Code Club’s flexible model means that volunteers can run clubs in a variety of different venues. We have a growing number of Code Clubs being run in community centres, and so we wanted to profile one of these clubs.
Andrew McKirdy works at CHESS community centre in Nuneaton, where he hosts a weekly Code Club (which is also part of our Star Clubs network). We found out about his experiences, and how easy and rewarding hosting a club can be…
Why did your venue start a Code Club?
I wanted to start a Code Club at the CHESS Centre to offer young people from a disadvantaged area of Nuneaton the opportunity to take part in a computer programming class. Code Club is perfect to help young people learn about Computing in a fun and accessible way.
Tell us as a bit about your Code Club.
CHESS Centre Code Club launched in April 2016. We run a session every Wednesday at the CHESS Centre in Nuneaton, which is currently attended by 22 children. We are about to launch two further clubs at Camp Hill Primary and St Annes RC Primary schools in Nuneaton.
What would you say are the benefits of hosting a Code Club at your venue?
The best thing about hosting a Code Club is watching the children learn new skills and listening to their experiences of learning to code. It’s a joy to be a part of their development and watching them become more skilled.
How do you work with/ support the volunteers who run the club?
I monitor and guide the volunteers who help me run the Code Club. I set up the classes and allow the volunteers to focus on the young people in the session. I provide all admin, refreshments and so on, which allows the volunteers the freedom to focus on guiding the children through the projects for each session.
What has been your best ‘Code Club moment’?
One of the children came to me recently and said, “I really look forward to coming to Code Club. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Another child in the club loves to show what he has accomplished, he is a very shy lad but coding brings him out of his shell.
Code Club is a truly rewarding experience, and I would recommend it to anyone!
You can visit the CHESS Centre’s Code Club to see first hand how amazing the club is, just head to our website for further details. Want to start your own club? Sign up to volunteer or host a club today!