Using IT skills to help the community

A colleague is supporting the community by building laptops for the Edinburgh Food Bank Project.

In 2015 Alastair Robertson from Group IT started to use his volunteering time to build laptops for the Edinburgh Food Bank Project part of the Trussell Trust. The laptops were then distributed around Edinburgh’s most deprived areas to help people get online to claim benefits.

Earlier this year the charity approached Alastair again to help with installing and configuring Microsoft Office 365 which would allow all their staff to have the latest software and security as they had previously suffered with computer viruses and even had to deal with ransomware when some hackers took control of their files and demanded payment to release them.

Although Alastair didn’t have the skills himself he spoke with another IT colleague, Bob Warwick as Bob had the exact skill-set required to do all the work. So Alastair and Bob spent a couple of days at the charity setting up their new solution and although its work in progress the project delivered the latest cloud based software with excellent security.

Alastair said “the charity were so grateful for the specialist skills we provided, it was very humbling. Although we were just doing our day job it was a great learning experience for us around how quick you can implement new software if you have all the decision makers sitting in the same room, so I took some lessons on agility back to work with me. We both hope to maintain the relationship with the charity so we can build on what we have started as we found the experience so rewarding”. 


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