Having recently joined the CDC, I wanted to throw myself into as many opportunities as possible. The Prince’s Trust is one of the organisations that the CDC and Capgemini have a strong relationship with and it seemed like the perfect place to take up some volunteering work. For those who don’t know, the Prince’s Trust is a charity that aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged 13-30 year olds through various activities and events.
In early November 2015, I had the chance to spend an afternoon at the Prince’s Trust with around 20 young people, to lend a helping hand at the Getting Started with App Design Taster Day. The day was aimed at giving those people interested in technology, coding and gaming an introduction to what they could be doing as part of a week long programme where they would learn to code and design their own app.
The afternoon session is where I and four others from Capgemini got involved. There was an introduction by Steer, the company that will run the week long programme, informing the young people what they would be doing during the week long course. All the young people were then split into groups of five and given a Capgemini volunteer to help them. The groups were given a condensed version of what they would be doing during the week and were tasked with designing an additional feature for an existing app and pitching their idea to the groups.
So what was the challenge? The groups first had to identify existing apps which they use and come up with features that could make them better. Some of the ideas were highly original such as an instant chat feature within Uber to alert customer service if a driver is taking advantage of customers. Another one was for a feature within Google Maps that would allow friends to locate the best point to meet each other, which would help save time when meeting up.Once the groups had created their new feature, they were then given wireframe templates of an iPhone, where they could draw and comment on how their feature would look within the app. Some of the designs were excellent and really brought to life how the feature would look and how it would work on the phone.
Finally, the groups had to give a 45 second pitch to everyone about the new feature. Being a Cap consultant, this is where I was able to help my group have a polished elevator pitch that would highlight the problem the app feature would solve and who would use the app. So which app feature was deemed the best by the Capgemini volunteers? It was the feature on Google Maps that would find the best place to meet friends. This brought to an end the taster day and it was clear from everyone’s face that they had a fun and informative day.
What was surprising to all the volunteers and the Prince’s Trust employees is that nearly everyone applied to be a part of the week long programme; however, there was only space for 15 so there were some tough decisions to make. In the end, the Prince’s Trust along with the help of those from Capgemini and Steer picked the 15 young people that would get the most from the course.
Overall, the opportunity to get involved with the Prince’s Trust and to work alongside some great young people was really exciting. I would encourage all my fellow CDCers and Capgemini colleagues to get involved with any volunteer work as it gives you the chance to meet some great people and to work alongside some Capgemini employees from other areas.