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WHAY? app launches to help teenagers in the city discover what’s going on

Posted on - 22nd April, 2024 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, Kid's stuff, Lancashire Police, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Schools, UCLan, What's On in Preston
The WHAY app is targeted at those aged 11-17 years old. Pic: Pixabay
The WHAY app is targeted at those aged 11-17 years old. Pic: Pixabay

An app to support teenagers and provide information on clubs and activities in the city has been developed in Preston.

The Lancashire Violence Reduction Network and UCLan have worked together to create the app, WHAY? (What’s Happening Around You?), co-produced with young people.

The free app has two sides, support and events, designed to make searching for information less overwhelming for those aged 11-17.

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WHAY has resources on 14 different topics ranging from knife crime to bullying, described as a ‘one stop shop’ to all information on areas that may be ‘sometimes be scary to think about or that people may experience in day-to-day life’.

One user, aged 14 years old said: “WHAY helped me as I was really low getting bullied and thought about taking my own life, I found the people who gave me help, thank you.”

The other side to the app is a place to search for free events or community groups in Preston and across Lancashire. 

The app is completely anonymous, those using it do not need to sign up, with this being an area for concern whilst in development.

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With funding from ‘Grip’ and the home office the aim is to encourage people to reach out for help and reduce crime in the city.

Susannah Clarke, Director of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network said: “We saw an opportunity to listen to our young people and create a safe space for them to access information whilst still allowing them to explore their issues in private.

“The early-intervention nature of the app is not intended to be a replacement for professional interventions, but a self-help tool for young people facing challenging times.

“Our vision is to make this a resource that continuously meets the needs of young people in Lancashire and acts as a live resource that we can shape between all partner agencies working together.”

Susannah Clarke, Director of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network.
Susannah Clarke, Director of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network.

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Although aimed at 11-17 year olds, professionals such as teachers and parents said they have found it useful to support their children and see what events they could go to.

With over 500 downloads already, the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network hopes to roll it out across the UK.

You can download the app by searching ‘WHAY’ on the Google Play or App Store.

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