London Probation Trust: First in World to use New Foreign Language Technology

thebigword, the world top-20 interpreting and translation company, has added a new technology offering to support its work with the National Health Service, Probation Trusts across the UK, and the Ministry of Defence. With the highest proportion of foreign nationals in the UK, London Probation Trust has become the first in the world to use the new collaborative language technology to help it communicate with those offenders, among its 40,000 caseload, who require interpreting services.

London Probation Trust, the largest of 35 trusts, has collaborated with thebigword language services company over a number of years and recently adopted it as sole supplier for face-to-face and telephone interpreting, and written translation services – resulting in a cost saving of 40 per cent. The relationship enables the Trust to access thebigword’s new Word Pie™ technology, an online system that provides on-demand national coverage of qualified interpreters through a collaborative network of accredited organisations, including small enterprises, charities, and the voluntary sector.

Eighteen months’ work and in excess of £1 million has been invested in developing Word Pie™ which has at its heart data on up to 20,000 interpreters from around 50 partner organisations.  One of these will be Praxis Interpreting, a community-based interpreting project in Bethnal Green, East London, stimulating capacity building and supporting small local projects, with which the Trust has worked successfully over a number of years.

Martin Blake, Head of Corporate Procurement and Commercial Development at London Probation Trust says:  “The decision to appoint a single supplier for London Probation Trust was based on quality and cost and thebigword’s ability to help us engage with offenders and achieve our aim of changing lives and creating a safer city. In supporting the Government’s commitment to SMEs and localism, we are very keen to create a more inclusive approach that supports the small business and freelance interpreter community that we’ve worked with successfully in the past.  The new Word Pie™ technology enables us to do that, whilst providing the seamless invoicing and management information systems of a large supplier.”

London Probation Trust will be using Word Pie™ to fulfil more than 600 interpreting sessions every month on behalf of nearly 3,000 staff in 32 boroughs. Previously, the processes for both booking and invoicing of interpreters were manual and relied heavily on faxing, filling in forms and completing spreadsheets.  This will now take place in a seamless online process.

Dave Capper, European Sales Director at thebigword, says: “thebigword has consistently believed that the only way to provide UK-wide on-demand interpreting to high standards of quality is through partnership and collaboration.  We are delighted that London Probation Trust has recognised the huge benefits of the Word Pie™ technology and appointed us to work with them in this vitally important and sensitive area.”


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