Sunderland software firm develops app to help children with special needs

Co directors of Shoo Fly, Steve Young and Anne Curtis with Sunderland City Council deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman (centre)
Co directors of Shoo Fly, Steve Young and Anne Curtis with Sunderland City Council deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman (centre)
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A CREATIVE company has received an award of almost £6,000 for its work to help young people make their feelings known.

Software company Shoo Fly helps those with educational needs interact with others using an app which aims to encourage them to express their feelings.

The firm’s founder and director Anne Curtis used her background in teaching to develop the idea.

She said: “We are delighted to have been chosen for the award, as not only is the team passionate about digital advances, but we have a genuine interest in how mobile technologies can support young people who face challenges in their life to communicate their emotions.

“My hope is that young people will now have the opportunity to embrace the digital world and connect with each other and adults using an avatar which helps them to express how they are feeling on a daily basis.”

Based in Evolve Business Centre in Sunderland, Shoo Fly has worked with organisations to develop a behaviour avatar for pupils, with the software also used to create eight Collins Education Big Cat e-books

Covering half of the project’s costs, the award was given on behalf of Creative England and NHS England.

Council leader Paul Watson said: “It’s a really unique and inspiring project and a great example of how their work in the sector is helping to put Sunderland on the national software map.”