When the WCIT (Worshipful Company of Information Technologies) P&P (Projects and Pro-bono) Panel urgently requested help to build laptops for SABP (Surrey and Borders Partnership) NHS Trust hard-working frontline staff we just had to answer the call.

SABP had taken delivery of over 450 new laptops but after the build image and procedure was signed off, each laptop would need to be built to this specification, before delivery to GP’s and medical staff.  With the regular, IT support staff flat out keeping the day to day operations running volunteers were urgently needed.

A Call for Help

On hearing this we just had to help. So, after putting out a call for volunteers a team from DSI stepped forward to help.

After registering online and a few checks by SABP HR and some initial onboarding we were approved to work at the SABP HQ in Leatherhead.  Adhering to social distancing guidelines a few of the regular staff would build laptops during the day, whilst a night team (us) would build the laptops at night working from 6 pm to 2 am with an SABP engineer overseeing and assisting as required.

Starting the Project

We arrived early on Monday 20th April meeting Tom Osborn, the Infrastructure Project Manager and Mahmood Abdullah, our overnight contact and technical support consultant. Much of the first night was understanding the build requirements and procedure, but each successive night shift was more productive than the last.

As well as building the laptops our team carried out a Quality Assurance (QA) check, ensuring each laptop was built to the required specification, loaded with the correct application software and ready to go.

A Birthday to Remember

Day two brought the added excitement of Dave Lyons’ Birthday, so we celebrated with Pizza and cake (kindly provided by Mahmood) with candles celebrating his 28th birthday, wishful thinking on David’s part!

Picking up the Pace

Friday saw Liveryman, Guy Leppard join us with his daughter Iona which helped us ramp up the output, especially helpful as we were now starting to build a different model with subtle differences in the procedure.

Monday saw Paul Lyons join the team, quickly getting up to speed and into the rhythm. So, we were now we were flying and finished what we needed to do in the early hours of Friday morning.

Real People Making a Real Difference

Our experience in imaging laptops for customers, such as Tottenham Hotspur and managing stock control for News UK helped us and the NHS team not only with this project but potentially with support for other projects in the future.

We faced a few challenges along the way, with a shortage of USB sticks and some build issues, but by the end of the second week all laptops had been built and on the way to our real heroes – the staff in the NHS who are selflessly tackling this virus  – the real people making a real difference who we will all be forever grateful.

It was a great privilege to be able to give something back to the NHS and big thank you to the team at SABP NHS Trust who were friendly and great to work with, even at 2 in the morning!

We continue to offer our help and support on an ad-hoc basis, with Mark and Dave volunteering for a day shift only this week.

The Team: Mike Lyons, Mark Caudle, Dave Lyons, Guy Leppard, Iona Leppard and Paul Lyons