This Way Up



"We do have an IT budget … but it’s very, very small. But the point is, if we get a donation in, we’d rather spend it on resources for the children in our groups rather than software for our office."

— Pete English, Member of This Way Up

A Friendly Face at a Difficult Time

This Way Up aims to "help young people turn their lives the right way up." Specifically, they help those who are being affected by loss. 

Pete English at the charity explains. "We mean loss in its widest sense — it could be separation, divorce, or bereavement," he says. "We help children who aren’t coping — maybe there is other stuff going on elsewhere in their lives."

The successful befriending and mentoring program centers on young people from 8 to 18 in and around the Solihull area. But the charity’s influence extends far wider. "From here we also support people nationwide and overseas who use our materials and methods in a kind of franchise model," says Pete. 

Behind the scenes, IT plays a core role in the charity's achievements. "We do a lot of funding applications, budgeting and presentations for supporters, and the training aspect is quite large," says Pete. "If we didn't have access to the Microsoft software, we'd have to manage with the freebie programs. But aside from our own office work, we're a youth charity, and we want the kids that we work with to be learning on the latest software used in business."

Pete cites in particular two programs that the charity received as donations via CTX. "We had an old version previously, but the latest version of PowerPoint does more things. For our sort of charity it is quite crucial to communicate effectively, and we use tools such as embedded video within our presentations. We also use Microsoft Project, mainly for bigger undertakings such as a street art project that we did with the council — it helped us to plan ahead well. Project is also very useful for funders — you can easily demonstrate that your charity is organized and has proper timelines in place."