#iwill funding promotes internet safety for young people
Excite-ed CIC successfully applied for a £4,220 grant from the #iwill Fund to run Tech Safe App Camps for young people aged 9-14 years old
The #iwill Fund is part of the UK wide #iwill campaign, a collaboration between the Offices for Civil Society and Big Lottery Fund to increase the number of young people taking part in social action.
As part of the campaign Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) received a pot of £30,000 to award in grants for youth social action projects that have a positive impact on the wider community. This was generously match funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
In their everyday lives young people use numerous apps each day with teens now spending up to 9 hours a day online. Internet safety issues is a problem affecting children and young people worldwide.
Excited-ed’s internet safety ‘camps’ are youth led under the guidance of online experts and are an opportunity for young people to embrace their love of digital media whilst learning to design and publish an app about being safe in a digital world.
The grant funded two week long App Camps. The first took place in August 2017 and was held at Christ Church Primary School in Ware. At this Camp the children produced the app - TechSafe Gaming. The second took place in April 2018 and was help at Cranborne Primary School, Potters Bar. At this Camp the children produced the app - TechSafe Bullying.
Attendees researched, developed and published their own peer-to-peer eSafety apps, tackling the issues of cyber bullying, gaming and sexual exploitation. In addition they learnt how to interact safely and respectfully online, respond to negative online experiences, use social media responsibly and know how to get help and support.
Both apps are available to download, for free, from the Apple App Store and Google Play. The finished apps are also being used as a resource in future Excite-ed workshops and training sessions.
With the knowledge gained, the young people involved are in the position to be eSafety advocates amongst their peers. An added benefit of the project is the improving engagement levels not just between the parents and their children but between parents and the school too, making it easier to deal with other problems whether related or unrelated to internet use.
"My son learnt so much about coding and found the artwork inspiring. We hope there will be more of these camps. Thanks so much to everyone involved." Mum, App Camp August 2017