Life is Myles bet­ter for award win­ner

Suc­cess for ex-Ruther­glen man Down Un­der

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

A Ruther­glen man is part of a team that de­signed an award-win­ning app to help tackle child abuse – on the other side of the world.

Former Trin­ity High pupil Myles McHugh moved to New Zealand two years ago, where he works for IT ser­vices com­pany Dat­a­com as a project man­ager.

Ev­ery year the com­pany is in­volved in a 48-hour hackathon, where peo­ple and teams from through­out New Zealand, Aus­tralia and Asia at­tempt to cre­ate new ways of solv­ing chal­lenges.

This year the groups were tasked with us­ing tech­nol­ogy to de­sign a bet­ter so­ci­ety.

And Myles team’s in­ven­tion won the top prize with their idea, which will help the charity Child Mat­ters.

He told the Re­former: “New leg­is­la­tion means that char­i­ties such as Child Mat­ters need to pro­vide quan­ti­ta­tive data and reg­u­lar re­port­ing to en­sure on­go­ing fund­ing.

“As a mainly paper-based or­gan­i­sa­tion that pro­vides adult train­ing to help pre­vent child abuse, we de­vel­oped an ap­pli­ca­tion that can be pushed to all teach­ers, coun­sel­lors, po­lice, and front­line ser­vice peo­ple who are re­ceiv­ing their train­ing.

“The app au­to­mat­i­cally en­rols stu­dents, cap­tures course eval­u­a­tion feed­back and cor­re­lates this with gov­ern­men­tal con­cern data us­ing Mi­crosoft Power BI.”

The in­ven­tion of Myles’ team proved a hit with judges, but the big-hearted group de­cided to give all the prize money to the charity, too.

He ex­plained: “Our team went to Dat­a­comp with a pur­pose to help the charity re­duce and pre­vent child abuse across New Zealand.

“We were not in it to win the com­pe­ti­tion but worked so hard over the week­end and cre­ated an ap­pli­ca­tion that will save lives and could help many other char­i­ties.

“Prior to the prize giv­ing the team hud­dled to­gether and agreed that if we won we would do­nate the $2,000 prize back to the charity.

“It was pretty emo­tional when the team won. It left us all with a great sense of pur­pose and was the proud­est mo­ment of my ca­reer.”

The team also won the Ad­vance To Go award, which means Dat­a­com will fund the project and de­liver a vi­able prod­uct to Child Mat­ters.

That will see the charity save money, in­crease the train­ing they pro­vide, work out high risk ar­eas to fo­cus on and help pro­vide them with statistics that they can use to earn fur­ther fund­ing.

In time the app may be­come avail­able in other coun­tries if suc­cess­ful.

Jane Searle, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Child Mat­ters added: “For the last six months we have been fo­cus­ing on how we push for­ward to im­ple­ment IT in­no­va­tions that will al­low us to do what we do, bet­ter and in a more cost ef­fec­tive way.

“In just two days your team fast tracked that process and has given us some­thing to build on in the fu­ture.”

Myles High Club Myles, sec­ond from right in the back row, and his team

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