Please welcome the wonderful John Hyland from the Barclays Digital Eagle Team. John moved from Liverpool to Belfast and planted himself in Ormeau Baths as he wanted to connect and be surrounded by amazing, like-minded people. Since then John has made a huge positive impact on the OB team and members by involving himself in our day-to-day life. Inspiring the team, John is set to do amazing things in 2022, read more about his story.
Name and Role:
John Hyland, Barclays Digital Eagle
Company elevator pitch:
Barclays Digital Eagles are passionate about empowering colleagues, customers and local communities to be more confident with technology and to move forward in the digital world.
We’re passionate that everyone has the opportunity to explore technology in an environment that suits them. We want to make sure that nobody experiences digital exclusion. We’re helping to bridge society’s digital skills gap so that everyone can excel in this rapidly changing world.
We have Digital Eagles across the UK who are ready to help.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in 2021?
On a personal level, to stop caring about what other people think. It’s been a big saboteur of mine for years, but as 2021 progressed, having only relocated to NI in December 2020, I started to come to terms with the simple fact that you should live for you, do what makes you happy, what gives you a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment, and stop allowing what you think others think about you have power over you. Only then will you truly be content and be able to live as carefree as you possibly can.
Do you have any hobbies or interests?
I’m a creative through and through and try to find different ways to put that out into the world. I’m a video maker at heart, and love being able to tell a story through a visual lens. But I’ve recently took my hand to make up, again as a creative outlet, using ones face as a canvas – it’s also really therapeutic when doing it as an art form. I’ve also, even more recently, been trying my hand at poetry, as a way to put my feelings down onto paper in a way that feels fluid.
Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’ve been involved in different initiatives that have found myself being interviewed on both local and national news outlets – being grilled by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain over male body image, whilst sat on the sofa in a dressing gown, is definitely one for the history books. As well as discussing hate crime in Liverpool when I was co-chair of the, then, Liverpool Pride organisation. ITV’s local office, where people may do live links, is in the Liver Building – little snippet of useless info for you there.
If you could pick up a new skill in an instant what would it be?
Animation. It may be a little bit of a cop out, having already got editing skills etc, but it’s something I’ve really been wanting to develop lately to help support and enhance the content I can create.
Aside from that, something completely out of the blue, horse riding – blame LOTR, but the idea of running free on horseback without a care in the world sounds so perfect in this crazy world we find ourselves in.
What do you enjoy most about Ormeau Baths?
Two things – I am a sucker for old architecture, and the history of Ormeau Bath’s is fascinating, whilst being architecturally beautiful. The fact that so much of the original features remain intact is incredible.
Secondly, the sense of community, you only need to look round on a moderately busy day, and there are so many smiling faces interacting with one another; there is no animosity or sense of competitiveness amongst members. Everyone is open to a chat and to support one another. And that is coming from the introvert who sits and observes!
Who is your dream business mentor?
Well, from a creative perspective, my biggest influence is Tim Burton, his unique styling and sense of escapism is second to none, and I’d love to have a simple conversation with him, let alone as a mentor!
Business and mindset wise, Steven Bartlett, perhaps. He’s a young, self-made entrepreneur who has such an incredibly positive mind-set that many young people can take inspiration and influence from. I’ve also visited the Social Chain office in Manchester, and you can tell how workers feel empowered being there!
Where can people find out more about you/ your business?
Barclays Digital Eagles have a few places to find out more –
To find out more about Digital Eagles in general, head to: https://www.barclays.co.uk/
For our free digital education platform, check out: https://digital.wings.uk.
To learn more about our Code Playground initiative, which supports the primary education of computer coding, head to: https://