Scotsoft 2018. Smart people, community and trees

Last week I was proud to continue the tradition of Sopra Steria’s support of the Young Software Engineer of the year award, since its inception 20 years ago.  Once again the entrants were outstanding (though I confess the technicalities of some project went right over my head!).   Can Gafuroglu’s winning  project was entitled  ‘Joint prediction and Classification of Brain Image Evolution Trajectories from Baseline with Application to Early Dementia Diagnosis’.  Our industry is about solving problems and this project underlines the significance of what can be achieved by the smart use of technology by #smartpeople.

 

The buzz at the dinner was incredible and underlined the spirit of ScotlandIS – that of #community.   Our Sopra Steria table was no exception, with a mix of SMEs, customers and advisors. Plus Alison McLaughlin – now on secondment to Scottish Government Digital as part of the Digital Fellowship Programme.

And, #trees.  Lizzy Yarnold was an inspirational speaker on the evening and reminded us all of the importance of belief, ambition and team work.  She spoke about a book “The Inner Life of Trees”: What they feel, how they communicate.  A brilliant parallel to business life – the need for constant communication, mutual support and networking.

Well done to ScotlandIS.  The Scotsoft conference has once again reinforced our Smart Young People, Our Community and that we are a well-connected forest.


by Mags Moore, Head of Government for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Harrow’s Heroes – A look into a brilliant evening

A splendid evening with around 250 people in attendance enjoyed a night of celebration of the volunteering community in the borough of Harrow.  Ray Baker and myself were fortunate enough to share a table with the Leader of the council, Cllr Graham Henson and his wife, and fellow councillor Maxine Henson, amongst others.   Canapés and bubbly were shared beforehand with a  photo booth and a rousing introduction from the exuberant, The Worshipful The Mayor, Councillor Kareema Marikar.

Dinner was delicious range of Indian food and the compere moved things along briskly as the awards started being presented.  Each group of nominees were called forward and the winner was invited onto the stage to receive their award from the guest presenter for the category.  Runners up received a certificate extolling the virtues and winners a rather lovely glass trophy.

The Sopra Steria sponsored award was presented to the overall winners of all of the categories, i.e. the Volunteers of the Year.  I was honoured to be invited on to stage to present this to the Infant Feeding Volunteers Peer Supporters.

Overall it was a fantastic evening that really celebrated the true nature of volunteerism and I’m proud that Sopra Steria can support this great work being done and I look forward to our continued involvement going forward.

By Lee Westwood

Sopra Steria sponsors Harrow’s Heroes, celebrating the fantastic work of community volunteers

“Harrow’s Heroes” celebrates the hard work, dedication and commitment of local volunteers who make Harrow a special place to live and work. We are delighted to be involved in recognising the hundreds of unsung heroes that are doing so much in their communities and are looking forward to presenting the ‘Volunteer of the year award’ at tonight’s event and we want to wish the best of luck to everyone shortlisted.

As a company we’re committed to a spirit of volunteerism, Sopra Steria is honoured to again be part of the celebration which recognises the many hours volunteers dedicate to helping others and their incredible contributions to local causes. The commitment and achievements of those shortlisted in the awards is truly inspiring.

More information about Harrow’s Heroes is available online.

Sopra Steria was selected by Harrow Council to deliver IT services, including upgrading the IT systems across the council to ensure staff and residents can take advantage of new technology and can access more digital, on-line services.

Find out more about Sopra Steria’s work in Local Government.

Hope, ambition, dedication. My eye-opening look into the Sopra Steria India Foundation

In late July and early August, my colleague, Jen Rodvold, and I, had the opportunity to visit India for the purpose of seeing first-hand what the Sopra Steria India foundation does, and as Video Content Creator for the company, capture footage of the experience for those who are not as fortunate as me to have such an amazing opportunity. I was honoured to be invited and excited to go on a trip like this. What I didn’t expect, was for it to have such an impression on myself, and to become a real advocate for a cause as incredible and impactful as the Sopra Steria India foundation.

During the course of our 8-day trip, we visited Chennai, Pune, and Delhi, seeing various schools, homes and Sopra Steria offices. This allowed me to see the students that the Sopra Steria India foundation helps, and the volunteers and CSR workers that put in the hard work to allow the scheme to be such a success.

As soon as I arrived in India, it was clear to see the cultural difference between the UK and India. The poverty was highly evident, especially when we visited scholars in their homes. These scholars often lived in one-room homes, where entire families would live and care for each other. But because of our sponsorship, we gave them a vision of a route out of this difficult life. This was made evident in particular when one scholar’s mother was present during our interview. And as we finished, she spoke about how proud she was of her daughter, and began to get emotional, due to what her daughter is going to go onto achieve thanks to her hard work and our financial support. That was on the first day of our interviews, and therefore at the very start of my experience made me realise the Sopra Steria foundation really is making a huge difference to people’s lives.

Every student I saw clearly had so much desire and motivation to achieve their ambitions. They had a target, and they knew how to get there, through their hard work and dedication. They realised that they needed financial support to achieve their dreams, and were therefore very grateful that Sopra Steria had chosen them to make their dreams come true.

Along with seeing sponsored scholars, we visited schools that Sopra Steria provide support for. Each school we visited gave us an incredibly warm welcome with their hospitality, even putting on performances for the purpose of our arrival. The generosity and care of the teachers and students showed how grateful they were because of our support. The Sopra Steria India foundation provides computers to schools throughout the country, where the children are given the opportunity to apply their creativity and learn much more necessary skills in order to succeed in the future. Along with computers, the Sopra Steria India foundation provides the basic amenity of clean drinking water through the installation of water towers. Without our help, the children wouldn’t have such a basic necessity provided for them, which is truly shocking. This is why the scheme must continue and grow.

As the volunteers vocalised (and as I saw for myself), it is a shame we cannot sponsor every child and support every school. In one school, I saw young students expressing their ambitions and future wishes, and if they did have the financial support I could see them achieving them. And although we cannot help every single child, we can certainly try our best to help as many as we can through the continued support of the Sopra Steria India foundation.

Through the course of the next few months, various videos will be created from the footage I filmed, and will be published to further explain the Sopra Steria India foundation, and clearly show how it greatly helps underprivileged communities. ­