Volunteering Week: students get kids coding in Leicester

Across the UK, Code Club Regional Coordinators work closely with colleges, universities and other higher education institutions to get students started as Code Club volunteers.

Our East Midlands Regional Coordinator, Katharine Childs, tells us about working with De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester to get local Code Clubs up and running.

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I’ve been cooperating with De Montfort University since 2016 to support student volunteers and help children in local schools learn coding skills. I first came across their student volunteers at a DMU event, and was really impressed by their enthusiasm and their credo that everyone can help make a difference in the locality where they study.

#DMULocal

I joined forces with #DMULocal, a DMU initiative that promotes positive change across Leicester. Together, we created a plan to train students and sign up schools to start clubs using Code Club’s free resources and support. This year I’ve run two training sessions at the university to introduce students to the Code Club projects and Scratch, and to provide tips and ideas on how to run Code Club sessions.

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One of the Scratch animations that the student volunteers from De Montfort University worked on with the kids.

I also met Mason Day, a Business Management undergraduate at the university who works part-time as a Project and Outreach Assistant on the #DMULocal programme.  Mason coordinates all the coding activities and matches students to schools. I asked him why he thought it was so important for students to get involved in volunteering. He said:

Universities such as De Montfort University (DMU) have a major responsibility to contribute to society through their public engagement and to bring about positive change for the public good. #DMUlocal is enabling even more DMU students to make a real difference in their city by utilising and sharing their knowledge to meet some of the most critical challenges facing Leicester by helping to improve children’s education, supporting the wider community, and boosting the local economy.

During this academic year, 38 De Montfort University students are volunteering in 13 different schools to inspire a new generation of children to be coders, creators, and digital makers. All the students will gain valuable experience to add to their CVs, as well as strengthening their own digital skills. A huge thank you goes to Mason for all his work, and to the students for being amazing role models for children in Leicester.

Get involved

If you work for a local college or university and would like to talk to us about how your students can volunteer for Code Club, get in touch with us at hello@codeclub.org.uk.

If you are a student who would like to volunteer at a local club, getting started is really simple. No coding experience is required — just click here to register, and you can start looking for clubs in your area straight away.