University wins Guardian award for digital innovation

Press Office

The University was presented with the Guardian University Awards Trophy for digital innovation at their annual awards ceremony in London.

The award was in recognition of the ‘Lottie’ project, ground-breaking work from the Centre for Child Protection providing an interactive simulation tool to help young people become more aware of the dangers of sexual grooming.

The judges said the Kent entry had very good community engagement and will have longevity, adding that using online to deal with an online problem was ‘very clever and brave’. They added that the fact that the project is targeted at both young people and professionals made it very inclusive, with great scope for development and great evaluation potential.

Originally funded by NHS Health Education in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, the Lottie project is now self-funding. Used by both young people and by health, social care and education professionals, to date 261 professionals from 70 organisations have been trained in its use.

The awards, in their fourth year, recognise excellence in Britain’s best universities and set the benchmark for higher education excellence. This year’s ceremony was held at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on Wednesday 16 March 2016.

As well as the trophy, the project will be profiled on the Higher Education and Guardian Students networks, as well as featuring in the Guardian University Award Ideas Bank and the University Guide.

Dean for the Graduate School, Professor Diane Houston, Co-director of the Centre for Child Protection, Dr Jane Reeves, and Vanisha Jassal, Centre lecturer, attended the awards presentation on behalf of the University.

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