Facebook and CoderDojo support SpunOut.ie for charity hackathon

26 Sep 2013

Image via Goodluz/Shutterstock

Ireland’s youth website is calling on young software engineers, app developers, designers, web developers, technicians and coders to put ideas for a new help-seeking resource to task during a one-day charity hackathon.

Hack for Help will take place on Saturday, 5 October, at Facebook’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin’s ‘Digital Docklands’. Around 40 hackers are expected to attend and help build a tool that will make it easier for young people to find the health services they need.

SpunOut.ie has a comprehensive database of help and support services for young people, including counselling services, GP practices, STI clinics, social welfare offices, helplines, accommodation for the homeless, and youth groups. The aim is to develop a platform that will use this information and help SpunOut.ie’s 400,000 users find the services they need in their area.

“We want to showcase the work that young skilled Irish young people can do,” said John Buckley, youth engagement officer with SpunOut.ie. “The internet is an incredible tool for good, and despite the pitfalls we experience online from time to time, this project demonstrates how we can use it to improve young people’s health and potentially save lives.”

Participants will be given access to the database and SpunOut.ie’s API so they can develop applications over the course of just one day.

“We regularly use this type of event to develop and hone our own products,” said Rosa Birch, public policy for Facebook. “The informal and team-building aspects lend themselves well to coming up with exciting and creative solutions to solve pain points for users.”

Volunteer coding club CoderDojo has been helping to recruit hackers for the event and applications are still open for anyone over 18 who would like to attend. The hackathon will run from 9.30am to 7pm, with meals and refreshments provided.

Coders image by Goodluz via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.