Engage builds first of its kind app to help change lives in Leeds

Results-driven digital agency Engage launches new app ‘Super Stars’ to help empower young people in disadvantaged areas of Leeds to develop the skills, knowledge and experiences to make a positive difference in their local communities.

Super Stars has been designed and developed for Harehills-based charity CATCH, set up by West Yorkshire Police Officer, Ash Razzaq MBE.  It aims to support the charity in its mission to sculpt the lives of young people in the area by encouraging them to partake in positive activities that encourage good ethical and personal values.

Engage has donated over 1,500 hours developing and improving the app based on the feedback from the children who are using it daily. Alongside the £150,000 worth of working hours that have been donated, Engage has been fundraising for CATCH through their Elympics initiative.

Alex Willcocks, Co-founder of Engage, explains how the app works: “We’ve essentially built a digital volunteer development programme. At the heart of the app are the Star Badges, with each badge being made up of a number of tasks in areas such as Leadership and Teamwork. By completing the tasks, users slowly work their way towards achieving their Star Badges.

“Super Stars badges are directly linked to incentives, from experiences, vouchers and physical rewards through to actual badges, t-shirts and other gifts.

“The tasks themselves are loaded with content which is directly linked to employment and a strong set of positive values, which make a measurable positive impact on the young people engaged with the app.”

The app is the first of its kind and gives users proof of positive extracurricular activity involvement which aims to help them when searching for employment. CATCH are also finding the app is supporting the development of young people who were previously involved in crime or struggling at school by equipping them with essential coping mechanisms.

Ash Razzaq is the founder of CATCH and the driving force behind creating this platform. His vision with starting the initiative was to create a safe space where they could positively develop their social life and the app is a key part of that.

Ash said: “Since beginning the project I have had a vision to transform the lives of young people. Super Stars is genuinely turning lives around and providing hope for young people who previously had very little hope for their futures at all.”

CATCH is one of the largest youth clubs in Leeds and has a membership of over 1000 young people from a mixture of backgrounds. It was recognized as the ‘Best Place for Children and Young People’ in the 2018 Child Friendly Leeds Awards.