Supporting a sustainable business approach in a homelessness charity

Porchlight are a charity supporting homeless, vulnerable and isolated people in Kent and more recently Bexley and East Sussex. They provide children, young people and adults with support around housing, education and employment, and their mental health and wellbeing.

The Motivation

In order to satisfy the criteria of many of their tenders and show that Porchlight were committed to giving reliable charity services, it was decided by the Business Development team that the organisation needed to be certified to the ISO standards. These standards would also help them become competitive in the market and have the potential to expand the organisation.

Mike Barrett, Chief Executive, commented that “Porchlight is a policy and procedure driven organisation. We needed a comprehensive management process so we chose to implement the ISO Standards in our organisation”.

Having a UKAS accredited quality management system in place would show that Porchlight were a professional, sustainable charity and so the decision was made to gain ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification in 2015. Following this, the decision was made to gain ISO 14001 Environmental Management and ISO 27001 Information Security Management in 2017.

The work of 2SB Management Systems

Director of HR, Peter Murphy, chose to use 2SB to help Porchlight through the ISO process.

Peter commented “I chose 2SB based on their expertise, commitment and locality to our organisation. Chris seemed trustworthy and organised and had extensive previous experience of ISO Standards”.

2SB provided invaluable guidance to Porchlight to make the process as smooth as possible. As Porchlight already had many of the policies and procedures in place it was simply the case of matching these to the ISO Standards.

Chris invested a significant amount of time in the Porchlight sites, getting to know the organisation in depth and ensuring all the procedures and policies were correct. Chris commented “It was a pleasure to be working with such a professional and well run organisation and the leadership, shown by staff at all levels of Porchlight was impressive. The specific challenge for this project was to identify where they were already meeting the requirements of the standards and then fill in the gaps, without creating significant additional documentation.”

Tamsin Cheyne, Compliance Manager, worked closely alongside Chris to implement the ISO system.

She commented “Chris dedicated a lot of time and energy into knowing our organisation and making the process as hassle free as possible. Chris helped keep us on track with action plans for each meeting. He also helped create some of our documentation and worked tirelessly to ensure the process was smooth and not troubling for our staff”. 

The result

Having successfully gained their ISO Standards, Porchlight have increased their competitive edge by demonstrating their commitment to a fully functioning quality, environmental and information security system.

Peter Murphy commented “Having the ISO Standards was certainly a contributing factor in our growth as an organisation and Chris’s confidence and knowledge ensured the process was as positive and efficient as possible”

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