Natalie Kane: Women Out West's app created in mum's memory 'could have saved baby's life'

The deaths of a young mother and her baby in Whitehaven have prompted a west Cumbrian charity to create a mobile phone application that it says could have saved the 14-month-old boy.

Natalie Kane and her son Harry were found dead at home on 30 December 2021.

Women Out West, which supported Natalie, has now developed the app to help people in similar situations.

The charity alerted police last year after not hearing from Ms Kane for several days.

An inquest into the death found the 27-year-old died after inhaling lighter fluid. Harry died some time later from dehydration.

Ms Kane's brother Shane Evitts says what happened to his sister and nephew is a "tragedy" that will haunt his family forever.

Ms Kane, originally from Maryport, became addicted to heroin after leaving the army.

However, she turned her life around after becoming pregnant with Harry. Friends and family described her as an "amazing mother" and Women Out West said she was doing well.

Natalie and Harry Kane. Credit: Family photo

The organisation, based in Whitehaven, has worked with Mr Evitts and a team of developers in Manchester to develop a mobile phone app in her memory.

Rachel Holliday, founder of Women Out West, said: "We have a lot of people who move on, on their own, live alone and it might be a couple of weeks until someone sees them.

So the whole idea is if somebody isn't responsive, responding to the app within 24 hours, then an alert would be raised.

"And that alert would then go to the police and the police would then go out and do a welfare check.

"I'm not too sure if it (the app) would have saved Natalie's life, but I am pretty sure it would've saved Harry's."

An example of how the app works. Credit: ITV Border

The plan is for the app to be freely available. It is hoped it will be particularly helpful at times when most services are closed, such as during the festive period, which is when Ms Kane and Harry died.

Louise Murphy, who works for Women Out West, knows what difference the software could make. She felt isolated after moving to Cumbria and struggled with her mental health and addiction.

She said: "There were times when I would be on my own for weeks on end, not having any contact with anybody. And when you're isolated or you're having issues you don't particularly want to talk to people.

"You kind of want to hide away from the world so it's kind of just a little something you can do just so someone knows you're safe."

The family and friends of Natalie and Harry Kane hope the new app can have a positive impact in their name.

Shane Evitts, Natalie's brother, said: "If it can save one person's family going through what I've been through that'll be putting a smile on my face."


If you are feeling isolated and affected by the issues above, Women Out West helps women who are experiencing domestic abuse, crime and other issues which make women vulnerable.