Southend Hackathon #ChallengeDementia

Two entries to Essex County Council’s #ChallengeDementia competition were selected as finalists from the 4 entries from the Southend Tech Dementia hackathon and the 2 entries from the Raspberry Jam Tech Festival.

They will both receive £5,000 to work with Essex dementia sufferers to develop their products and be eligible for the £100,000 grand prize.
They will also get support from Essex County Council, PA Consulting, Tech UK, University of Essex, Alzheimer’s Society and Healthwatch Essex.

Arnav Sharma – Vivify Me, a Raspberry Pi dementia solution.
Arnav presented his project at the last Southend Raspberry Jam Tech Fest along with his Asthma Pi invention.


David Libbert came up with the idea of tech-enabled “flash cards” at the hackathon and linked up with Joe Reddington of eQuality Time and

We wish them luck and hope to see their products at a future Raspberry Jam Tech Festival.



Challenge Dementia was due to be part of the Southend Raspberry Jam 12 but was postponed due to snow cancellation and follows on from our work showing people how to code Southend Borough Council’s social care robot, Pepper which had inspired us to look at tech for social care.


Join us at Southend Tech Meetup on the first Thursday of the month, if you are interested in socialising and taking part in tech, coding, hackathons and Raspberry Pi events.





You are invited to the next Southend Hackathon to enter Essex County Council’s Challenge Dementia competition.

Saturday 7th April 2018 – 11am – 4pm
The Old Waterworks
North Road
Southend on Sea

You are invited to form teams to research products, technologies and services which can be developed to enable people living with Dementia to remain connected with places, people, their identity and their unique past experiences, abilities and interests and to have a better quality of life.

Ideas will be submitted online and up to 10 teams will receive £5,000 to test and develop their projects.

PA Consulting, Tech UK, University of Essex, Alzheimer’s Society, Healthwatch Essex will be available to help develop the project and they can be exhibited at Southend Raspberry Jam Tech Fest.

The winner will receive the Challenge prize of £100,000 to develop their solution.


11.00 Introductions
11.15 Talk about Challenge Prize – Ben Mann, Essex County Council
11.45 Talk about what tech can do (and recap what we did at the Jam)
11.50 Talk by health professional ‘Dementia Friends’
12.15 Team formation
12.30 Work on ideas
2.00 Break
2.15 Finalise ideas
3.15 Online submissions


At the last Southend Raspberry Jam Tech Fest, we heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in society and Vivify Me – a dementia tech solution invented by a young person; we coded environmental sensors (Internet of Things – IoT) and children trained and coded AI systems.

We have also been inspired by Southend Borough council’s purchase of a £17,000 Pepper Robot, to investigate the use of innovative tech solutions to social care and have learned to code Pepper at previous Southend Tech events – See here to find out how to code Pepper.

Technological solutions work now and for future generations and can be incorporated into everyday living. There are many Raspberry Pi projects such as smart homes, home automation, robotics, artificial intelligence which could be applied to social care.

No tech needed on the day although a charged laptop/phone may be useful.

All young people must be accompanied by a responsible adult for the duration of the session.

Please take photos and videos of the event and share them on social media. #challengedementia
You will need to agree to photo/video consent when booking.

Challenge Dementia is supported by Essex County Council, PA Consulting, Tech UK, University of Essex, Alzheimer’s Society, Healthwatch Essex. More details on Challenge Dementia  here.

New Entrance: The venue is located on the junction of North Road and Chelmsford Avenue and free parking is available. Please note that there is a new entrance to the carpark to use just North of the junction.

 Check out how we code Southend Borough Council’s £17,000  Pepper the Robot .