Barclays helps launch new Childline app
Children and young people who need to talk to somebody about difficult experiences now have somewhere else to go – a brand new app, developed by the counselling service Childline in partnership with Barclays.
The ‘For Me’ app – the first of its kind in the UK - provides a safe space for young people to talk with a professional Childline counsellor via instant message, whenever and wherever they need to.
The idea for the app began three years ago, when Barclays sponsored the AbilityNet Tech4Good awards, in which young people from schools across the country were invited to pitch their ideas for using technology to make the world a better place.
We know hundreds of thousands of young people use our website for help and support, with more than half those visits coming via mobile devices
Barclays mentored a team of girls at Poynton High School in Cheshire, who entered the awards with an idea to create an app to help sufferers of bullying.
Colleagues from the bank, including a member of its technology apprenticeship scheme, based at Barclays Technology Centre Radbroke, near Knutsford in Cheshire, helped to design and develop the app and identify Childline as a charity partner.
Laura Philebrown, UX/UI designer at Barclays UK Technology, said: “Having the opportunity to work on ‘For Me’ enabled me to contribute to our citizenship agenda in a really different way, by making full use of my professional skillset.”
“I’d highly recommend the experience to everybody, as it brings your whole self to the work, supporting causes that you’re personally passionate about.”
The app is free to download and is designed to be used discreetly. It offers access to all Childline’s online services, including the ‘Ask Sam’ problem pages and entrance to a ‘private locker’, where young people can use a daily mood tracker and personal journal – as well as the one-to-one chat function with a counsellor.
It also includes information and guidance about common causes of anxiety, including bullying, divorce and mental health issues.
Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen said the app would complement its existing telephone, online and community services. “We know hundreds of thousands of young people use our website for help and support, with more than half those visits coming via mobile devices,” she said.
“Now young people can get immediate access to our counsellors through this brilliant, innovative app.”