Following months of planning and development - and a Dragon’s Den style grilling from industry experts, including BBC, Samsung, Facebook and Thomson Reuters – the five boys’ ‘Who Cares?’ app idea won the Apps for Good People’s Choice Award.
Their prize is to have their winning ‘Who Cares?’ app developed by leading experts – ready for download and launch to the public in six-months.
‘Who Cares?’ was designed by the group of year 8 and 9 boys to help identify and support young carers.
Linking to Carers Trust’s online support network Babble, the app will connect isolated young carers, pinpoint local health services, link to support services and share stories from other young carers.
The boys chose to develop ‘Who Cares?’ because they know a child their age who is looking after a relative and they saw first-hand the impact on them.
Winning team member, Itesham, aged 13 years, said: “We never expected to get through to the final – let alone win the People’s Choice award. We were amazed! We are not young carers ourselves, but we are young people and we all know someone like us who has to take care of a relative or friend.
“The problem that we are trying to solve is; how can you help young carers get back into society, meet others like themselves and access the essential support services that they need - all in one place? We researched the issues, met with young carers and formed links with Carers Trust and their online support site, ‘Babble’.
“We presented our app with pride and passion to masses of important business people in London. Overall my favourite thing is that our small vision to change lives will now become a reality.”
Gail Scott-Spicer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust said: “Huge congratulation to these technology stars of the future. Not only are they budding entrepreneurs, but they show compassion and real understanding about the issues young carers face. We know from what young people tell us that caring responsibilities can have a big impact on a child’s mental wellbeing.
"Our research shows just how much Babble is needed to combat the risk of isolation and to make sure these young people are as happy as they can be. This fantastic new app, which links to our Babble site, will help to reach out to many more isolated young carers who desperately need help and support.”