Creative Skills For Life wants your app ideas to improve young people’s quality of life

A groundbreaking initiative from Creative Skills For Life (CSL), in partnership with Creative England and the NHS (National Health Service), is looking for entries to grab part of a £100,000 funding pot to deliver apps to provide enhanced quality of life to young people with life-threatening conditions.

The organisers, Creative Skills For Life, are perhaps more well-known for the Rock Couture project, whereby electric guitars customised by the likes of Bono, Jennifer Lopez and Ronnie Wood, were auctioned for a variety of charities.

Yet this initiative has a more prevalent need. A recent report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hospice and Palliative Care in the UK shockingly revealed that the number of 16 to 19 year olds in the UK living with life threatening conditions has doubled in the past 10 years.

With this, there have certainly been links between the arts and enhanced quality of life – anyone who’s ever read the work of Oliver Sacks, particularly Musicophilia and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, will appreciate the importance of music and art in both recovery and general morale for seriously ill patients.

Greg Wilford has the condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a neuromuscular degenerative disease. He is an ambassador for CSL, and uses social media and technology as an artistic outlet, including video.

“In a lifestyle where a lot of physical control has to be surrendered, the feeling of having something you can ‘be yourself’ with – truly yourself – is a triumphant one,” Greg explains.

“Technology and social media gives every disabled person the chance to dabble in the arts.”

This is where apps – or more specifically, app developers – come in. Funded by Creative England, 10 winning entries will receive an equal amount of £100,000 to fully develop a prototype for their app concept, with a judging panel deciding on the best idea.

“The assessment panel will welcome proposals that encourage and enable the collaborative generation of creative activities among users, based on cross media formats and consumption,” CSL explains.

Ian Spero, the founder of Creative Skills For Life, said: “We are now looking forward to receiving some exciting creative ideas for apps or games that will enable young people facing potentially isolating situations to explore their creative potential and engage with a wider world in new, more meaningful ways.”

With £7 out of every £10 in the NHS during the next 10 years being spent on long-term conditions, it’s time the UK health business spent its money more wisely on improving quality of life; and the largely untapped space of apps and m-health would certainly be one way of going about it.

The closing date for entries is July 5.

DeveloperTech is the official media partner for Creative Skills For Life. If you’re interested in participating in the Creative Skills For Life competition, or would like to find out more information, visit the official website here or Creative England's website here.

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GiniLawson
24 Jun 2013, 9:18 a.m.

I am hoping to start working with teenagers living with life threatening conditions. I am an integrative arts psychotherapist and I have just begun to use iPads as a therapeutic tool. iPads are not only wonderfully creative tools but are incredibly accessible for people with communication difficulties and disabilities. Having an app that would help teenagers to connect to each other, to learn from each others experiences, to help make informed decisions, and to live a more independent life would make such a big difference. Thank you to all those that come up with designs.

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