Edinburgh mum crowdfunds to build new mindfulness app for kids

A mum diagnosed with a life-changing chronic condition that left her and her two-a-half-year-old son struggling with anxiety has launched a crowdfunding campaign to build a new digital platform for pre-schoolers to learn the skills that transformed their lives.

Christina Cran pictured with her son, Fin.
Christina Cran pictured with her son, Fin.

The crowdfund aims to raise at least £7,000 to grow Wee Seeds, a mission-led venture designed to plant the seeds of mindfulness and meditation in pre-schoolers, by funding a new web-based app. The fundraising bid comes after a prototype was successfully received by parents and children earlier this summer.

Wee Seeds founder Christina Cran was rushed to hospital in 2015 after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

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Initially, the diagnosis left her very unwell, struggling to work and look after her son, Fin, who was then two-and-a-half.

It also had an impact on her mental and emotional wellbeing and she downloaded a meditation app – feeling the positive impact within weeks.

Christina, of Edinburgh, said: “After just weeks of daily meditation, I’d noticed a real shift in me – but then Fin started struggling, asking if ‘mummy was going to die’, or ‘be taken to hospital again’, clinging to me all the time.

“Knowing how much childhood experiences can affect your entire life, I wanted to help him overcome the fear and anxiety he was showing but didn’t know how. When I looked for something to help teach him some of the things I was learning I could find nothing for his age group.

“I realised so many children could benefit from learning how to cultivate focus, attention, calm and kindness, and in turn how this could help them with their emotional literacy, inner resilience and nurture positive mental wellbeing – and so the idea for Wee Seeds was sown.”

Meditation and mindfulness are now widely used in schools, universities and workplaces – but Wee Seeds brings this to early years children. Early intervention changes lives, as half of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14. Christina said: “The money raised from the crowdfunding campaign would enable us to design and build the first public version of Wee Seeds, a digital platform housing a range of games and exercises for parents, teachers and carers to use with the children they care for to help start to teach them livelong skills for the 21st century.”

Seed funding was used to build the Wee Seeds prototype, with Christina’s vision for the app being brought to life by Scottish designer Emma Chapman, who also worked on early designs for leading meditation app Headspace, and a student from Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Computing.

Wee Seeds was part of The Good Ideas Academy incubation programme, run by The Melting Pot in Edinburgh, and has received seed-funding from UnLtd. See https://chuffed.org/project/growing-wee-seeds.