Cost of living crisis: Phone app created in Sheffield helping people to stay warm

A Sheffield organisation has launched a phone app to help people cope with the cost-of-living crisis this winter.
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The Warm and Safe app maps easy-to-find facilities in Sheffield set up to give people somewhere warm to visit in the daytime to cut their heating bill costs.

The app, which is free and available to download from Friday (October 21), was created by Sheffield-based training organisation The Developer Academy.

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Alyzande Renard, coach and mentor at the academy, and academy graduate Bradley Ashton created the app to help provide everyone with a safety net of warmth this winter.

A new phone app created by city firm The Developer Academy will help people to find spaces in Sheffield where they can keep warm this winter without having to put on their heatingA new phone app created by city firm The Developer Academy will help people to find spaces in Sheffield where they can keep warm this winter without having to put on their heating
A new phone app created by city firm The Developer Academy will help people to find spaces in Sheffield where they can keep warm this winter without having to put on their heating

The app will be shared with councils to allow them to input their data, helping more people across the UK. Sheffield Council is cooperating with the app in order that people can find Welcoming Places in the city.

Sheffield Welcoming Places are public buildings such as libraries and community centres that are open for anyone to go to during the day so that they can keep warm and don’t have to put on their heating. Visitors will be able to get a hot drink, meet other people and have the option to take part in activities.

The app is free and can be downloaded on to your phone from the Apple App Store, Google Play or Samsung Galaxy App Store.

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Alyzande said: “Like many people, the cost of heating my home during the winter months is a real concern right now. The idea of ‘warm rooms’ has been mentioned recently by Martin Lewis and a number of local councils.

Bradley Ashton worked on a project by The Developer Academy to create a phone app that will help people to find spaces in Sheffield where they can keep warm this winter without having to put on their heatingBradley Ashton worked on a project by The Developer Academy to create a phone app that will help people to find spaces in Sheffield where they can keep warm this winter without having to put on their heating
Bradley Ashton worked on a project by The Developer Academy to create a phone app that will help people to find spaces in Sheffield where they can keep warm this winter without having to put on their heating

‘To see it come to life is fantastic’

“However, these are all local initiatives, and we wanted to make sure as many people as possible are able to stay warm this winter by creating a UK-wide map of easy-to-find safe, and warm spaces.

“We’ve been working on the app in our spare time for a while now and to see it come to life is fantastic. The hope is that it takes off in the coming weeks and helps provide those struggling with the cost of living a safety net of warmth during the cold months.”

Initially, the map will begin with information on places in Sheffield, but the app will be made available to councils and public bodies enabling them to log safe and warm spaces to build a UK-wide network.

An image of the app that Sheffield firm The Developer Academy has created to help people find warm places to go in Sheffield this winterAn image of the app that Sheffield firm The Developer Academy has created to help people find warm places to go in Sheffield this winter
An image of the app that Sheffield firm The Developer Academy has created to help people find warm places to go in Sheffield this winter
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To add places to the app, councils will log in securely, click the map, and type the information about the site, its facilities, and opening hours.

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Ben Atha from The Developer Academy said: “I’m immensely proud of Alyzande and Bradley for coming up with and making this app. The Developer Academy is a huge believer in using our skills to help others, whether through training them for a new career or creating apps or websites.

“Everyone at the Academy is extremely excited to see this app take off in the coming weeks and help as many people as possible.”

The Developer Academy gives beginners with no prior coding experience to become job-ready software engineers or data scientists through a flexible learning programme. To find out more, visit thedeveloperacademy.com/

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