Techies in Residence - Aware
We're taking a closer look at the organisations working in our Techies in Residence programme. Next up it is Aware...
AWARE has been working since 1996 to support all those in Northern Ireland affected by depression. We also welcome and support carers. We opened our first office in Derry/Londonderry and now have a second office in Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, where our helpline is based.
They also have an established network of 22 support groups in rural and urban areas across the country, which are run by trained volunteers.
AWARE is the only charity in Northern Ireland that works exclusively for those with depression.
They believe that the people who use their services should have a say in how they are developed and delivered, so they employ people with experience of depression at every level in the organisation, including the Board of Trustees.
AWARE rely on their dedicated and caring volunteers who run our support groups and helpline. Many of the volunteers began as service users and as such are an excellent asset, keeping the organisation informed on staying in touch with people’s needs.
One of the areas of AWARE’s work is Mood Matters. Mood Matters is a programme that has been delivered in schools across Northern Ireland since the year 2000. It is delivered in a one and a half hour course.
Aware think that technology could help this reach a larger audience- ideally reaching parents as well as the students that the course is currently delivered to.
A working solution to this will have impact beyond the organisation and Northern Ireland.
Following on from the Techies in Residence Bootcamp at CultureTECH, it was decided to create an interactive Mood Board Web App on the Aware website to positively engage young people after delivery of Mood Matters in their school.
Taking inspiration from social platforms like Whisper and incorporating Aware’s DOT (Do One Thing) campaign and Mood Walk Mood Board, the interactive Mood Board will allow young people to create slides/images to post short messages about the one thing they do that makes them feel good or the one thing that helps them if they are feeling low.
The images will create a scrollable wall of images, with the most recent at the top.
The interactive Mood Board will be introduced to pupils at the end of the Mood Matters course and they will be invited to post their positive messages.
A big part of the interactive Mood Board will be the creativity involved. Pupils will be able to choose from a bank of images and fonts to design their own slide, or they could even upload their own image.
The idea being that the young people will be using their creative skills, as well as expressing positive messages and providing inspiration for others.