Announcing the winner of the Tech to Connect Challenge

  • Gary Fawdrey

    Gary Fawdrey

    Assistant Programme Manager

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19 Mar 2020

The winner of the Tech to Connect Challenge, which was launched to support projects tackling social isolation through the use of technology, was announced today

The Winner of the Tech to Connect Challenge is YANA: You Are Not Alone

YANA is an online web platform created by the community interest company Chayn, and provides a safe space for people to access details of local shelters, sexual violence units, lawyers and therapists, to build a more connected system of support for sexual assault survivors suffering from isolation. As Winner of the Challenge, YANA will receive a £100,000 prize. 

The Runners Up are: Mirthy and the Chatty Cafe Scheme

Mirthy is a web platform to enable older adults to stay active whilst remaining independent at home, by connecting under-utilised communal spaces in retirement housing schemes with those people looking for social clubs. 

The Chatty Cafe Scheme reduces loneliness and gets people talking by encouraging venues to designate a Chatter & Natter table, via their web application. Chatty Cafe already has partnerships with Costa and Sainsburys, and 73 other venues have joined through the website since January 2020. 

As Runners Up of the Challenge, both Mirthy and the Chatty Cafe Scheme will receive £75,000 prizes. 

Pargiter Trust Grant Winner is Music Memory Box

An additional grant of £25,000 from The Pargiter Trust was awarded to Music Memory Box, an innovative kit to support and connect people with dementia and their loved ones. It combines sensors, sentimental objects and photographs to link to songs, helping to unlock and recall memories in a simple and tactile way. 

The Tech to Connect Challenge was launched to help civil society in England develop their early stage ideas for projects that combat social isolation by utilising technology to foster more or better interactions between people. The Challenge was funded by DCMS and delivered by Nesta Challenges with support from the Developer Society. 10 finalists have each received a £25,000 grant to use in the development of their prototypes.