Primary Partner – Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust


Founded in 2015, Chanua supports and develops initiatives that empower people to improve their health, mental health and wellbeing.

One of the company’s projects Neuro Champions aims to teach young people about their brains and mental health through a cross -sector approach that combines neuroscience, mental health technology with games and creative art.

The programme uses immersive training, games and technology to teach people of all ages about the brain, mental health and how the environment and emotions are linked. In addition, they have developed a range of offline games including a 3D printed brain puzzle game and a battle of the brains robot games.

Approaching the programme

Having already known project partner Innovation Agency, Chanua were introduced to the Innovation team at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. Having met with the team they talked through how Alder Hey could help them further develop their Neuro Champions programme and how it can help young people under the care of the hospital.

What we did

The Innovation team connected Chanua with different clinicians from Neurology to A+E as well as wider areas of the hospital enabling Chanua to present their work around the Neuro Champions and for the hospital to discuss and work through some of the challenges they are facing. This ensured that what Chanua were creating is fit-for-purpose and can improve health outcomes for young people within a health care setting.

Chanua were also given office space at the Innovation Hub at Alder Hey that enabled them to have meeting space with the healthcare professionals and run design sprint sessions.

Our results

The credibility of working with such an establishment as Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has helped Chauna develop their programme.  They have delivered a successful programme within Alder Hey for 12 young people in collaboration with the Psychological Services supporting young people who had long term physical health problems. It has received positive feedback from young people, parents and clinicians. They have also conducted digital design sessions with young people in the hospital and clinicians. They have been able to access good quality healthcare collaborations enabling them to understand where there is a need, who to speak to, and getting those all-important introductions to the key practitioners.

Importantly, the outcomes for the young people has been the most rewarding results of the project. These young people have developed a network of friends/peers who have a good understanding of what they themselves are experiencing, reducing their feelings of loneliness, ‘otherness’ and isolation. In fact, several of the group members have made friends for life, in part supported by their parents also connecting whilst waiting to collect the young people after the session, an added bonus that the team had not foreseen, but will be encouraging in future programmes

Going forward, they are now looking a to develop more work with Alder Hey and collaborate with other partners to continue to develop their digital interventions.

In July of this year the company attended Games for Change in New York City and Serious Play Conference in Montreal where they presented the Neuro Champions Model and the journey of developing a game based mental health interventions. This has helped Chanua to see the possibilities for international partnerships and collaborations for the Neuro Champions project.

The team has also grown since the start of the work with Alder Hey and have recruited two more staff.

Click here to view a film of the work between Alder Hey and  Chanua.

A film was also created in collaboration with the amazing young people and staff who attended the Neuro Champion group based at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Click here to view.