Still time to vote for Dalriada girls’ innovative new app

People in Coleraine and Ballymoney are being asked to get voting for an innovative idea created by a team of local pupils who have reached the final of a UK competition.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 1:10 pm

Go with the FLow is an app that enables girls to order free monthly period packs to their home or school and it is the brainchild of a team from Dalriada School in Ballymoney.

The app, which also sets motivation and fitness goals and provides mental health tips and sports skills, is a finalist in the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize – a national tech-for-good prize for young innovators.

Storm and Hope Ballantyne have made the final 40 - the only pupils from Northern Ireland to do so!

Storm Ballantyne said: “Research has shown that 31% of girls avoid participation in sports because they are unable to access the necessary protection.

“Period poverty refers to not being able to afford sanitary products, and this affects 1 in 10 girls. It also refers to being unable to access products because of the stigma surrounding periods. In Northern Ireland, 97,000 children from 50,000 households are entitled to free school meals. It would be girls in these households that this app is aimed at.”

Hope Ballantyne said: “There is stigma and embarrassment around periods, meaning some girls feel discomfort asking family for money to buy sanitary products. This means they may miss days at school, social events and sporting activities for fear of not being properly protected.

“By missing out on these, they risk disruption to education, higher risk of mental health problems, social isolation and physical health issues. This can feed the cycle of poverty. The benefits of sport are physical, emotional and social. Participating in sport can improve confidence, teamwork and leadership skills, communication, thinking and decision-making.”

The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize has launched a People’s Choice Award, calling on the public to vote for their favourite innovation at longitudeexplorer.challenges.org/finalists-2021/

The winning team of the Amazon Longitude Explore Prize People’s Choice Award will receive £5,000 for its school or youth group.

The prize money can be used to help further develop the winning idea or for the school or youth group to invest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and entrepreneurial resources - such as purchasing new equipment for science labs and technology workshops.

In addition to the People’s Choice Award vote, the teams will be submitting their final ideas and a business plan to the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize judging panel in July, with the overall grand prize winners earning £20,000 for their school or youth group and three runner-up teams earning £5,000 each.

The online vote runs until Friday, July 2.