Charities compete for tech award

Among finalists in the first Vodafone Techstarter awards is a Church of England Children’s Society project that uses virtual reality to help children suffering from anxiety.

Joe Lepper | 25th Jan 19
Image shows a young person painting with a VR headset on

A charity project that uses virtual reality to help children overcome anxiety has been named as one of 12 finalists vying for a technology award.

The Children’s Society’s Reality Check project has been shortlisted for the inaugural Vodafone Techstarter awards.

The awards are open to profit and non-profit organisations have been set up to help promote and develop innovative technology ideas in areas such as health, education, environmental protection and social mobility.

The Children’s Society’s Reality Check project aims to create immersive virtual reality environments for children to help them manage and overcome anxiety, which can also be linked to other serious issues.

Another charity to be shortlisted is Alexandra Rose Charity, which has used technology to provide food vouchers for fresh fruit and vegetables to families on low income.

The awards have been developed in partnership with Vodafone’s charitable arm the Vodafone Foundation and the Social Charity Digital.

Technology takes on society’s biggest challenges

“We believe some of the biggest challenges in society can be addressed using technology and innovation,” said Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK.

“Vodafone Techstarter is about recognising and celebrating how UK start-ups are helping shape society for the better; we want to empower small businesses to truly make a difference in society. I’m really excited to meet the finalists and see first-hand the impact their ideas and innovations could have.”

Ed Evans, Chief Executive Officer of Social Charity Digital added: “It’s fantastic to see such an inspiring group of social tech innovations make the Vodafone Techstarter shortlist.

“All of them are driven by social purpose and are making a positive contribution to people’s lives. We look forward to working with the winning teams to help them grow and scale their social impact.”

The full list of finalists are: Alexandra Rose Charity, Code 4000 UK CIC, Full Fact, The Church of England’s Children’s Society, The Integrate Agency CIC, Wayfindr, BfB Labs, Good.Loop Ltd, Lettus Grow, BlakBear Ltd, Walk With Path Ltd and Alice SI Ltd.