Hasan, Shayaan, Shakil, Itesham and Luay created weKonnekt – an app which helps young carers across the UK. Since winning the People’s Choice category at the Apps for Good Awards 2015 the team have continued to promote their app and have also taken part in a number of exciting opportunities. Recently they were shortlisted for the Make it Digital Award at the Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards, in this blog they tell us about the experience.
Several weeks ago, we got some exciting news – out of hundreds of nominations, our team was one of just three that had been shortlisted for this year’s Radio 1 Teen Hero Make It Digital Award. The award celebrates young people who are making a difference to the world through the innovative use of technology. On Tuesday 18th October, we got to spend an incredible day at the BBC, touring both the News and Radio 1 studios and working with a BBC producer and professional camera crew to create a film (check it out below) for Radio 1’s YouTube channel.
In the morning, we met the other inspiring nominees in all the Teen Hero Award categories, including the Apps For Good award-winning girls whose app ‘I’m Okay’ had proved an inspiration in the early days of developing our own app. After getting to know each other, it was time to meet some DJs, including Greg James, Scott and Chris and Nick Grimshaw, who suggested that we should form a boy band!
After lunch, it was time to get moving with the camera crew. First stop was a chance to meet Reeta Chakrabarti, who came straight from reading the 1 O’Clock News to speak to us. Moving around the huge BBC newsrooms, we had a chance to test out the green screen facilities that are used for the weather reports. Weatherman Philip Avery was on hand to show us how it’s done – he even offered to join our boy band as an older member! Next, it was onto BBC London and then back up to The Live Lounge, where we were delighted to meet DJ Dev and, our favourite, Charlie Sloth.
After stopping to record some interviews for our film and to check the footage from the Go Pro cameras we had been using all afternoon, we then had the unmissable opportunity of visiting the set of The One Show shortly before it went on air. Presenters Matt Baker and Alex Jones made all the teams feel incredibly welcome, taking the time to ask about our achievements with technology. We hopefully did ourselves proud as we explained why we had created our app for young carers and what our plans are for the future. Finally, it was time to head home after a long and exciting day.
Next up was the Radio 1 Teen Awards themselves, held at Wembley Arena on Sunday 23rd October. On the day of the Teen Awards, we had the once in a lifetime opportunity of entering Wembley Arena via the VIP entrance. We were welcomed by staff from Make It Digital and Radio 1 who showed us to our amazing seats, then, with an explosion of lights and music, the concert was then underway!
During the ceremony, we got to meet and hear the stories of the other teen heroes, which was not only inspiring but also very humbling. It made us feel even more proud to have been nominated in the first place. We might not have won, but it was an absolute honour to have made the shortlist.
Between each award, we were treated to performances from the likes of The Vamps, Jess Glynne, DNCE, Little Mix and Shawn Mendes. It was a fantastic afternoon, and definitely a day we’ll never forget! Huge thanks to Apps For Good for nominating us and giving us the chance to have such an amazing experience!
Team Konnekt – Hasan, Shayaan, Shakil, Itesham and Luay