By Sarah Bradnum on 21 November 2018
Celebrating the inspiring women we work with
In response to Women’s Entrepreneurship Day earlier this week, we wanted to unapologetically celebrate some of the inspiring women we are honoured and proud to work with.
First up: Zoë Blake – CEO of our client, XenZone.
Zoe is reaching for the stars with her mission to deliver a world where everyone has better mental health. It’s a vision fuelled by her strong belief in technology as an agent for positive change, and driven by her own personal family experience of the devastating effect of mental ill health.
Her experience of losing her mother to suicide, and in finding herself in the difficult position of trying to source mental health support for an employee in a previous role, has driven her to take on this mission.
Technology and leadership are two consistent themes throughout Zoë’s career – and she’s now focusing this experience at XenZone. She believes that access to mental health services can be improved through marrying digital technology with clinical expertise, and it’s a model that works. XenZone’s Kooth digital help platform, first developed 15 years ago, now receives over 1,200 logins from young people every 24 hours. Kooth is available for free on the NHS in nearly half of Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) areas in England and, in 2017-18, the total number of logins reached 452,000, more than 300% higher than two years previously.
The ability to make a significant difference to people’s’ lives through tech was Zoë’s core motivation for taking up the helm at XenZone in 2015.
Next up: Jill Thorburn and Yvonne Anderson, joint directors of Mind of My Own (MOMO)
Jill and Yvonne believe that no child should ever be dismissed as ‘too hard to reach’ and that every child should be given a voice that is heard and taken seriously by adults everywhere – from the police to social services. As a result, the apps they have developed to help children report their feelings and make it easier to report abuse have picked up a raft of awards in 2018.
Now used by over 60 UK local authority children’s social services departments, children’s charities and schools, the apps impact on improving the lives of children using social services have been recognised by winning numerous awards – including the social care award at the 2018 Children & Young People Now awards, the Community Impact Award at the prestigious Tech4Good awards, and the Best Public Sector Product/Service award at the ScotlandIS Digital Technology Awards.
The MOMO apps – which have been co-created by children and are designed to be used by a range of children and young people, including those with additional needs – are now being trialled by schools and internationally. And Yvonne and Jill are being asked to advise on how authorities can better engage with children and young people across a range of organisations, including the new Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Centre for What Works board.