Appening Rhondda is a collaborative approach between schools, colleges, charities and private businesses to foster IT development skills in Rhondda young people.

It was created from the partnership working of Stronger Rhondda, an initiative to bring people and groups in the Rhondda Valleys together to answer local needs. The project was established to address the growing concern that many students are not being challenged in technology development. We found many young people with naturally developed skills in coding and design lacked the opportunity to explore those interests before moving on to 6th form, college or the world of work.

How does it work?
A group of five young people come together for a full week or four day weekend to allow them an opportunity to be mentored by professional app developers and create an app from start to finish. There are two approaches:

An Appening Rhondda development week consists of:

Day 1 – Meet the client and prepare development brief
Day 2 – Begin building the app based on the brief
Day 3 – Really get into the coding of the app
Day 4 – Finishing the app development and testing
Day 5 – Prepare marketing materials for the app

A Game Jam long weekend consists of:

Day 1 – Meet the client and prepare development brief for two or more game apps in teams
Day 2 – Create a list of assets needed in the game and learn how to code and design
Day 3 – Really get into the coding, design and music of the app, finishing all the key elements
Day 4 – Learning how to market the app and each team does a presentation to staff and fellow participants

Four Game Jam weekends have been funded and promoted by Coleg y Cymoedd in 2018. We have also developed links with Cardiff University’s Computer Science department with a view to encouraging students to take up some of the great educational opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about designing and developing apps, please contact the Project Leader, Ben Treharne-Foose.

Appening Rhondda is managed by People & Work in partnership with Arts Factory (Ferndale) and Candlhat Studios (Llantrisant). It is funded by a local trust.