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Friday, December 03, 2004
Zen Internet provides free broadband for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice
3 December 2004 - Rochdale-based Internet Service Provider (ISP), Zen Internet has contributed to the smooth running of Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham by providing a free ADSL line, free Web space and centralised data storage. As a result, the Hospice’s staff are now able to access and distribute electronic files and information more quickly and easily. Fundraising activities will also be made easier with the launch of an online distribution facility, allowing supporters to donate at a click of a button.

This is the hospice’s 15th anniversary year, and the facilities have just been extended. The IT systems were also due for an upgrade, but as Brian Hurst, Dr Kershaw’s appeals manager explained, “We simply couldn’t afford to upgrade as our focus was on our target of raising £800,000 just to keep the place ticking over. But it was important that in order for us to continue our fundraising efforts, our technology needed to join the modern world.”

Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, based in Royton in Oldham, is a 24 hour care unit providing up to 12 beds per day. The day care section, operating five days a week, cares for 15-20 patients every day, with up to 100 every week. Staff provide treatments ranging from physiotherapy and aromatherapy to a beauty salon.

Brian Hurst initially turned to another Oldham-based company, Rio Systems. They had been involved in fundraising for the hospice for several years, and when the managing director Peter Gooseman learned of Hurst’s need for a new network he offered his company’s services to install it. He then recommended Zen Internet to provide the Internet access as, having worked with them for eight years, Peter Gooseman always recommended Zen to his customers. “When Rio Systems approached us on behalf of the hospice, we had absolutely no hesitation in offering the products and services they needed free of charge. We were happy to help,” said Ian Buckley, marketing manager at Zen Internet.

Zen has provided an ADSL line and Web space, which is initially being used by nine staff across a range of roles – medical, administration, appeals and friends/volunteers. As well as Internet access and individual e-mail addresses, Zen has also provided centralised data storage and back-up of databases. This means staff have easier access to documents and can exchange information more efficiently. As Brian Hurst explained, “Before, we had individual PCs but they couldn’t talk to each other. Now, we can e-mail each other straight away with information instead of printing it off. For example, staff running the ‘Friends’ organisation can click immediately into the database to check payments if someone rings with an enquiry. Previously they had to go off and check in a separate file and then phone back.”

The hospice will shortly be making use of the free Web space that Zen has provided, by setting up a Web site from which donations can be made online. “Zen have done a fantastic job helping us upgrade, and all for free. We’re immensely grateful for all their support, and they’ve made a huge difference to the way we’ll operate in the future,” said Brian Hurst.

-ENDS-

Fiona Whyatt/ Natalie Gross
Insight Marketing & Communications
Tel: 01625 500800
fwhyatt@insightmkt.com

About Zen Internet:

Established in 1995, and one of the first ISPs in the UK, Zen Internet provides a full range of high quality services to the home and business user, from the latest in high speed DSL Broadband Internet access and complete hosting packages to state of the art Web site design and e-commerce solutions.
  www.zen.co.uk

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