially important to Jasmina who has known Nadia for over 20 years.

Jasmina said: “Nadia is a really admirable person. She started fresh in the UK after moving from Bulgaria, and she cares for young adults with autism as a frontline healthcare worker”.

 

In March this year, Nadia received the devastating news that she had a recurrence of melanoma, which she beat almost 10 years previously. There is no treatment available and the NHS does not provide support for alternative therapies. So Nadia and her family began their search for different options elsewhere, leaving no stone unturned. Spurred on by the stories of survivors in similar situations who have overcome this terrible disease, Nadia’s story has reached far and wide, receiving support from those inspired by her strength and positivity in such difficult times. 

Jasmina said: “That’s the brilliant thing about working at Pro2col, people are willing to get involved. Your struggles and the things you fight for are heard. Everyone put in a fantastic effort to complete this challenge and make a real difference in Nadia’s fight”.

You can follow Nadia and her stepping stones at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teamnadia and https://gf.me/u/yybixa . 

It’s not too late to contribute and every pound makes a difference.

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