Funding on offer for technology solutions for NI charities

Howard Lake | 23 October 2018 | News

The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland has opened a new grants round worth £150,000 which will match technology professionals and charities to help them solve a social challenge using digital technology.
The Techies in Residence Programme (TIR) was originally designed by Building Change Trust and has supported 19 innovative projects across Northern Ireland since it was launched in 2015. The latest programme will be delivered by Innovate NI in partnership with the Community Foundation.

Projects supported

Projects supported to date include the JAM Card which allows people with a learning difficulty, autism or communication barrier tell others that they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily when they are in customer service situations such as getting public transport or ordering in a restaurant.
More recently parenting charity Parenting NI has launched a brand new app which will give parents immediate access to parenting support, whilst Versus Arthritis is in the process of rolling out a digital interactive tool which enables young people with arthritis to track their condition and take control of their symptoms.
With Building Change Trust completing its mission at the end of this year, the Techies in residence Programme is continuing to offer support after Comic Relief made funding of £150,000 available to the Community Foundation for another round of applications.

Paul Braithwaite

Paul Braithwaite

Paul Braithwaite, Building Change Trust Programme Leader, said: “Looking back over the past three cycles of Techies in Residence we’ve been able to support nineteen fantastic projects. It feels like momentum is just starting to build around the potential for the VCSE sector and Northern Ireland’s flourishing tech sector to collaborate for social impact. So we’re delighted that as the Trust ends its operations we’ve been able to secure the future of this unique programme with the help of Comic Relief and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.”

How to apply for Techies in Residence

​Shortlisted groups will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline of Friday 7th December 2018 and invited to attend a workshop in the early New Year where they will receive mentoring and support to further refine their proposal.
The final stage of selection will be a pitch day in late January 2019 which will see up to six groups awarded with a ‘Techie in Residence’ who will be work intensively with them for a 10-12 week period, starting with a two-day launch residential where they will work with their techie to develop a detailed action plan.
Applicants will be asked to highlight the social challenge they wish to address, why they think digital technology can help and the impact they hope to achieve.
“The programme is looking for organisations that are open-minded about the best solution and willing to invest significant time and energy in a collaboration with their technology partner,” said Paul Braithwaite.
Main image: JAM card users Francis Fitzsimons and Caoimhe McAvoy

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