Our Story

Our Story

Our roots are firmly in the communities we empower, and we're more than just a tech company. Here's a bit of our history and the story behind how we've become the UK's largest digital social prescribing provider.

Every great story starts with 3 things. An ordinary world, a question and an answer. Ours has each of those things, and we believe that what makes it particularly great, is that we’re still committed to asking the question and developing the answer. How can we reduce health inequalities?

So, what’s the answer? Well we think what we’ve developed is a big part of the answer, a way to connect all stakeholders and give anyone, anywhere the ability to make, manage and monitor referrals into community activities and programmes.

 

And we’re more than just a ‘tech company’.

 

We’re first and foremost a group of former community workers devoted to improving lives, connecting people and building communities. It’s where we came from and it’s embedded in the very bones of Elemental. Our roots are firmly in the neighbourhoods we empower.

Here's where it all began, and where it's going...

Our Story

2012
January 14

In 2012 Leeann Monk-Ozgul was the Programmes Manager for the Old Library Trust, Healthy Living Centre in Derry.

January 14

Jennifer Neff was making digital skills and employability accessible to communities on their doorstep across the city and leading the delivery of the ‘Health for All’ theme of Derry’s Regeneration Plan, The One Plan.

January 14

Jennifer and Leeann shared the same concerns and frustrations around ensuring that everyone had the opportunity to access and engage in health, education and welfare support when they needed it.

January 24

They knew that despite everyone’s best efforts health inequalities still existed and those that needed the most support in our communities were often being left behind.

2013
January 30

Derry was awarded City of Culture, there was a new sense of optimism, creativity and community in the Derry air. All efforts were made to make sure that this year of culture was accessible by all and health and wellness was a major feature within the 12 month programme.

March 30

Friend of the city, Sir Ken Robinson, shared the same concerns as Jennifer and Leeann but stressed that “when people find their passion then anything is possible”. He used the very Derry phrase about being ‘In Your Element’ and it struck a chord.

August 30

After continually meeting people who were not aware of free resources and activities in their communities, Jennifer and Leeann had a lightbulb moment. They knew exactly what was needed, a simple connection between them and their community and they knew that digital had a massive role to play in this.

October 30

They mapped out a solution that would better connect up all sectors, organisations and people who were delivering community programmes and services so that there was an easy way to refer citizens into these activities and also raise awareness about what’s available in each community. People would become the creators of their own health risk prevention plan, choosing what was important to them and taking control of their own lives.

2014
January 30

Jennifer and Leeann kicked off over 2 years of listening to GPs, Housing Officers, Social Workers, Community Workers, Commissioners and others to find out their thoughts on the social prescribing model of care and hearing about what would make it easier for them to fully adopt it as a sustainable and effective model of care. Interoperability and connectivity was a recurring theme. Oh, and it had to be simple to use.

March 30

Armed with the feedback from their research and their own front-line delivery experience from working in and with communities, they set about looking at how digital could enhance the social prescribing model of care.

2015
January 30

Thanks to help from the University of Ulster, Jennifer and Leeann sourced some of the best designers and software developers in Ireland and built a prototype. Suddenly their ideas, plans and user journeys came to life!

April 30

They launched the alpha version of Elemental’s Core social prescribing platform in the Creggan community in Derry and offered everyone the opportunity to be part of Derry’s first ever digital social prescribing programme. 50 people came forward, and it was there that Elemental was born.

May 30

Participants of the pilot may not have fully grasped what social prescribing was at the time but Jennifer and Leeann made the commitment from then on to help people them understand their health risk and the benefits of doing something that suited them, didn’t involve medication and was delivered in their own community.

December 5

Elemental are still committed to educating the world about the benefits of social prescribing. At the end of 2015 they enter a business support programme led by Derry and Strabane District Council where they chose Aidan McGrath as their mentor.

2016
January 30

Jennifer and Leeann wanted to further develop their prototype and create an interactive platform that connected all patient systems and data in one place.

They knew the platform had to do a number of things including:

  • Accommodate multiple stakeholders and users involved in social prescribing
  • Incorporate a live and interactive database of services that could receive and make onward referrals
  • Tell the story about what happened after the referral was made
  • Capture baseline measurement and ongoing health and wellbeing results
  • Be accessible by all who need it in any sector
  • Be something that communities could access
  • Interoperability and seamless integration into partner systems
February 23

Senior Developer, Mark Gowdy joined the team, and from there, the first version of Elemental’s Core social prescribing platform was developed.

April 6

Top 5 Finalist in the Ro’ya Female Start up Company Award Dubai

June 18

Elemental Announced as INVENT Awards 2016 Finalists.

June 30

Winners of INVENT 2016 Enterprise Software Category

July 2

Digital DNA Award for Elemental Software as Best Tech Innovation in the Third Sector

November 30

Elemental Software win Investors Challenge at Mobile Health Congress 2016.

December 6

Elemental launching Core platform at NHS Expo

2017
January 30

Tech entrepreneur and angel investor, Mary McKenna joins Elemental after being approached by Jennifer and Leeann to mentor them.

February 13

Elemental meet Ken Perry, Do Well after seeing a photo on Twitter of his Social Prescribing Dinners. Elemental and Do-Well launch new partnership to tackle growing health inequalities through social prescribing

April 11

Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and Elemental Software in New Partnership and apply for Innovation Agency Transformation in Innovation funds to better support new mums.

May 8

Healthy Living Centre Alliance goes digital with Elemental to measure the effectiveness of social prescribing.

June 16

Elemental enhance social prescribing platform with the launch of new measurement and reporting feature at Kings Fund.

June 18

Elemental Software secures significant investment from ClearlySo to tackle chronic conditions and alleviate NHS crisis.

August 31

Elemental grow their team with recruitment into Finance, Marketing, Development and Projects departments.

September 19

Elemental win JCI Award.

October 22

Elemental secure their first customers in Health, Housing and the VCSE sector.

December 13

Elemental win West Midland’s Mayors Technology Competition.

2018
January 30

Elemental expand their team with recruitment into Development, Projects, Business Development and Marketing.

February 4

Jennifer Neff invited to deliver a TEDx Talk on social prescribing and community connections.

February 13

Elemental secure customers in Health, Housing and the VCSE sector.

March 4

Ken Perry, Director of DoWell UK joins Elemental as Housing Adviser.

April 6

Elemental Awarded Place on G-Cloud 10 procurement framework – making it easier to procure Elemental’s products and services.

May 7

Elemental publish two Greater London Authority Commissioned reports focusing on the role of VCSE sector and Digital Solutions in social prescribing.

May 10

Elemental selected to help Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, co-design a vision for Social Prescribing across London.

July 12

Leeann Monk Ozgul announced as one of the Most Influential Women in Tech for second year running.

August 3

Elemental secure more customers in Health, Housing and tech VCSE sector.

August 17

Elemental Software Welcome Martin Bell As Non-Executive Board Member

September 4

Elemental named as sole digital partner in £3 million Big Lottery funded project aimed at tackling social isolation.

September 15

Elemental win first ever Civic Innovation Challenge.

September 16

Leeann Monk Ozgul listed in JCI Derry’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons Programme

November 6

Elemental visited by Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock at NHS Expo.

November 6

Elemental launch innovative Self Refer tool.

November 30

Elemental awarded Cyber Essentials Certification.

2019
January 10

Elemental grow their team with recruitment into Business Development, Marketing and Projects

January 16

Elemental secure more customers in Health, Housing, VCSE and Local Gov

January 18

Elemental pledge to help deliver NHS Long Term Plan by making social prescribing more accessible for all.

January 30

Elemental shares its experience, knowledge and expertise helping areas to mobilise their social prescribing programmes.

Here’s why……Elemental round-up a successful 2018 with an impressive infographic:

 

roundup

February 13

Elemental launch their new brand

A new look with a new logo that symbolises growth, connection and honesty.

This new Elemental logo represents the heart of their business which is connecting people, building communities, improving lives, and making a difference.

The tree represents everything Elemental stand for, strength, growth and more importantly connectivity.

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