Community Action for Social Support

Community Action for Social Support (CASS) is an independent and largely voluntary charitable organisation based in Cumbria.

The organisation offers housing support to ex-offenders and those at risk of offending. CASS provides temporary accommodation for more than 60 adults, floating support for many more and housing and benefit advice to those who need it. Those who use its services include adults with a history or risk of offending, people with alcohol and drug related issues and other vulnerable young people.

CASS has four offices across Cumbria one in Workington, two in Carlisle and one in Penrith. A team of 32 dedicated staff work tirelessly to provide the support needed to reduce homelessness and help their service users through difficult times.

Brenda Layfield is the organisation’s Finance Manager. She knows the importance of a smooth running office. She used to use IRIS HR Manager some years ago but stopped because, at the time, it was not fulfilling her needs. She has recently reintroduced the software and now runs it alongside IRIS PAYE- Master which she has been using for some years.

Brenda explained: “Until recently I had been putting everything down on spreadsheets to keep a record. I reinstated IRIS HR Manager around 12 months ago and in the main I have been happy with it. I had used the product before some years ago and had stopped because it wasn’t doing what I wanted it to. Now some of those problems have been addressed by IRIS and things have moved on, so I decided to give it another go.

“The major benefit is that I’m not messing about with spreadsheets all the time. Some of the reports that I need, for example on absences, are very good. The fact that IRIS HR Manager is connected to the payroll and IRIS PAYE-Master is a big help. I find that I only need to enter something once and it appears both in the HR records and on the payroll. When I get the returns each month on which employees have had absences, who has been on training or who has had holidays I just enter it all onto the HR system and the rest is done for me.

“If I have any problem with any of it I just call the helpline and they are very good, they talk me through it and help me work out what is needed. I recently had childcare vouchers and I did not know how to incorporate them into the system. I rang up and IRIS staff talked me through it. IRIS staff are polite and helpful. They always sort it out.”