IT professionals help to improve others' lives

IT brains, experience and ideas are being used and co-ordinated as never before to create replicable templates to help benefit...

IT brains, experience and ideas are being used and co-ordinated as never before to create replicable templates to help benefit local communities and charities.

The hub for much of this IT-related activity is the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

The WCIT, which was founded in 1992, currently has about 650 members. They give their time, talent and resources to use IT to help disadvantaged people lead better lives and share in society. It is one of the few areas of the IT industry where users, consultants and suppliers work together in harmony towards a common goal.

Examples of the WCIT's wide portfolio of activities include:

The Lifelites scheme to help terminally ill children communicate electronically. This system, created for the Demelza House Hospice for children in Kent, has been rolled out to all the UK's children's hospices

Lilian Baylis School, Lambeth, recently one of the worst performing secondary schools in London, is now one year into a five-year WCIT-sponsored programme to use IT in the teaching and learning process to boost its overall performance. Best practice and methodologies are being developed to help transform similar problem schools

IT4Communities is a national initiative to promote volunteering by IT professionals, using their skills for the benefit of local communities. There are more than 800 registered volunteers lined up to help 250 charities with a range of IT-related tasks

Carers Online brings a sense of community and practical information to those looking after sick, disabled or aged people. The site, developed with WCIT and the government's Invest to Save partnership, is on track to becoming a national portal.

WCIT is also involved with annual fund-raising activities: this year's Intellect IT Charity Ball, for example, raised over £26,000 to provide IT facilitation to disabled children; and the sponsored charity walk raised about £20,000.

www.wcit.org.uk

www.lifelites.org

www.it4communities.org.uk

www.carersonline.org.uk

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