Virtual technical advice and a good chat about football!

10 Dec 2020

Abiodun Shutti, a technical consultant at BT, tells us about his experience as a virtual volunteer and why he will be signing up to do it all over again.

Abiodun first heard about the Good Things Foundation volunteering scheme back in May during the first national lockdown. He saw the opportunity when BT put out a message to staff asking for digital and business support to help the BT Skills for Tomorrow community partners. Abiodun quickly realised that this was an opportunity to put his expertise to use, even if it was at a distance. He tells us: “I’d not done this sort of volunteering before, but I realised how tough lockdown was going to be for many people and I wanted to get involved in my own small way.”

Abiodun was put in contact with Jobnetwork Bristol & Computer Clubs, he quickly found his feet and started providing technical communications support to the staff team. As the relationship grew, they also asked him to join in their weekly remote meetings to support learners. Many of the learners were shielding at the time so the meetings were their only contact for the week, and an important way of staying connected during the pandemic.

Matt Forse, from Jobnetwork Bristol says that the staff and learners really valued Abiodun’s input: “He boosted everyone's morale by showing such an interest in what everyone was doing. We talked about lots of things including the world of work, but also had some great conversations about football!”

Abiodun really enjoyed supporting the centre and learned a lot from his experience, he tells us: “I work as a Technical Consultant which requires talking about technology with many people. One thing I have learned from my time volunteering, and will be applying in my work, is listening more to people.”

Now that the Virtual Volunteering scheme has been relaunched with BT, Abiodun is keen to get involved again. This time he will be looking to help a community partner in his home town Sheffield. Not only will he be able to support them virtually during lockdown, but he’s planning to help them in the longer term too, Abiodun tells us, “I would like to support another community partner by using my skills to improve their website and making it operational and then identifying any other technological needs that match my skills.”