Arthritis Care’s challenge is how to help and support young people to cope better with the pain and struggles of living with arthritis. Over the past 12 weeks, Arthritis Care has co-created and developed a prototype app with and for young people that has the potential to transform a young person’s experience living with arthritis. It has been an incredible experience and the hard work of a dedicated and committed team has resulted in the completion of a first iteration working prototype. The team has experienced first-hand the significant impact that digital technology integration can potentially have within a healthcare setting.
Through the TIR programme, the initial concept was refined and developed into a prototype app that allows young people to track their condition and produce reports about symptoms/side effects of their medication, sleep, activity, school, mood and more. In its current form, the app provides basic hints and tips that can empower the young person/user to take control of their arthritis and improve their quality of life. The interface has been co-designed with young people using the approach of messaging a friend to gather information rather than data input.
Cornfield Project’s challenge was how to maximise the potential of their evolving Cornfield Project – a transformational site set between the local communities of Ballysally & Millburn in Coleraine. This once disused and unloved area is now the Kew Gardens/Grow Wild flagship site for Northern Ireland in 2016, undergoing a complete transformation of the area. The aim of the project has always been two-fold:
to have a beautiful natural environmental area in the heart of a built-up residential zone and
to engage a hugely diverse range of people in the site with related activities.
Through the Techies in Residence project we have already made significant impact having developed and implemented an interactive digital engagement platform which has currently three main benefits:
The provision of an interactive story trail using QR codes to encourage families and children to visit and take them on a fun and inspiring tour of the site, increasing their appreciation of nature and allowing them to explore all the various site areas.
The delivery of an online donation tool where all visitors to the site are encouraged to donate to the ongoing Cornfield development activities.
The development of an initial wire-frame basic set-up for the hosting of a Membership Services Area – this is a crucial aspect of the work as this area will host educational resources for primary schools (the first of these is currently under development through a project with the Ulster University and local schools). The resources will be made available to local schools through an annual subscription model which will generate an ongoing income to support the project’s sustainability in the long-term
Discussions and planning in the lead up to the UK City of Culture 2013 re-ignited an interest in how the local community in Shantallow might better celebrate the rich and varied heritage which exists in the Greater Shantallow area of Derry. Despite having a wealth of history and interesting stories to tell, these heritage assets are over-looked and under-appreciated, not featuring in any local tourist information, marketing or investment plans.
Working and liaising with other neighbourhoods, GSAP also recognised a lack of knowledge, awareness, understanding, interest, enjoyment of, investment in and marketing of the rich heritage available in many local neighbourhoods. and subsequently many communities are unaware of the potential exploitation of their heritage for social, community and economic benefit.
The Partnership has been slowly working on mapping assets, having conversations with key stakeholders and developing a proposal to establish a strategic heritage project – a heritage trail that celebrates the diverse heritage of Greater Shantallow by a) using digital interpretation as a means of telling local stories, b) enhancing local educational, skills and knowledge base, c) growing community tourism through social enterprise and d) extending the city-wide offer and adding to the ‘Derry’ story.
The team knew that the use of digital technology would considerably enhance the project’s impact and that’s where the intervention of a ‘techie in residence’ was vital. Being paired with OLI has enabled GSAP to develop and learn about the processes to build a functioning prototype app that can showcase the area’s heritage assets to key stakeholders. It was agreed that the solution to the ‘problem’ would have two key elements – a) a digital solution / prototype app developed by OLI based on their award winning app platform, b) content – developed by the GSAP team, initially a 7-point heritage trail to showcase the potential of the app and the “North Townlands Heritage Trail”.
One of The Old Library Trust’s (OLT) key area of work is addressing the issue of childhood obesity. The Trust has been delivering the SWEET programme for over 5 years. It is a family based childhood obesity prevention and management programme that adopts a community development approach working in the heart of communities the Western Health and Social Care Trust area. It is recognised as a model of good practice and is an active member of the EPODE international network (EIN) working towards giving all children the opportunity to lead a healthy life.
A major challenge is that OLT can only deliver 9 programmes a year reaching a maximum of 60 families. This does not create enough impact in the community and needs to be improved. Through Techies in Residence, the aim is to digitise the SWEET Project and make it a fun, interactive and enjoyable e-learning experience that could have a greater reach and bigger impact across the Western Trust.
Through working with Learning Pool, OLT has been moving their successful programme online, and benefiting from the expertise of Learning Pool to create an engaging and safe space. The process has involved cooking demos with David Meade, developing the frameworks and converting the years of expertise of the OLT team into a suitable e-learning format that will work with the targeted userbase. Paul McElvaney- founder of Learning Pool said of the project: “I’m a strong advocate of Corporate Social Responsibility, which we take very seriously at Learning Pool- we love to give back. From bake sales for charity, career enrichment to university scholarships, it’s pretty busy! We were approached with an overview of the programme and we thought it was a super opportunity to get involved in a local community imitative. The Learning Pool team are passionate about CSR, so working with George and his team to combat childhood obesity makes perfect sense for us. We can help scale the number of people who will benefit from the programme and we’re really excited about working with George and his team to make this come to life. We plan to include some video demonstrations on food preparation and making the module interactive and fun for the end users, as well as helping share it nationally to promote the Old Library Trust’s profile As this project has been so successful as a face to face workshop the biggest challenge is the transition to a digital platform.”
Specialisterne NI have been trying to help more managers and team leaders in companies to have the opportunity to think differently about employees and team members who have a social communication difference. This is in response to unemployment statistics for Autistic people (estimated 86%), the experiences of Autistic people, and also feedback in focus groups where Autistic people identified other people’s perceptions as the main barrier they faced regarding being part of communities. Technology enables Specialisterne to reach more people than they currently can..
Specialisterne and Logicearth have developed a prototype e-learning tool that captures a learning agent that has achieved perceptual change in relation to working with employees who have a social communication difference. They have used technology to develop a tool that captures participants’ instinctual (first) response, and offers an opportunity to select a new (or continued) response further to learning about Autistic people’s viewpoints.
This is exciting as, using technology in this way, captures key transformational aspects of the training:
participant’s responses are not judged as incorrect, which tends to close off the learning window
as a tool, it can be used for multiple variations of scenario based training, and across subject matters (not just Autism), which means it has potential to scale
it differentiated the learning tool from other e-learning currently available
free text has been included as an option for participants, which allows more control to participants, and future potential of more accurate analysis of learners’ perceptions of Autism at the start and end of the e-learning journey.
There is not a joined up approach to service provision for women and men affected by domestic and sexual abuse, which is the problem that Women’s Aid NI and Aerona are trying to solve.
Many victims do not necessarily recognize abuse even when it is happening to them, they need answers to fundamental questions such as: Is my relationship healthy? Is it abusive? These questions need to be asked before people can determine if their relationship is abusive in any way. So, the problem really is about how we communicate information, how we connect with people
Through the Techies in Residence Programme the team has started to address this problem – learning about how to get the key messages out there in a new way, how to use online space to talk to people. The new service uses plain, positive language, eye catching images; it questions how Women’s Aid NI can appeal to a broad spectrum of people. Consequently, the conversation has started to change through recognising the need for a bigger, better, bolder online service that talks to people, especially young people, who have expressed the need for a different conversation during recent consultations.
So far, the team has been learning about how to use Tech to do this, to change the conversation about abuse. They have looked at messaging – how to present things and the process has encouraged them to think about how they can build services online, talking to people in innovative meaningful ways and thinking about how they get information – a new paradigm in supporting people online. The portal in development has the capacity for this and will support this innovative way of working.