We’re working with some of the best organisations across the VCSE sector in Northern Ireland through Techies in Residence. We asked each of them their views on why they got involved in the project, and what they want to get out of it.

Tell us a little about your organisation.

Parenting NI is a regional parent support organisation providing services throughout Northern Ireland. We are committed to supporting all parents and ensuring that their voices are heard whenever decisions are made that will affect them. Our aim is to improve the outcomes for children and young people through supporting parents using a prevention and early intervention model. Parenting NI empowers parents to make positive changes through increasing parents’ skills and knowledge about their parenting role, specifically promoting positive parenting and the authoritative style of parenting. This is achieved through the delivery of a range of high quality support and services to meet parent’s needs.

What do you hope to achieve from the Techies in Residence Programme?

Parenting NI is hoping the support from the Techies in Residence programme will enable the development of technology which is easily accessible, parent friendly, provides useful support and advice with an aim to develop and build the parent/child relationship and in turn improve the outcomes for children.

What challenge is your organisation trying to address?

Parenting NI is hoping the support from the Techies in Residence programme will enable the development of technology which is easily accessible, parent friendly, provides useful support and advice with an aim to develop and build the parent/child relationship and in turn improve the outcomes for children.

Parenting NI continuously listens to the needs of parents and works to identify challenges and social problems and offers support to address these. The challenge Parenting NI is trying to address through the Techies in Residence programme is to increase our range of services and reach out to more parents to provide them with the support they need at the time they need it. Parents have told us that some of their greatest challenges included rural isolation, not knowing where to access support, being afraid that they will be judged as a bad parent, not being open to ask for help due to previous negative experiences and the support not being available at the time when they need it the most.

What’s the largest impact that Techies in Residence will have on your organisation?

In supporting Parenting NI to develop an innovative tool for parents to access support, Techies in Residence will help the organisation reach more parents. This has a wider impact on making support more accessible for all parents. By creating a tool that presents support information in a creative way, it is hoped that this will reduce the stigma for parents in accessing support and become a gateway for them to access other services.

The Techies in Residence programme is an initiative of Social Innovation NI, managed by the Building Change Trust, which in turn has been funded by Big Lottery Fund and also Comic Relief. Innovate NI have been appointed by the Trust as Managing Agent for the ongoing development and delivery of Techies in Residence.