May 20 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, February 23, 2013
The Golders Green founder of a learning disability charity has been shortlisted for an award celebrating successful women in the technology industry.
Deborah Gundle launched social networking website Netbuddy – for parents and carers of people with special needs – prompted by her own experience bringing up son Zach, who has profound learning difficulties.
The mother-of-three is one of four finalists in the Inspiration of the Year category at the FDB Everywoman in Technology Awards.
The women shortlisted are recognised for their drive in laying foundations for women to enter the industry.
Ms Gundle said: “I am thrilled to be chosen as a finalist. Technology has opened up incredible opportunities for providing support and information in the special needs community.
“I think it is very important that we embrace technology and its potential to create strong communities like Netbuddy, at a time when so many vital services and support networks are under threat.”
The 48-year-old started Netbuddy, based in West End Lane, West Hampstead, in 2010 in order to make it easier for parents of disabled children to access advice.
The charity worker drew on her own knowledge of raising 18-year-old Zach, her eldest child, despite having no previous training in technology and initially intending to write a self-help book.
But a friend encouraged her to launch a website because it would give parents the opportunity to continually exchange tips.
Apart from care guidance, Netbuddy also offers advice on how to handle family dynamics when one child has special needs and a section is dedicated to providing information for the extended family.
The site also touches on a topic which is rarely discussed publicly – relationships between people with learning difficulties. It is an issue which Ms Gundle says still makes people uneasy.
The winners will be announced at The Savoy hotel on March 19.
To find out more about Netbuddy, visit www.netbuddy.org.uk