Top UK Techies support London’s Homeless People via Crisis at Christmas » Charity Digital News

Top UK Techies support London’s Homeless People via Crisis at Christmas


For the sixth consecutive year, Aimar Foundation delivered cutting-edge, cloud-based technology solutions to facilitate the multi-site London operation of Crisis at Christmas 2013.

Capitalizing on the benefits of cloud computing and skills of London’s top technical directors from leading financial services firms, Aimar Foundation provides a significant step change for growing charities such as Crisis by implementing simple yet scalable, world-class IT platforms. The all-volunteer, core technical team is headed up by CEO Simon Clark (Executive Director, Morgan Stanley), Tech Strategist Steve Matthews (Executive Director and Global Head of Windows Engineering, Morgan Stanley) and Lead Project Manager Simon James (Vice President, Morgan Stanley).

For over 40 years, Crisis at Christmas has delivered life-changing services to homeless people. In 2012, they welcomed 3675 guests and they had about 4000 this year. Ian Richards (Head of Crisis at Christmas) highlighted at a recent briefing to Aimar volunteers that people sleeping on the street in London has increased 62% over 2 years, with almost 2,500 people sleeping rough at any one time across the country. With over 8,000 volunteers, Crisis at Christmas is one of the UK’s largest volunteer events.

Aimar’s vital technology solution provided the Crisis volunteers invaluable access to the Crisis infrastructure, facilitating administration and collaboration to create a memorable week for the most vulnerable in society. The internet cafes allowed guests to connect to the web to look for housing, create a CV and email friends and family. Aimar delivered over 300 virtual desktop devices and thin clients, 30 networked Multi-Function Devices and printers, a VOIP system with 90 handsets, full connectivity to five of the sites via Wi-Fi and 4G together with 24/7 support during the entire operation. Aimar’s technology partners include IGEL, VESK, RDC, BT, Gradwell, MoveIT, Vodafone, Consolidated Services, 42, Tesco, Google, Microsoft, Project Fusion and Plantronics. Over 200 technology volunteers will be required to design, implement and support the platform, primarily from Morgan Stanley, Verizon, TCS, JClarity and Atos.

CEO Simon Clark said: “This was by far Aimar’s largest and most complex initiative. It’s made possible due to the generosity of our technology partners and the volunteers who continue to donate their time and expertise over the festive period with huge enthusiasm. Each year we bring some innovation to our solution, in 2013 we introduced tablet technology to provide a richer experience for guests seeking specialist attention.”

“For the past 5 years, Aimar Foundation has produced its own Christmas present for homeless people,” says Mick Bateman, Director of Crisis at Christmas. “Linking facilities right across London, at the most demanding time of year, the Foundation delivers resources we could only dream about.”