An IT apprentice who helped make sure staff at a Derby-based housing trust had the technology required to work from home during lockdown has been nominated for a prestigious national award.
Jed Fowler, the assistant IT manager at Derventio Housing Trust in Boyer Street, has reached the shortlist of the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ category of the Housing Heroes Awards 2020, organised by Inside Housing and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
The award nomination, which recognises his commitment to personal development and the contribution he has made to the organisation, comes at the end of a whirlwind couple of months for 20-year-old Jed, during which he has proven his worth by helping to set staff up with laptops and making sure that they had the software, security and access they needed to do their job without coming into the office.
A former student of Belper School, Jed joined Derventio straight from Derby College in 2018 and, when he isn’t helping the Trust to deal with the restrictions of working amidst a global pandemic, he also looks after its day-to-day IT and phone system.
And he has even shared his knowledge with the Trust’s residents, including one man who asked him to help him set up a website and blog so that he could share his thoughts on his journey living with and recovering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The award-winners will be announced next month and fittingly, albeit disappointingly, Jed will learn his fate via the internet, since the organisers have had to switch to a virtual ceremony because of the social distancing measures associated with the pandemic.
“I was surprised to find out that I’d been shortlisted because there are a lot of people who deserve the award ahead of me, but it will be very interesting to see how I get on,” he said.
“It’s certainly been very busy over the past couple of months and I’ve really enjoyed my time with the Trust. I took up this role because I really like the teccie stuff, but I get a lot out of working with the residents and I’d like to do more of that kind of work in the future.
“Blogging and sharing their thoughts online can mean a lot to people, so sitting down with them and giving them the skills to set up a blog and then edit it is very rewarding.”