Scottish Tech Army
1484. Alistair Forbes
1485. Peter Jaco
Alistair Forbes and Peter Jaco, from Edinburgh, are tech entrepreneurs who launched ‘Scottish Tech Army’, mobilising over 1,000 volunteers from the Scottish tech community to support more than 150 projects that are responding to COVID-19.
Alistair and Peter realised at the start of the outbreak that many charities and organisations in Scotland faced huge increases in demand while required to suddenly start delivering services in a virtual capacity. They quickly formed a team of leaders in the industry to lend their skills and expertise for free to support organisations develop their digital platforms, overcome IT barriers and offer technological advice. Their army of volunteers has since continued to grow, supporting a range of projects including health and social care, education and training, remote support, travel and tourism, and local business recovery.
In a personal letter to Alistair, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I want to thank you for the brilliant way you and Peter have assembled an army of digital volunteers from across Scotland to lend their expertise for charities helping our communities respond to the pandemic.
“From creating new websites and digital platforms for support groups, to helping vulnerable people access mobile phones or new technology, you have enabled hundreds of projects from the Borders to the Orkneys flourish online.”
In a personal letter to Peter, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was so uplifted to hear of how you and Alistair have been harnessing the power of technology for good to transform lives through your ‘Scottish Tech Army.’
“Together you have mobilised a rich community of tech experts who are sharing their talents to give vital support to charities in Scotland, whether it’s helping a community group get set up online to connect people feeling isolated, or a social enterprise making videos to promote healthy eating for vulnerable households.”
Alistair and Peter said:
“We are delighted to be recognised in the Points of Light Awards as a reflection of the tremendous work that our community of volunteers has been doing in response to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. It has been really heartening to see the response that we received to our call to arms amongst the Scottish Tech community – the level of commitment and passion that the community has shown has meant that we have been able to make a difference across the country, supporting many organisations dealing on the front lines with the impacts of the pandemic and the challenge of recovering from it.”
Photo credit: Alex Hewitt