Entrepreneur-backed Scottish Tech Army hails progress

A volunteering initiative that launched about eight weeks ago has already seen its 850-strong team help more than 75 organisations.

Alistair Forbes, left, and Peter Jaco co-founded the organisation that now has a team of 850. Picture: Alex Hewitt.
Alistair Forbes, left, and Peter Jaco co-founded the organisation that now has a team of 850. Picture: Alex Hewitt.

The Scottish Tech Army was co-founded by entrepreneurs Alistair Forbes and Peter Jaco in just two weeks, after a chance meeting on a daily lockdown walk, to harness the talents of people on furlough or made redundant.

After setting up the not-for-profit company, the duo sought help from Paul Atkinson of Head Resourcing, and started working with Civtech and the Scottish Government Digital Directorate.

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The Scottish Tech Army formed rapid response units to quickly fix digital challenges caused by Covid-19. Organisations it has helped include the Govan Community Project in Glasgow, which works with asylum seekers. It enabled the project’s social enterprise Voiceover Interpreting, an important revenue stream, to kick-start the marketing of its online video service.

The Tech Army has worked with The Govan Community Project (pictured). Picture: The Govan Community Project.

A spokesman said: “Our mission was to help charities, voluntary organisations, local government, Scottish Government and government-funded agencies tackle the digital challenges caused by Covid-19. A small core team of four launched Scottish Tech Army from our respective homes and by the end of the first week we had already smashed our target for volunteers and projects.

"As we transition out of lockdown and into a new reality, there is still a huge job to be done – but there is strong commitment on the part of everyone at the Scottish Tech Army to continue the work we have started.”

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