Originally from the west coast of Scotland I moved to Edinburgh in 1983 at the age of 19 to continue my chosen career as a community worker with the elderly.
A self-taught artist with a growing interest in the arts I was also keen to investigate the strange phenomenon I had heard of called the Edinburgh Festival.
I first became aware of the Internet during a prolonged period of ill health in the late 1990’s - which included several years during which I was almost totally housebound. At the time, the Internet seemed to offer endless opportunities and possibilities - even for people in my unfortunate circumstances.
As soon as I obtained access to my first computer I began to explore how the web and digital technology could allow me to find ways to work around my disabilities and enable a return to some form of full time employment.
Over the next few years I was able to build upon my creative skills and interests to found and host a number of groundbreaking web based artistic events including the Edinburgh International Internet Festival (E.I.I.Festival 1999 - 2008) and 'The Gathering: Scotland's Millennium Arts Project' (1999 - 2000).
In addition to the experience gained designing websites and hosting online exhibitions and events, the Internet Festival also enabled me to develop a wide range of skills covering the production of Flash based animations and web ready audio and video.
As my health slowly improved I decided voluntary work would form the next stage in my plan to return to full time employment and so in 2002, I joined Age Concern Edinburgh (ACE IT www.aceit.org.uk ) as voluntary creative and web designer. The following year I received a ‘Gold Badge’ volunteering award, the highest award available from the national body of Age Concern.
During my time with ACE IT I have been able to provide web and graphic design services for an extensive number of multi-award winning Internet projects including the 'Moose in the Hoose' and the 'Edinburgh Silver Surfers'.
For the last few years I have hosted ‘The GD’ which is a community web portal and digital design and advice service for residents and community organisations across Gorgie Dalry and South West areas of Edinburgh ( www.thegd.org.uk ).
I have also been deeply involved in a wide selection of local web development projects including ‘Christmas In Gorgie Dalry’ - The ‘Save Dalry Swim Centre’ and ‘Save The Gorgie War Memorial Hall’ campaigns. This work led to me becoming one of three Scottish finalists at the Talk Talk Digital Hero Awards 2010 and in May of last year I received an ‘Inspiring Volunteering Achievement Award’ from the Volunteer Centre, Edinburgh.
I am currently looking for a full time position within a creative or community organisation based anywhere within the UK - who feel the skills and experience I have gained can be of benefit to their own work.
Even after ten years - I still remain wholly absorbed with the creative possibilities offered by digital technology - and through personal experience I can testify to the potential of the Internet to revolutionise the lives of the socially isolated.
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