Abuse App Idea Generates a Business Competition Win for Shropshire Sixth-Formers

Entrepreneurial pupils from a Shropshire school have reached the final of a national competition by highlighting a little-known form of abuse.

The Sixth Form team from Thomas Adams School took part in Drapers’ Den – a Dragons’ Den style business competition run by The Drapers’ Company.

The team was matched with a mentor from the company and another from the Guild of Entrepreneurs and tasked with designing a product or service which could be commercially successful and would generate a material social benefit, before pitching for up to £500,000 from a team of investors.

Business Studies teacher Amy Glover said the team recognised the rise of domestic violence during lockdown, and wanted to highlight Child to Parent Abuse in particular.

“The team wanted to help raise awareness of this issue and offer an idea to help create a support network for parents.

“They developed a hidden app which would help victims to network with others, as well as providing tips on how to de-escalate situations and document events.”

The judges were particularly delighted with the team’s presentation and their logo, which one judge said was the best they had ever seen – including within actual businesses.

After impressing the judges and winning their semi-final, the team was given £1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.

Because of the link to their app, they chose PEGS – a Shropshire charity which raises awareness of CPA, supports families experiencing it, and trains professionals who come into contact with those families.

PEGS Founding Director Michelle John said: “We are extremely grateful to the Thomas Adams team for their generous donation, and we’re also hugely impressed they chose to design a service specifically for parents experiencing CPA.

“We have lots of work to do to ensure CPA is highlighted, as it’s current quite a hidden form of domestic abuse, but it’s heartening to know we have incredible young people like Maya, Oliver, Holly, Will, Ryan and Charlie helping to raise awareness.

“Well done to you all, and we can’t wait to hear how you get on in the final.”

 The team, which included Maya Balachandran, Oliver Cooper, Will Evans, Ryan Greaves and Charlie Taylor (all aged 17), and Holly Eccleston (aged 18), will now take part in the grand final to be held in May.