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As the North East regional ICT Champion based with the Voluntary Organisations' Network North East (VONNE), Andrew Samuel supports civil society organisations to understand, use and benefit from digital and communication technologies to better achieve their goal of delivering high quality services.
Sam, as he is known to friends and colleagues, has worked his way through a varied career which began underground in the Derbyshire coal mines. He then undertook an agricultural engineering role at a research institute in West Africa and stayed on there to work for the National Council for Arts & Culture in The Gambia. This was followed by an assortment of ICT support and strategic guidance work in the UK.
He maintains an ICT support website, compiles a monthly e-bulletin, stays on top of and disseminates relevant regional and national policy issues and generally networks as much as possible with the sector's infrastructure and frontline organisations.
He is currently managing a number of projects which revolve around two main initiatives;
- A NAVCA led piece of work focussing on three themes; 'Improving Access to Quality Information & Resources', 'Building Sustainable ICT Support Providers' and 'More Effective Communication using Social Media'.
- A Capacitybuilders Improving Reach project which aims to enable Infrastructure Organisations who work with and for ‘Hard to Reach’ groups, to better use ICT to be more effective and efficient in supporting their members.
Sam is a governor of St Teresa's Catholic Primary School in Heaton which, after a 2009 Ofsted inspection was judged outstanding in all areas. He likes wellington boot throwing but doesn't like gristle.
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