Report news now! Text pictures & video to 80360, starting message with WITNESS then leave a space
Unsung hero: Former RAF man becomes IT guru
An IT volunteer and former military man has been nominated as an unsung hero.
Dave Hand, 48, from Ham in Richmond, was a member of the RAF for 10 years and now works with Kingston Voluntary Action (KVA) helping people understand computers.
He has been a key part of the group’s Super Highway and Community Connected projects, but like many unsung heroes, emphasised he was one only part of a bigger picture.
He said: “I have been out of work for the past three years because of illness and wanted to get into ICT support.
“It is so hard to get back into work, so I wanted to keep busy. From there I have learned lots of new skills I did not know I had.
“I had lost a lot of confidence in myself and I have gained that back.
“It is very rewarding. It is the sort of thing I would like to get more involved in, I feel this is my vocation.”
Mr Hand volunteers with KVA at St Peter’s Church in Norbiton and on the Cambridge Road estate, giving advice on how to use the internet and email, and offering computer check-ups.
He said: “With charity it is all about one goal – I just like the friendliness of it. People all working together, it is not like commerce where people are trying to climb over each other. My colleagues are very nice, supporting people.”
He also cares for his mother, Irene, who has dementia.
He said: “It can be quite hard, quite demanding. I can go out, but obviously I deal with all her affairs and make sure she is alright.
“I have seen so many wonderful people, I do not feel special. I just do it because I want to – you do it because you love your family or whoever you are looking after.”
Kate White, Super Highway manager at KVA, said: “He brings enthusiasm and gets involved with everything and is very patient.
“He is kind of become our digital champion. We could not deliver this rate of projects unless we had extra support from volunteers and he is a key one.”
Do you know an unsung hero? Call 020 8744 4273 or email newsdesk@surrey comet.co.uk.