Keeping IT Simple: Former Scarborough man’s firm wins DEFRA award

A project that gave 630,000 non-shielded, vulnerable people access to food during the lockdown has won a DEFRA award for a former Scarborough man’s IT business.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 8:00 am
Keep IT Simple was started by Dr Grant Harris in 2016.

Keep IT Simple (KITS), which was only started by Dr Grant Harris in 2016, won the Working Together Category of the DEFRA Group Awards 2020 for the project that targeted the elderly, disabled and those with long-term health conditions.

The scheme provided a self-service matching system that allowed local authorities across England, four major charities (RNIB, Scope, MIND and Age UK) plus Tesco and Iceland to refer vulnerable people for priority delivery slots while observing competition law.

The KITS team worked tirelessly from home, sometimes throughout the night, to deliver the service which was designed, built, tested and live in just five days.

Dr Harris, who attended Pindar School and Scarborough Sixth Form College, said: “The programme was driven hard from the start and went live only five days after initial engagement, which included passing every level of governance and GDS approvals.

“This would have been a tremendous achievement had the team been collated in a single office, but to do this during the Covid-19 lockdown with each individual working from home coming together to successfully deliver this application in such a collective manner, is truly amazing.”