Mobile phone apps created in Bega Valley launched Friday

Smartphone apps SkillBot and Safe Around Me have been created in the Bega Valley are are having their official launch on Friday.
Smartphone apps SkillBot and Safe Around Me have been created in the Bega Valley are are having their official launch on Friday.

TWO innovative mobile phone apps created in the Bega Valley are being launched this week.

South East Women and Children’s Services is proud to announce the launch of two exciting new smartphone applications.

Both target specific areas of need and both are available free from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Although developed as part of two different projects, both apps were developed with the support of 2pi Software, a Bega-based software engineering company.

Bega Valley youth homeless case worker Kylie Furnell developed the “SkillBot” Skills for Life App.

This is an app with a difference - it contains loads of information and advice to assist young people navigating life’s ups and downs and transitioning to independent living.

The categories and information in the app are a response to many years of working with young people and the common, and sometimes unusual, queries they have.

One review of SkillBot states “this is all the real life, practical stuff I didn’t learn at school”.

SkillBot’s aim is to provide handy living skills information that demystifies many of the processes and steps to accessing, understanding and utilising services within communities.

The focus is particularly on those just starting out, or those who have been disenfranchised due to other factors.

Categories within the app include:

Accommodation - great tips on finding and keeping a roof over your head

Money matters - loads of info on all aspects of handling money and taxes

Relationships - all about relationships, the good, the bad and the ugly

Jobs - what to expect when looking for, and keeping a job

General info - loads of extra stuff that may affect your life

Health and wellbeing - tips to getting the health and wellbeing services you may need or want

The topics are written in easy-to-read language with external links to official sites where more information is needed.

The app will also be useful for workers in youth and homelessness services as a tool that can be used with young people offering information they may want to look at again later on.

The project was funded through Mission Australia, South East Community Connection HAP project.

SkillBot is currently focused on NSW users.

Information relating to laws, housing and so on are based on NSW regulations, however much of the general information within is generic.

Interest has already been received from other states and territories to replicate SkillBot, a great achievement for the Bega Valley.  

For those not savvy with smartphones SkillBot is available on the web at www.skillbot.com.au.

Liam O’Duibhir of 2pi Software with Caroline Long and Cheryl Nelson of South East Women and Children’s Services celebrate the successful release of mobile app Safe Around Me.

Liam O’Duibhir of 2pi Software with Caroline Long and Cheryl Nelson of South East Women and Children’s Services celebrate the successful release of mobile app Safe Around Me.

SEWACS will also be launching its safety planning app Safe Around Me (BDN, 21/6).

The safety app has three specific functions to provide direct support and information to people who have experienced or are experiencing domestic and family violence:

Information for clients on planning for your safety;

Interactive safety checklist;

Location aware directory of support services in your area.

The app is an extension of the Safety Planning book that was written and published in 2008 by Caroline Long, program manager with SEWACS Staying Home Leaving Violence.  

Some of the information was drawn from a series of workshops with DV survivors held over several years.  

SEWACS success in receiving funding to develop an app provided an opportunity to further develop and update this information while embracing new technology.

The app includes information on recognising the situation, which provides a definition on what domestic and family violence is and some warning signs to look out for.

The interactive safety checklist allows the user to build their own safety plan, covering your home, car, work and social and some basic information on internet and cyber security.  

 “This is not a definitive list of options, but a tool that could be used if you are questioning your own situation, would like talk to someone by connecting to a service or explore ideas around safety planning,” Ms Long said.

SEWACS received NSW FaCS innovation funding to develop the safety mobile application for use, initially across Southern NSW, with capacity to extend across the whole of NSW and beyond.  

Safe Around Me is also available on the SEWACS webpage at www.sewacs.org.au.

NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance will be launching the apps at Merimbula RSL on Friday at 2pm.

If you would like to attend please RSVP to Kylie Furnell on 6492 2223 or Caroline Long on 6492 6239.

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