A smart phone app developed to assist young people navigating life’s ups and downs was launched in Merimbula today, Friday, October 17.
Bega Valley Youth Homeless case worker, Kylie Furnell, developed the “SkillBot, Skills for Life” app with the technical support of 2pi Software, a Bega based software engineering firm.
Ms Furnell said the the app, containing information and advice to assist young people transitioning to independent living, was developed as a response to many years of working with young people and the common, and sometimes unusual, queries they have.
She said many situations that most adults take for granted, need to be learned, such as how to fill in a rental lease agreement.
“Young people don’t always have someone to teach them these things.”
While SkillBot is currently focused on NSW regulations, much of the general information within is generic. The project was funded through Mission Australia, South East Community Connection HAP project.
Also launched today was the South East Women and Children’s Services (SEWAC) safety planning app ‘Safe Around Me’.
This app has specific features to provide direct support and information to people who have experienced, or are experiencing domestic and family violence.
An extension of the ‘Staying Home Leaving Violence’ safety planning book, the ‘Safe Around Me’ app includes information on recognising the situation and some warning signs to look out for, as well as an interactive safety checklist, which allows the user to build their own safety plan covering home, car, work and social, and internet and cyber security.
Caroline Long, Program Manager with SEWACS said: “This is not a definitive list of options, but a tool that could be used if you are questioning your own situation,” she said, adding that family and domestic violence often becomes ‘normalised’.
Launching the apps Member for Bega, Andrew Constance paid tribute to the initiative, acknowledging how efficient and quickly the process came to fruition, a result of SEWAC and 2pi working directly together and outside of “the bureaucracy”.
Mr Constance said the apps had enormous potential to keep people out of harm’s way.
“The difference is between someone being exposed and being supported,” he said.
Both apps are available free from the iTunes App store or Google Play store. The Safe Around Me App is also available on the SEWACS webpage at www.sewacs.org.au. SkillBot can be downloaded onto computers and laptops via the website www.skillbot.com.au