Barking app tackling cyber-bullying nominated for business prize

Kenko Fujii, Eoin Heffernan, Seun Oshinaike, Fortunia Iya-Nya and Valon Musa who created Silent Secr

Kenko Fujii, Eoin Heffernan, Seun Oshinaike, Fortunia Iya-Nya and Valon Musa who created Silent Secret, in Barking - Credit: Archant

A global social media app aimed at tackling cyber-bullying among young people has been nominated for a top business prize.

Created by social enterprise Brighter Steppings, in Pickering Road, Barking, Silent Secret is an anonymous platform for those aged 11 and 19 to share their secrets, thoughts, feelings, news and lifestyle.

Launched in November last year, the app already boasts 1.7million engaged members stretching across the UK, America, Australia and Indonesia, and has now been shortlisted for the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards in the Internet Safety category.

Despite its early success, founder and CEO Seun Oshinaike insists the team won’t be resting on their laurels.

“We always knew we had a good product which would have a positive impact for young people so we’re hoping to go further,” he said.


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“We’d like to increase our membership by 10 times and see it promoted and prescribed by other services like the NHS – there’s so much more we can do.”

The app allows people to post comments anonymously, which other users can either agree with, send a hug or show their love for by clicking a heart.

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It also contains links to support services for those in need.

“It’s solved cyber-bullying,” said chief operating officer Eoin Heffernan, 42. “You can only help someone, you can’t attack someone.”

The group aim to help lower stress and anxiety levels among users and increase emotional wellbeing, while connecting them to local and national support organisations in times of need.

Members of the public now have until September 8 to vote for Silent Secret, which has already built up a strong professional backing.

Professor Peter Fonagy OBE, from University College London said: “It has the potential to make a real impact – to remove the feeling of isolation so often linked to mental health problems and to destigmatize mental disorder through social actions.

“It is set to make a genuine impact on the mental health of those who participate in the silent secret community – as a platform for signposting and advice it could achieve even more.”

The app is also developing a portal to allow local authorities, NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and charities access to the anonymous data ensuring services for young people are commissioned and delivered in response to identified needs.

Dr Peter Ilves, primary care and commissioning consultant for Big White Wall – an anonymous digital mental health service provided for the NHS – said: “I immediately recognised the potency of Silent Secret.

“The power and positive outcomes of sharing with others how you feel and what worries you is well evidenced.

“If delivered in an environment designed to keep you safe, where you are not negatively judged it is gold.”

For more information and to vote for Silent Secret visit digitalheroes.talktalk.co.uk.

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