Goodbye And Good Luck To Mark Walker

It’s with real sadness that SCIP have said goodbye to one of our founders, Mark Walker, who has moved on after twenty years.

Mark,  ICT Champion for the South East, has been a fantastic, popular and inspirational member of the SCIP team, concentrating on training, marketing and fundraising.

He’s now taken a new role with national disabilities charity AbilityNet and we all wish him lots of luck in his new role.

Mark has written a goodbye letter for the SCIPlist and here it is in full in case you missed it.

Hello all,

This won’t be news to everyone but as of 1 January I’m no longer working for SCIP. Due to changes in grant funding, I spent most of 2011 working on projects and delivering training in SCIP’s name in a freelance capacity.

I now have a new job working as marketing manager for AbilityNet, a national charity that helps people with disabilities use IT. I’ve worked with them for the past 18 months on the Technology4Good Awards and they’ve now recruited me as an employee. As this is a full-time role it marks the end of my time with SCIP, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you so many people.

I’ve worked in the sector in Sussex for close to 20 years and have always been motivated by the wonderful energy and expertise of the people who work for, volunteer in and support the local not-for-profit sector. It’s been a real privilege to share time with people who care about our local communities, including people from the public and business sectors which are such an important part of a flourishing and successful community.

You may not know that SCIP has been around since 1995-ish, when Netscape was on version 0.1, modems cost £300 and we didn’t even have mobile phones or text messaging, let alone Facebook [in fact, I’m not sure we had more than 4 channels on the TV?]. The change in our lives and our communities since then has been breath-taking. It’s not all for the good but I’m very proud of the way our free and low cost training and support has helped so many different people get to grips with the wonders of the web.

We have always tried to help people who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to try new technology, to give them a chance to explore the benefits it could bring to their lives on their own terms. And right from the start we got out into communities, running events in community centres from Hangleton to Hastings, joining in community events [like the wonderful Low Tide where we ran a cybercafé on the beach] and staging Virtual Festivals in the Corn Exchange in 1998 and ’99, when literally thousands of people used the internet for the very first time. It’s been great to work with such brilliant people to help make IT familiar, useful and accessible in every sense of the word.

I’m also delighted to have seen the social enterprise part of our work flourish and the good news is that Andy, Mark and Anna have their hands firmly on the tiller; delivering sustainable, affordable web design and IT support services. If you’re not already using SCIP for your IT support, web design or related services, please do ask them next time you’re thinking about changing suppliers.

There are so many people to thank and I will arrange a proper leaving do in a few weeks, meanwhile I wish you all the best for a healthy and happy 2012.

Take care