DJCAD collaborates with Apart of Me charity, to successfully host design sprint

Published on 28 September 2023

Students from Product Design and Digital Interaction Design, joined together last week for a two-day co-design sprint to generate new ideas for an app called ‘Nadiya’ which was launched by the charity Apart of Me in response to the Ukrainian war.

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The sprint saw students from across different year groups work in teams to come up with designs to further enhance the app experience, making a positive impact for Ukrainian communities in the UK and abroad. During the first day, students took a deep dive into relevant research and participated in a workshop on Emotional Intelligence hosted by local social enterprise The second day gave them the opportunity to come up with new ideas and to work alongside the app’s designers to bring their ideas to life by making prototypes to show how they might actually work. The students then pitched their ideas to the sprint facilitators and industry experts remotely who offered critical feedback and advice.

Rachel Middleton, DJCAD fourth year Digital Interaction Design student, adds “My group created a prototype that aims to connect parents and children together using creative avatars that they make from found materials. Thank you to the organisers and to guest speakers from ‘Ukrainians Together’ for hosting such a great design sprint. I can’t wait to see what the future of Nadiya looks like!”

Apart of Me is a charity organisation dedicated to supporting children, young people, and parents through loss and trauma. They are the team behind a multi-award-winning therapeutic game, which was co-created by experts in child psychology and bereaved young people. The recent release of their new app ‘Nadiya’ aims to be a sanctuary where parents and carers of children can find well-designed, fun, and easy resources. It guides children to build meaningful connections with others to help them through life’s biggest challenges. Aptly named, ‘Nadiya’ is the word for hope in Ukrainian. 


A facilitator at a DJCAD Design Sprint talking at the front of the room

Jenna Maudlin, facilitator and Lead Designer at Apart of Me, said “I was completely blown away by the students’ ideas and felt very proud of all who attended and took part in the presentations to guests invited from the charity and from industry. The sprint outputs will also be hugely valuable in my role as Big Education Challenge finalist as a broader aim of the workshops is to develop them into engaging learning experiences for children and young people to help build loss, grief, and trauma aware communities.”

It is hoped that further collaboration with the charity will result in additional participatory research including running similar events at DJCAD again in the near future. 

Story category Student work/achievement