‘App’ to help backpackers

Richard Stuttle, centre, launches his new “app” with Andrew Litherland and Suzanne Dickinson

Caroline Stuttle

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

THE charity set up in memory of York teenager Caroline Stuttle, who was murdered while backpacking in Australia, is designing a mobile-phone application to help young travellers.

Caroline’s Rainbow Foundation was set up to help prepare young travellers to travel safely after Caroline was robbed and pushed from a bridge in Australia ten years ago. The charity plans to launch its free travel safety awareness “app” next March, backed by Knaresborough-based company GotFocus Solutions.

Caroline’s brother, Richard Stuttle, a founder and director of the foundation, said the idea was to cover every country and capital city in the world and provide useful advice to aid people on gap years and trips abroad.

He said: “It’s a very big job, but I think it’s very very worthwhile and we have got a lot of support for the project. We are going to trial it with university students first and then we can tweak it before it goes out for general release.

“It’s a great project and I can see it really making a huge impact for the launch. We are expecting a few million downloads and its going to be free.”

The “app”, for iPhone and Android devices, was developed to keep pace with the busy lives of travellers, and has been developed in the year of the tenth anniversary of Caroline’s death.

It will offer specific travel and safety information for destinations around the globe, giving travel safety tips, information about the country or city, highlights and attractions, useful and emergency phone numbers, helpful website links that travellers might need, local and annual events in the area, places to go and ones to avoid, seasons to travel, interactive maps, population details, ethnic groups and languages spoken, local news, details of the political situation and currency exchange rates.

It will also have a GPS locator so the movements of travellers can be tracked in case of emergencies.

The foundation has employed York St John University student Holly Thackeray, 23, to help research the information as part of an internship set up by York St John employer liaison Suzanne Dickinson.

GotFocus director Andrew Litherland said: “If someone’s going to be travelling for sixth months a lot can happen in that time. There could be a political situation that arises in the country they are visiting or somewhere they are due to visit so the information on the “app” will be in real time and that way it will be meaningful to travellers.”

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