By Emma Hind - October 16th, 2023 | Posted in News No comments

The Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth was honoured at the prestigious South Coast Tech Awards this year, thanks to the outstanding talent and contribution of one of its employees.

The judging panel of IT industry experts created a special category: ‘Special Recognition in Tech Leadership’ to recognise Diocesan IT Manager Liam Olford’s roll-out of an IT Blueprint project which has revolutionised communication and connectivity with the 87 parishes in the Diocese.

The awards ceremony took place on the evening of Thursday October 12th at the Aegas Bowl, Southampton with comedian, Lucy Porter, acting as compère.

Thanks to Liam’s hard work, it was an unprecedented moment in which a religious organisation was recognised for its achievements in tech leadership, within the UK.

Commenting on the award, Liam said: “I feel truly humbled and honoured to have been recognised for Tech Leadership at the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth. Since I started in 2021, we have made huge progress in the IT strategy and as a result have inspired collaboration between clergy, staff and volunteers, who are now all working together and embracing new digital technologies.”

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth commented: “As technology continues to evolve, so does the need to effectively communicate it. Liam Olford has single-handedly embarked on a transformative IT project across our Diocese, upskilling our clergy, staff and volunteers and inspiring collaboration among a largely non-technical audience through his well-planned, courteous, and jargon-free approach.

“It is not an overstatement to say that parishes throughout the region have developed the confidence to capitalise on the opportunities and face the challenges that digital technologies and online environments provide as a direct result of the assiduous IT support Liam provides to them.”

Canon Gerard Flynn, Vocations Director for Portsmouth Diocese commented: “Liam Olford has very kindly, and with exemplary professionalism, helped many of us in the Diocese of Portsmouth. I have always appreciated his swift responses to assist with technical matters which are far beyond me. He has also initiated ways of developing good, effective communication amongst the clergy and people.

“He does all of this with a gentle good grace which somehow makes complex issues seem simpler. I know that I am one of many who benefit from his knowledge, wisdom and kindness.”

Among the many changes which Liam introduced was the implementation of IT security policies, the creation of an internal IT support team and the rolling out a diocesan intranet network to the benefit of all clergy, volunteers and staff.

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