How two Leeds-based tech entrepreneurs aim to reduce youth loneliness using immersive video

TWO Yorkshire technology entrepreneurs are raising cash to establish a community interest company which aims to reduce loneliness among young people who will be unable to meet family and friends when the pandemic ends.

Steph Varley(left) and Reema Vadoliya of INC360

Ten months ago, Leeds-based Steph Varley and Reema Vadoliya began looking into ways of helping young people who are feeling isolated.

Their company - INC360 - was created out of a desire to help others and a love of technology.

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INC360 aims to support young people who are experiencing isolation and anxiety, by connecting them to community events using immersive video. The pandemic struck just as they had started turning their idea into a service.

Ms Varley said: “Thousands of children and young people across the UK won’t be attending any events this year, and it’s not due to the pandemic.

“We all have our fingers crossed that in the next few months, we can start meeting up with friends and family. Unfortunately, there will be a large number of young people whose lives will be no different to during the lockdown as they remain on hospital wards or they are stopped from leaving the house due to anxiety, only furthering their feelings of loneliness.”

To get the service live, Ms Varley and Ms Vadoliya have launched a Crowdfunder to raise £8,000.

Ms Varley added: “We know that one in four adults suffer from mental ill health and having access to treatment and support before the age of 14 can drastically reduce the impact it has on a person in later life, which is why we are focused on providing this service to young people.

“We are using 360 degree video footage of community events such as bonfire night, to provide these young people with an opportunity to engage with the same experiences they would have with their peers.”

To find our more about their campaign visit: www.INC360.org

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