Online hub for ChangeUp

Capacitybuilders is to begin work on an online communications centre that it hopes will act as a hub for all the activities carried out under the ChangeUp infrastructure programme.

The centre will run a website that will draw together information about services at national and regional levels and act as a first point of contact for charities and voluntary groups seeking support from the ChangeUp programme. ChangeUp has been criticised in the past for being disjointed.

"Our vision is that it will join the programme up on a national, regional and sub-regional basis," said a Capacitybuilders spokeswoman. "It will be a web-based application, but we will look at other points of customer contact. A call centre might be part of that."

The centre could provide a similar service to the NCVO's current hub help-line, which provides support for four of the six existing national hubs. The hub help-line has handled about 3,000 calls and 1,300 emails since August 2006 - an average of about 10 calls and four emails each working day.

No decision has been made on whether Capacitybuilders will provide the new service in-house or outsource it.

A working group, formed mainly from Capacitybuilders staff, will hold an initial meeting today to begin drawing up proposals for the centre. It will draw in other stakeholders from the sector to comment on the plans at a later date.

Plans for the centre, which will form part of the new-look structure in which the current six national hubs will be replaced by nine national support programmes (Third Sector Online, 7 September), are expected to be unveiled in November.

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