8 May 17

Call out for Gloucestershire coders and creative thinkers

Techie and creative experts at EDF Energy’s Barnwood headquarters are looking for fellow experts to join them in creating some innovative solutions for students with disabilities at Gloucestershire-based National Star.

National Star, which provides education, caring and training for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, and EDF Energy are running a two-day voluntary hackathon on 8 and 9 June to find and build novel solutions to problems that students and employees at National Star face on a daily basis.

Where and when?

The hackathon will take place on 8 and 9 June at National Star’s main site in Ullenwood, Gloucestershire. 


If you would like to be involved, please contact us as soon as you can giving us a short explanation of why you are interested and where you think you might be able to help (there are no wrong answers).

We intend to run additional hackathons in the future so there is the opportunity for you to get involved in other events later in the year.

Their aim is to develop solutions that can improve students’ independence, confidence and quality of life. This could be making it easier to interact with people in busy environments, prepare for their day, integrate into a team in the workplace or control items around them in an office or home.

Something most of us do frequently is call in at our local coffee shop for a takeaway drink. What if your experience from a wheelchair means that you’re not even looked in the eye, you’re overlooked, or the barista speaks to your companion instead of you?

“This is a daily experience for many people with disabilities who use wheelchairs. And what if a solution lies in a communication app or device which pushes a message to the barista’s device to say you’re there, how you like your drink and even what your name is? That’s one of the challenges we’re aiming to tackle with the hackathon,” explains Dave Stanley from EDF Energy Generation’s Information Systems Innovation team who are running what should be a stimulating and rewarding volunteering experience for creative and technical thinkers. You can see examples of the solutions you will be helping to develop here Ice Breaker and I'm Fine.

You could be a coder, someone who likes to find creative ways around problems at home or someone who can give experience of living with a disability. You’ll get the chance to work in a new team, solve new problems and work with emerging technology you might not usually use in your day job.

“The output from each team will be presented to a panel from National Star and EDF Energy, with prizes awarded for creativity. Our solutions will then be made available for others to repeat wherever they are in the world - everything we produce will be fully described and available online under open source licensing.”

“National Star is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017 and during all those decades we have, as a national centre of excellence, focussed on what people with disabilities can do, not what they can’t.” said David Ellis, Chief Executive of National Star.

“This joint project with EDF Energy is the perfect example of breaking down barriers and enabling people with disabilities to be active citizens in our community.” 

For more information contact:

External comms

Notes to editors

Contact nationalstarhackathon@edf-energy.com if you are interested in getting involved.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers and businesses with electricity and gas.

It generates electricity with eight nuclear power stations, more than 30 wind farms, one gas and two coal power stations, as well as with combined heat and power plants.

EDF Energy is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. This will provide low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand. The project is already making a positive impact on the local and national economy, British industry, as well as boosting skills and education. EDF Energy also invests in a range of low carbon technologies including renewables and battery storage. It is applying research and development expertise to improve the performance of existing generation and developing the potential of new technologies.

The company provides gas and electricity for more than 5 million customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain and the largest supplier to British businesses. It offers innovative energy systems for commercial customers and digital innovation for customers at home. EDF Energy has also launched its own innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, which focuses on making customers’ lives easier.

Through its Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed comprehensive environmental and social programmes which have been recognised by a wide range of organisations.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 13,000 people at locations across England and Scotland.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges visit: www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/