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10 tech-for-good apps to help during lockdown

  • Written by Sarah Handley, visibility coach for app founders

    Apps and technology are the glue that is keeping us connected with our loved ones and the wider community through social distancing; beyond the most well-known apps like Zoom, Skype, Houseparty, there is an army of tech for good warriors who are really stepping up to be of service to families across the UK.

    Here is a list of tech-for-good apps providing a much-needed service and delivering messages of hope.

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    In no particular order.

    1) Onhand

    Onhand makes giving and getting help simple. Onhand is focused on the growing care gap facing older adults, especially around really basic needs - like shopping, tech, getting out and about, loneliness and social isolation. The team of Onhanders and a dedicated team of 5000+ volunteers have been supporting the most isolated and desperate by ensuring that they have access to shopping, cleaning and other help.

    Founder: Sanjay Lobo

    Website: www.beonhand.co.uk

    2) Nurturey

    Nurturey is a child health app that is working closely with NHS Digital to make a digital version of the Personal Child Health Record or Redbook as it is known, available to all parents in England. 45,000 parents already use Nurturey to record their child’s key milestones such as height and weight, as well as receiving notifications and alerts from trusted NHS sources. During CV-19 Nurturey has stepped up the regularity of its alerts to include helpful information such as 'parenting in a pandemic' and how to explain corona virus to kids. In addition parents can now access Nurturey’s Mental Maths feature for free to all Alexa users, a great activity to do with the kids during school closures and lockdown!

    Founder: Tushar Srivastava

    Website: www.nurturey.com

    3) Storychest

    Storychest has seen many of its existing users creating stories or diary entries relating to their family's experience of lockdown and coronavirus. Keeping diaries in a private space that can be shared with family and close friends provides a lot of reassurance to people and is also part of the acceptance process that our lives are very different at the moment. Storychest has made adding new stories to the app completely free during lockdown to help you keep in touch with loved ones and to keep a record of this unique moment in time.

    Founder: Charlotte McMillan

    Website: www.storychest.com


    Charlotte McMillian, founder of Storychest

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    4) Happity

    Happity helps parents find baby & toddler classes with a view to beating loneliness and maintaining good mental health. Prior to Covid-19 this was through face-to-face classes, but they have now launched Happity@Home to support thousands of class providers in continuing to support many more parents across the UK in maintaining mental health. Their #ShoutieSelfie campaign on 15th April invites everyone to share their ‘Shoutie Selfies’ to get people talking about mental health and make it a top priority right now.

    Founder(s) Emily Tredget and Sara Tateno

    Website: www.happity.co.uk

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    5) vCreate

    vCreate Neonatal is a secure video messaging platform that allows nurses to send video diaries to parents who aren’t able to visit the neonatal intensive care units. Nurses record video diaries and photos for parents who can access from anywhere and on any device. In addition to the support vCreate is providing for families in Neonatal Units, they are also now offering Secure Video Messaging to NHS Adult ICUs to support family communications throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Founder: Ben Moore

    Website: www.vcreate.tv

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    6) Korukids

    Koru Kids is on a mission to profoundly improve the wellbeing of a million families in the next 5 years. They provide innovative services like 'nanny share', in which a single nanny looks after children from 2 families at once. Each family pays less, the nanny gets paid more, and the children get a friend to play with.

    As part of their contribution to the fight against Covid-19 they have been training up medical students to provide childcare for NHS workers who need it, for free. The team at Koru have also been trialing virtual nannying.

    Founder: Rachel Carrel

    Website: www.korukids.co.uk

    7) Olio

    Never could the phrase “Your community needs you more than ever” ring so true and Olio, the community and food sharing app that set out with a mission to share more and waste less, have a team of 7,000 volunteers ensuring that high risk people don’t go hungry over the next 12 weeks. They have also launched #Cook4Kids to help children who have lost access to school meals by asking local families to cook/ prepare school lunches.

    Founder(s): Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One

    Website: www.olioex.com

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    8) My possible self

    The My Possible Self app has clinically proven modules to help you manage stress, anxiety and low mood. Based on face-to-face therapy, it teaches psychological strategies and coping skills to tackle stress and anxiety, and boost your mood.

    You can also use their mood tracker to see how activities, places and people influence your mood – so you can focus more on the things that help, and less on the things that don’t.

    The app is free and will continue to be until we are on the other side of this crisis.

    Founder: Joanne Wilkinson

    Website: www.mypossibleself.com

    9) Circle of Alphas

    Husband and wife team Don and Sesh Naidoo, both Science teachers developed the Circle of Alphas app because of their own experience of working in the classroom. It teaches seasoned and NQT teachers resilience, mindfulness and productivity. The 3 pillars for a successful work life balance. The app has a number of meditations and exercises to help teachers focus on mindfully controlled breathing and releasing anxiety and stress.

    Website: www.Seshanddon.com

    Founder(s): Sesh Naidoo and Donavan Naidoo

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    10) Grubby

    Martin and his team will be delivering their plant-based recipe kits for free to NHS workers in central London the week commencing 20th April. The Grubby Team are volunteering with the aim of delivering over 500 meals to two London NHS buildings and in doing so save our selfless NHS heroes a needless trip to the shops.

    Grubby usually stock their unique grab and go recipe kits in office buildings for people to pick up as they leave work and their brand spanking new app is due to go live in the next week! Their free app not only allows users to buy their bags in the buildings they stock but it also gives you free access to all their recipes and unique Spotify ‘prep-playlists’.

    For now though, they’ll be delivering their Grubby bags filled with all the fresh ingredients our NHS heroes will need to cook a quick and healthy meal when they get home after a long shift. You can follow Grubby on Instagram @grubbymealkits and donate to their NHS deliveries cause by searching ‘grubbyfornhs’ on Justgiving.com.

    Website: www.getgrubby.co.uk

    Founder: Martin Holden-White

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