WRBLO / Our Teams / Simon

About Me: WRBLO’S Chief Technical Officer

I was born in 1963 in County Durham. My family moved to Norfolk when I was eleven. Since then, I have lived in London or the East of England all my life.

My life has been complex, varied and at times difficult. When younger I was at times homeless, clinically depressed, and unable to find suitable work. Eventually, I started working in the voluntary sector and found it very rewarding. I went on to work in the environmental movement, in community development, in the health service, and as a teacher. I finally found my strengths in programming, data analysis and solving complex problems.

I currently work four days a week so that I can dedicate one day to the things I value most: the well-being and treatment of others, the fairness of society, the wellbeing of the planet, and my son.

What inspired you to join WRBLO?

I joined WRBLO because I agree with its mission and felt it had realistic aims. I realised that my training as a technologist could help it succeed, and I wanted it to succeed.

The volunteers of WRBLO live all over the world, so their office needs to be a virtual one. In this office, they need to do everything you would do in a physical office so that WRBLO can help people in sub-Saharan Africa overcome enormous problems caused by famine, water shortage and inadequate social infrastructures.

Developments in internet technology are now making the virtual office a reality. It opens up lots of opportunities for organisations to bring together globally talent in order to benefit impoverished communities, wherever they are. It makes me feel immensely proud to work for WRBLO.

What do you do in your free time? 

I don’t have much free time. In my youth, I used to go out as much as possible, usually to social events, parties or political meetings. Over time I learnt that noisy social events were damaging to my health. These days I am contented with my own company, unwinding with a book of Sudoku puzzles and listening to the radio. I like to meet people I care about, but I find two hours with anyone is exhausting. It took decades for me to learn what happiness is.

When I have a chance, I like to be involved in Friends of the Earth in my area and take part in its campaigns. During the weekend I walk with my son who is a bricklayer. He too is passionate about environmental and social concerns. We both like to get out and discuss current affairs and in the fresh air

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