New IT system will match forces charities' beneficiaries with funders

Enhanced volunteers' database to speed up assistance for veterans

A new IT project is expected to save thousands of man-hours for about 200 armed forces charities.

The Casework Management System, funded by forces charities umbrella body Cobseo, will be available to more than 5,000 volunteer caseworkers who find funding for armed forces veterans.

The system will enable the caseworkers to upload the details of tens of thousands of potential beneficiaries to a database that can match them with regimental and service benevolent funds that can help to provide products such as mobility aids or household goods.

Project manager Jim Keeley, from armed forces charity Ssafa Forces Help, said the £400,000 project had taken about a year to put into practice. It will be launched this month.

"We have thousands of volunteers filling in paper forms and sending them off to charities to find out whether they can provide funding," he said. "The new system is likely to save up to a month as well as a bit of money on every case. With 50,000 cases a year, that adds up.

"Caseworkers often have to search to find out who will provide money for what. One charity will offer money for funeral expenses, for example, but another won't. Now they can find more easily who'll fund what."

He said the system would easily be replicable for organisations working with other groups, and that some non-military charities had already shown an interest.

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