Home-schooled Willesden Green boys scoop pioneer award for water saving invention

PUBLISHED: 12:44 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:44 20 July 2018

Elye Cuthbertson, Atticus Ticheli and Saul Cuthbertson with their BT Tech4Good Pioneer Award

Elye Cuthbertson, Atticus Ticheli and Saul Cuthbertson with their BT Tech4Good Pioneer Award


Inventing a revolutionary way to tackle water wastage has won home-schooled boys from Willesden Green a top award and “commercial interest” from businesses.

Teenager Elye Cuthbertson, his nine-year-old brother Saul and their friends Alex Lynch and Atticus Ticheli have scooped the Young Pioneer Award at the annual BT Tech4Good Awards.

Mentored by big brother Aaron Cuthbertson, 17, the Water Watcher team wowed judges with their Water Watcher device.

The boys developed the product to tackle the issue of water being wasted due to taps being left on as a result of people’s memory loss, dementia, dyslexia or brain injury.

Small and inexpensive, the product can fit onto any tap and uses the vibrations of the water with a timer and alarm system to alert the user if the tap is left running.

Elye, 14, who lives with his family in Walm Lane, said: “It was fantastic to win the BT Young Pioneers Tech4Good award and to be recognised amongst such amazing tech talent.”

His friend and team member Alex, 16, from Twickenham, added: “It is a dream come true to have won this award. We have worked so hard as a team to come up with Water Watcher. We hope our device can help people all over the world.”

The Cuthbertson boys were the UK’s only finalists in a European Lego robotics in Tenerife in 2016 coming home with an innovation award for their Rubbish Runner.

From this they came up with their water wastage device for the engineering competition as one of the team is dyslexic and has memory lapses who once flooded a friend’s bathroom when he forgot to turn off a tap.

And it’s been a winning year.

The Water Watchers won their regional London competition January, won an award for their project at the UK National Finals in February and won another project award in Tallinn, Estonia at the Open European Championships in June.

The device’s potential to save water and prevent flooding has been recognised by organisations including Thames Water, WaterWise and Alzheimer’s Society.

Mum and coach Illana King said their product has now been picked up by a commercial company who are taking it forward into production. She said: “Watch this space!”

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