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Computer Friendly

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Computer Friendly’s Zoom call

The celebration Zoom meeting was recorded. The recording was edited: click on the images below to see important video excerpts.

Welcome by Tony Bourke:  

Introduction by Tony Bourke

Robert Voss, Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire

Penny Williams, Deputy Lieutenant

What we are doing During lockdown

Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader Herts C’ty Council

Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden

Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans

Wrap-up by Tony Bourke


Computer Friendly Celebrates receiving Queen's Award

On the day of the announcement Computer Friendly held a special Zoom meeting to celebrate receiving Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.  Over 40 people joined the meeting, including a number of special guests and many Computer Friendly volunteers.

After welcoming everyone Tony Bourke said, "And now I am Pressing the button that Upgrades this Special Update meeting to A Moment of History for Computer Friendly! I am delighted and immensely proud to confirm that Computer Friendly has won the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, it doesn’t get much better than this!!!"

This award is a fantastic recognition and tribute to all the volunteers both past and present, who have dedicated their time and effort in helping adults in the St Albans District. After mentioning a few key members who had made a special contribution since it was founded in 2002 Tony thanked Rosemary Farmer, past Mayor of Harpenden, for nominating us for this award.

Two Deputy Lieutenants, Penny Williams and Stuart Nagler, rigorously assessed us over several months last Autumn, and it was quite an experience! It was always reassuring though, that as they were challenging us with some rapid fire penetrating questions, they told us, “We are on your side!”

Robert Voss, Lord-Lieutenant, gave us a bit more information about the Lieutenancy and the Queen's Award.  He congratulated Computer Friendly and pointed out what a fantastic achievement it was and raised a glass of water to us.  Penny Williams, Deputy Lieutenant, added her congratulations and pointed out how fantastic the achievement was, as they had to show in the assessment that Computer Friendly was exceptional nationwide, not just in Hertfordshire.

Tony explained how we had adapted to the Covid situation, replacing face to face activity by giving help over the phone and via email, adding pages to our website with vital information.  We have been delivering free Tablets with SIM cards to some very isolated and vulnerable people. We’ve been getting them up and running so they can be more connected: training somebody who has never used a device before and doing it remotely over the phone requires super human powers and masses of patience.

Next we moved onto Computer Friendly’s version of Question Time and on the panel we had Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader Herts County Council, Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, and Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans, who have all been great supporters of Computer Friendly. Each added their congratulations and gave their views on the priorities/importance of digital inclusion especially now in the Covid 19 situation and what Computer Friendly should focus on to support these priorities.

In wrapping up the meeting Tony again congratulated all Volunteers and thanked our special guests for helping us celebrate on this day of days.