North East Connected

Bondgate IT ensures Catalyst charity launches community support partnership

A voluntary organisation that supports a wide range of charities within Stockton-on-Tees was able to launch its ‘COVID Community Support Team’ initiative thanks to the swift intervention of Bondgate IT.

Catalyst called in the Darlington-based company days before the lockdown was imposed after taking the decision to close its office and allow its 12-strong team to work from home to protect their safety.

Bondgate IT was contacted at 10am in the morning and by 2pm they had a new email system in place which could be accessed by the entire team – allowing the remote project to go ahead. It also ensured that phone calls  were diverted to those working from home.

Working in partnership with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, and the area’s voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, Catalyst has now received more than 1,000 emails asking the COVID Community Support Team for assistance.

Since launching five weeks ago,  the COVID Community Support Team has helped more than 2,000 vulnerable and elderly residents.

The team ensures that those classed at risk or vulnerable, and who are unable to leave their homes, receive help with shopping, collecting and delivering prescriptions and walking or caring for pets amongst other support. Members also provide support over the phone and ensure people receive the correct advice and guidance.

In addition, Bondgate IT provided a second independent email system when Catalyst launched its Keeping People Connected support service. This new service is funded by the Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group; it provides a telephone support service for those with learning disabilities or autism who risk becoming more vulnerable during the coronavirus emergency.

Catalyst is the infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector within the Stockton borough, engaging with more than 500 organisations. Its specialist support includes organisational governance, funding advice, bespoke training as well as managing a variety of infrastructure projects, including Stockton Volunteers and several health and wellbeing initiatives.

Catalyst chair Guru Naidoo said: “We took the decision to close our office and needed immediate assistance to ensure our staff were able to continue serving the community from home via telephone and email.

“Bondgate IT responded and within hours we were in a position to launch the COVID Community Support Team which delivers both practical and moral support to thousands of people who are particularly vulnerable at this time.”

Garry Brown, managing director of Bondgate IT, said: “Many businesses and organisations have been forced to quickly adapt and react to successfully support their clients in these challenging times and Catalyst have been a shining example of this. I am proud that our team were able to support Catalyst and the valuable that work it does.”

To support the work of Catalyst, visit their GoFundMe page at

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