What is the aim of the technology?
In November 2020 Alice Hendy lost her 21-year-old brother Josh to suicide. He had been researching techniques to take his own life through harmful internet searches. On Christmas Day 2020 Alice invented a piece of technology called Ripple, which aims to divert anyone searching for ways to harm or kill themselves and direct them to the support they need.
How does it work?
Ripple is a browser extension that can be downloaded onto laptops and computers. If an individual searches for harmful material relating to self-harm or suicide, they are interrupted and presented with a short breathing exercise, before being directed to one of the many mental health resources that can give them the help and hope that they deserve.
Ripple is triggered by 35,000 different words or phrases if they are typed in during a search. It is free to download for schools, colleges, universities, parents and charities, and is available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada. Work is underway to make Ripple compatible with mobile phones and tablet devices and to extend its geographical reach.
What did it achieve?
Ripple became a charity in September 2021. Since its launch, the tool has been downloaded more than 250,000 times and has been triggered during a harmful search almost 2,000 times. Ripple is aware of 23 lives that have been saved because individuals approached the charity with their thanks.
What did the judges say?
“A really innovative solution, which is already literally saving lives.”
Action Against Hunger UK
The Hyde Group