Join your nearest Empowering Women training (running in July and September only)

Share: Ireland 2021 - From Response to Recovery

Virtual (Teams)

This event has now ended.

Date & time

  1. 20 May 2021 10:00 - 13:10



Join our third Share National event of 2021. Socitm has been extending its reach to colleagues across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland during the past 12 months. Presentations and conversations from contributors across the UK and the Republic of Ireland will allow us to share experience and knowledge and take away tips and ideas for ourselves and our teams. Put people at the heart of what we do, people in our local communities and our colleagues.


  1. 10:00 Welcome and Introductions

    Sam Smith, Assistant Director of IT & Digital Services, Cambridgeshire County & Peterborough City Councils and Chair

    President Sam Smith (Assistant Director of IT & Digital Services for Cambridgeshire County & Peterborough City Councils) will guide us through conversations, so we can share experience and knowledge, and take away tips and ideas for ourselves and our teams. Sam will also share her perspective about moving on beyond pandemic response.

  2. 10:05 The Journey to Recovery

    Sam Smith,  Assistant Director of IT & Digital Services, C ambridgeshire County & Peterborough City Councils | Martin Ferguson, Director of Policy & Research

    Join our keynote guest to consider our routes to recovery. Our experiences and responses have been local. Your path to recovery will build on local strengths and will support more place-based thinking and approaches. Be inspired to have the confidence to take solutions and give them your local twist.

  3. 10:20 Service Design in the post Covid council

    Faith La Grange, Director of Local & Regional Government, Microsoft UK | Ellen Wilson, Sustainability and Smart Cities Lead, Microsoft UK

    • The future design of public services based on the response to the pandemic – how can we build on our positive experiences
    • Making it real – how can accelerate the good practice and make it sustainable as we recover and reform
    • Acceleration of technology adoption in the public sector to improve place-based outcomes
  4. 10:40 Procuring accessible products; using buying power to drive change

    Kevin White, Head of Digital Accessibility, Scottish Government

    Whether it is an enterprise level product or a campaign website, accessibility is often included as part of the requirements. So why are there still so many inaccessible digital services? This workshop will outline why this is a problem and explore how we as purchasers can improve things.

  5. 11:00 Networking break

    Grab a tea or coffee, take a breather and the opportunity to virtually mingle and network.

  6. 11:10 Breakout 1: How we maintain our top accessibility score

    Anne Jones, Web Officer, Hinckley and Bosworth Council

    Council websites are now required to be WCAG 2.1 AA, in order to comply with Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

    Making your council website accessible though can be challenging:

    • You may be just a small team, with very little budget
    • You may work with colleagues who are not be fully on board with web accessibility; they may not understand why it matters
    • Your website may rely on third party applications which aren’t completely accessible

    In this session, I’d like to share how our approach to making our site accessible, before opening up a discussion to find out what other organisations are doing, so as a group we can come up with suggestions for best practice.

  7. 11:10 Breakout 2: How we improved our accessibility: what's your score?

    James Sawkins, ICT Analyst, Shetland Islands Council

    How to get ahead in accessibility. Equality of access to services and information is essential for our communities. Everyone’s shop front is their website, and we must make sure everyone can get in and find what they need. Meet the Shetland Islands Council. They have taken forward a new website to improve their accessibility and continue to use their accessibility report to improve. They will share with us, what they learned through their new website project – and indeed how they will continue to improve their accessibility.

  8. 11:30 Digital during Covid - Catching the Wave

    Dan West, Chief Digital Information Officer, Department of Health Northern Ireland

    Join Dan West as he will talk about how digital has enabled Health and Social Care during the pandemic, and focus on sustaining post-pandemic digital adoption as we move from response to recovery. Dan will provide insights and key steps the Health and Social Care system in Northern Ireland can, and is, taking to ensure the success of digital transformation. He will also discuss putting people, place and communities are at the heart of this journey, and look at some of the challenges we face as we move of the new way of working and sustaining the benefits of a remote workforce

  9. 11:50 Leading a remote workforce

    Aidan Matthews, Learning Programme Manager, Socitm

    Creating an environment that supports and encourages learning and reflection is key in helping us develop professionally. Come and learn from Aidan about the online programmes he is running to support members in working remotely and managing and leading their teams. He will share his insights from training and coaching members, and help us blend together our remote working skills for whatever the future office is.

  10. 00:10 Elevator pitch

    Phil Cracknell, IP Performance

  11. 12:15 Strategies for Ransomware Prevention

    Gary Forsythe, Systems Engineer, Veeam

    The war on ransomware is real. Organisations need to have a strong, multi-layered defence and strategy to address ransomware. Veeam will provide organisations with practical steps they can take to protect data and avoid being in a situation where data loss or ransom payment are their only options.

  12. 12:35 What can we do with what we've got?

    Dave Sanderson, Regional Director, Socitm (Chair) | Rory Hopkins, Head of Information Systems, Kildare County Council | David Kelly, Digital Portfolio Manager, Belfast City Council

    When you sit back and think about it, we all have access to a lot of resources. Sometimes we need to review and reconsider what we have and how we are using it. There are resources, people, enthusiasms and skills within our teams and organisations that it’s easy to get complacent about. Making better and difference use of people and things can lead to better productivity and better wellbeing.

  13. 13:05 Round up and close

    Sam Smith, Assistant Director of IT & Digital Services, Cambridgeshire County & Peterborough City Councils and Chair


Who can join our events?

Our events are open to everyone and relevant to all levels of staff, from new joiners right through to senior executives. This creates a vibrant mix which promotes innovation, sharing of best practice and drives the modernisation of public services.

Attendance is included in our membership and partnership packages. A fee may apply for non-members. Please see individual event registration details for more information.

Contact us to discuss your options.

Public sector – contact Poppy Whelan. Private sector – contact Aimie Francis.