Diocesan IT Manager who spearheaded a digital revolution wins Tech Leadership award

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IT Manager Liam Olford, who works for the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, is celebrating the award of some silverware at the South Coast Tech Awards for his abilities with software and hardware.

At a prestigious awards ceremony held at the Aegas Bowl, Southampton, on 12 October, the IT professional was honoured in a special category uniquely created to recognise his talents – Special Recognition in Tech Leadership.

The judging panel for the awards, made up of the region’s industry experts, lauded the digital revolution he single-handedly brought about in the diocese by training all 250 staff and over 2,000 volunteers.

Richard Thompson, Chief Executive of The Business Magazine, organisers of the event, said:

“We were thrilled to make an additional and very special award this year, after reading about the amazing contribution Liam has made.”

The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Philip Egan, praised Liam for ‘upskilling’ the diocesan staff and clergy:

“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 added:

“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.”

As far as the diocese is aware, this is the first time any regional organisation with religious affiliation has won an IT-sector award.