Calling Time On Gang Crime With Phone Apps Course

Mobile Phone Apps‌National social business, Catch22, has over 200 years’ worth of experience in providing services to help people in tough situations to turn their lives around, enabling them to gain new skills and make a positive contribution to society.

Today (Friday January 25) Catch22’s Dawes Unit, based in Red Lion Street, Wolverhampton, will launch the App Entrepreneur Programme (for Android devices); a free training programme teaching its students everything they need to know about creating and marketing new mobile phone applications, or apps.

More than 50 people – including current and former gang members, people at risk of gang involvement and those living in high crime areas – will attend the one-day event, beginning at 11am, held at the University of Wolverhampton, to pitch their phone app ideas to a team of experts.

Those with the best ideas will be asked to create an app development team of two to four people. One member from each team will then attend a free 90 hour course, taught part time over four months, teaching them and their team how to develop and market their app to commercial mobile phone companies.

The course will be taught and backed by technical and support staff from the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Derby, with marketing advice to course attendees coming from business consultancy Sweda of West Bromwich.

Those taking part in the course must be aged 16 to 30, able to commit to completing the course, be unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week and live in the Wolverhampton area.

Matthew Gordon, Project Worker for Catch22, said: “This will be a professionally delivered course, teaching the latest development and marketing techniques concerning mobile phone app technology.

“By the end of this course we hope the teams involved will have developed a marketable phone app from their original idea, ready to be pitched to a mobile phone company or to be promoted as an attractive product online and through social media direct to phone users.”

Carlton McDonald is a University of Derby Computing Lecturer, specialising in website development and software engineering. He will be among the judges at Friday’s event selecting the most marketable phone app ideas to go forward and will also teach on the App Entrepreneur Programme.

He added: “Many phone users will have ideas of great apps but have no idea how to go about producing such an app.

“This course, through the vehicle of App Inventor skills, a new and innovative approach to mobile phone development, will excite and empower those attending the course to develop mobile phone apps that enable the best ideas to generate start-up companies, careers and cash.”

Natalie Latham, Student Recruitment Officer at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We have a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Wolverhampton, and this programme offers an exciting way to gain new skills in the growing field of mobile phone applications. This will also be a great opportunity for groups of young people who wouldn’t normally consider going to university, to experience a taste of higher education.”

For further information about the Catch22 App Entrepreneur Programme contact Matthew Gordon, Catch22 Project Worker, on 01902 572388 or email: matthew.gordon@catch-22.org.uk More information about Catch22 can be found on its website and on the Dawes Unit.

ENDS

For information about the University of Derby’s involvement in the App Entrepreneur Programme contact Sean Kirby, University of Derby Press and PR Officer , on 01332 591891 or email:s.kirby@derby.ac.uk.

For information on the University of Wolverhampton’s involvement contact Vickie Warren, University of Wolverhampton Media and Communications Manager, on 01902 322736 or email:v.warren@wlv.ac.uk

NOTES TO EDITOR

Catch22 is a forward looking social business with over 200 years’ experience of providing services that help people in tough situations to turn their lives around.

Its programmes help people to steer clear of crime or substance misuse, do the best they can in school or college and develop skills for work, live independently on leaving care or custody, gain new skills and confidence as parents, and play a full part in their community.

n 2011/12 it worked directly with 34,000 young people, families and adult offenders in 150 localities, supporting a further 49,000 young people through national partnership programmes.

Asked what difference Catch22 had made in 2011/12, nearly 93% of the people it supported who responded said they now had hope for the future, 86% had gained in confidence and felt they had more control over their lives, and 83% had achieved more than they expected.

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