A NINE-year-old girl has completed a city wide social networking challenge in aid of a leading homeless charity.
Lara Hunter-Douglas is the first person to use social networking giant Foursquare to “check in” to each Shelter Scotland store in Edinburgh, allowing her to win exclusive designer badges.
The smart phone application allows people to connect and share information about their favourite places based on their location.
Using her dad’s smart phone, Lara collected an exclusive badge created by designer Stina Jones in each of the eight charity shops across the city.
For her efforts, the little girl won an exclusive framed print, designed by doodle-artist Stina Jones.
Lara said: “My dad told me about the competition and we thought it would be really fun to visit all of the shops and collect the badges together. They’re all different so it was exciting to go from shop to shop and see what the next badge would look like. I’m really happy that I’m the first to get them all.”
Dad Scott Douglas says he enjoyed accompanying his determined daughter across the city.
He said: “It’s been a great experience. Lara was excited to get started after hearing about the project and was hooked after picking up her first badge at the Nicolson Street shop. From that moment on it was a case of finding the time to get to each of the shops before the badges disappeared. Luckily she now has a full set – if she hadn’t, I would never have heard the end of it.”
He added: “It was a great opportunity to spend time together, explore Edinburgh and also to help a very worthy cause. Lara asked a lot of questions along the way about homelessness and how it can occur, so she’s learned a lot from the experience too.”
In July Shelter Scotland became the first charity to launch on the social networking site Foursquare.
The charity piloted the initiative in Edinburgh, enabling smart-phone users in the capital to be the first to test-drive the network which allows visitors to Shelter Scotland shops across the capital to ‘check in’ their location while checking out the merchandise.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Lara and her dad have embraced our Foursquare initiative and collected all of the badges. On behalf of Shelter Scotland I’d like to congratulate Lara for her efforts and thank the Hunter-Douglas family for their support.
“As Lara shows, this is an innovative and fun way for us to appeal to a new generation of supporters. Social networking has become part of everyday life and Shelter Scotland is proud to move with the times.”
Visitors to the charity’s eight Edinburgh shops have exclusive access via http://4sq.shelter.org.uk/ to make lists of their favourite places, write reviews, take photographs of items and share them with friends.
In return Shelter Scotland teamed up with social networking giant Foursquare to offer free rewards and discount offers to shop visitors, as well as the chance to collect eight limited edition badges.