Two events this year will enable the IT community to see at first hand how the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) acts as a hub for IT charitable activity in the UK.
The first is the ICT Charity Ball in central London on Tuesday 27 June, when senior IT professionals will seek to better the £70,000 raised for disadvantaged children at last year's ball.
The second event, a family-oriented charity walk, also in central London, takes place on Sunday 17 September.
These are just two of many charity-focused activities organised by the WCIT, a City of London livery company which has about 650 members from the IT community.
The WCIT aims to promote the IT profession, especially in the City of London. It also seeks to help IT benefit society in general, through a charitable and educational programme, which uses the expertise, resources and networks of its members.
The company's Lifelites scheme (www.lifelites.org) helps terminally ill children communicate with each other, their parents and families, and is a good example of how the WCIT works. Using the expertise of its members, it introduced a pilot system in one hospice for children and has now rolled the scheme out to more than 30 UK children's hospices.
The WCIT helps a wide range of not-for-profit organisations to gain the maximum value from their IT.
It also hosts the IT4Communities operation, which acts as a clearing house for IT professionals wanting to give their time and expertise to help local communities and charities.
The WCIT is funded through its members and through donations, which, together with proceeds from fund-raising events, go into the WCIT Charitable Trust to fund selected charitable activities.
The WCIT's governing body is the Court, comprising senior members of the organisation, chaired by the Master of the Company.
This year's Master is John Leighfield, former IT director of British Leyland and currently chairman of Research Machines, as well as pro chancellor and chairman of council of the University of Warwick.
Major WCIT events this year
27 June: ICT Charity Ball
The annual summer Intellect ICT Charity Ball is supported by Computer Weekly and the WCIT.
Several hundred senior IT professionals take part in a dinner event with a series of fund-raising auctions. This year's theme is A Night at Atlantis and the venue is the Honourable Artillery Company close to Moorgate in the City of London.
Beneficiaries this year will be TheSite.org, a charity providing online advice and information for young people, and the WCIT Charitable Trust.
For details e-mail Tina Compton: [email protected]
17 September: WCIT Charity Walk
The WCIT Charity Walk - which normally takes place in June but this year has been put back to September - is a family-oriented charity event for IT professionals.
It is also based at the Honourable Artillery Company's grounds in the City of London, and comprises a series of structured walks visiting places in London that are normally closed off to the public.
Last year the Walk raised £25,000 for Barnardo's, which will also benefit this year, along with the WCIT Charitable Trust.
What are livery companies?
There are 107 City of London livery companies, each representing a different profession.
The 800-year-old tradition was originally begun to provide a basic system for core skills, training people into the profession, maintaining standards and supporting members in hard times.
Today, the emphasis is on education and charitable activities within a profession.