Meet the young designers who won the first Code Club T-shirt competition!

This spring we asked young people at Code Clubs across the UK to grab their pens and pencils, put on their creative hats, and design the next Code Club T-shirt!

Children from Cheam Code Club wearing the winning T-shirt design.
Cheam High School Code Club and the winning T-shirt design.

A new challenge

Coding is about creativity and design as well as logical thinking. That’s why our latest competition for young people attending UK Code Clubs was the first-ever Code Club design competition.

The task? To create a design for the next Code Club T-shirt, inspired by what you love about coding or Code Club.

The prize? T-shirts with the design for all Code Club attendees and volunteers of the winning club, and the design on a shirt in our official Code Club online shop

The result? 104 children from 72 Code Clubs across the UK made amazingly creative, clever, and fun designs! 

Over 100 designs

More than 100 young people sent us their designs, and from robots and computers, to Scratch blocks and messages in binary, we were blown away by how amazing the designs looked.

We got together a team of judges from across Code Club and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, who put together a longlist of our 18 top favourites. Head to the end of this blog to see our galley wall!

And the winners are… 

The final task of picking the winning design went to Philip Colligan , our CEO at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It was a tricky decision for him, but he finally chose the design of Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam High School. 

Here’s Philip on why this became the winning design: 

I love this design, particularly the use of binary to say “hello world”. It’s a great way to start a conversation about how computers work, and a reminder that however complex the computing system, it all comes down to zeros and ones.

– Philip Colligan, CEO at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

The image on the left shows the worked up design from Cheam High School Code Club. 

What happened next?

Alex, one of our designers, worked up the design Sophie, Arani, and Emily had created to make it ready to be printed onto T-shirts. 

With the T-shirts hot off the printing machine, our Programme Coordinator Zoe headed to Cheam High School to personally deliver them and say a huge thank you to Sophie, Arani, and Emily and their whole Code Club for taking part.

Sophie, Arani, and Emily told Zoe what inspired their design: 

We wanted to show what we like about coding, and how fun it is. We used part of the original Code Club T-shirt design and used binary to say “hello world” to show how computers work.

– Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam Code Club 

The three designers said they felt happy and proud when they saw their design on the T-shirts for the first time! And for anyone entering a Code Club competition, this is their advice:

Go for it, you never know if you’re going to win or not. If you try hard enough, you might!

– Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam Code Club 

Sophie, Arani, and Emily with their teacher Ms Pizzorni and Zoe from Code Club.
Sophie, Arani, and Emily with their teacher Ms Pizzorni and Zoe from Code Club

Get your own T-shirt

To get your own T-shirt with the winning design, head to our official online shop. You’ll also find lots of other fun Code Club swag there. All proceeds from the shop go to Code Club, allowing us to continue creating resources and supporting you to help young people learn to code!

The gallery wall

Take part in our exclusive competitions

This competition and others like it are only available to registered Code Clubs.

Looking to start a Code Club in the new academic year? Register on our website today to get exclusive access to unique competitions and more Code Club resources. 

Empowering women and young coders in Iraq

400 km southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, the Khutwa Centre is working to shift mindsets towards coding and to empower female volunteers. Their coordinator, Nadia, tells us more.

Two young Code Club looking at a screen working on a Scratch project.
Young Code Club members working on a Scratch project

Making code accessible

Nadia’s Code Club journey started when she was living and studying in London. She became a Code Club volunteer at Oak Farm Library in Uxbridge, London: 

“I was studying at university when I saw how participating in a Code Club is beneficial for both the kids and the volunteer trainers. When I finished my studies and returned home to Iraq, I wanted to give the same opportunity to the community here.”

While children in private schools in Iraq currently have fairly widespread access to computer education, children in most government schools do not. In Maysan province, where Nadia is based, the rate of child poverty is 50%, and for many young people there, Code Club is the only way to access computer education. 

Nadia in front of a power point presentation
Nadia delivering training to Code Club volunteers

Training women at the Khutwa Centre

When Nadia returned to Iraq in 2017 to start work as a lecturer for the Southern Technical University and Amarah Technical Institute, she also begun volunteering for the Khutwa Centre for Training and Development. The centre provides training opportunities in IT and English language for adults, as well as support for young people, particularly high school students at risk of leaving school. 

Earlier this year, the Khutwa Centre became the first Code Club Growth Leader in Iraq. Our Growth Leader programme supports non-profit organisations around the world to introduce Code Club into their programmes, mixing local expertise with Code Club resources and support to create more opportunities for more young people.

Nadia at the front of the classroom, training a group of female volunteers.
Nadia training a group of female volunteers

Nadia’s first step as a Growth Leader has been to train female volunteers to prepare them to start Code Clubs of their own. Until the University of Maysan was established, many women in the province were unable to complete their university education, as families were worried about letting daughters travel far away to study. As a result, many women in Maysan lack experience, and confidence in their abilities. 

Nadia’s goal is to give these women the skills and conviction they need to boost their careers, as well as supporting the younger generation and changing opinions about coding and technology in their wider community. In just two months, Nadia has inducted 14 female volunteers into the programme, with plans to train another 30 in the next six months. 

Making games, not just playing them 

Getting started has not been without its challenges, from finding keen volunteers, to getting permission from the local education department to access schools. Local organisations have been pivotal for Nadia’s Growth Leader work, giving their support by providing venues and training facilities. Nadia has also spent time reaching out to local parents to encourage them to attend sessions themselves and directly register their children. Her persistence has paid off: currently, 30 children are on the waiting list to participate in Code Club. 

The Khutwa Centre recently ran a successful Scratch Day event, where children from the region tried out Code Club Scratch projects, and teachers, parents, and volunteers joined to find out how to get involved.  

One volunteer trainee, Zahra, summarised the impact she hopes to see from her new Code Club: 

“As a teacher I always seek opportunities to develop my skills and my students… I want my students to improve their logical thinking and ability to think outside the box. I want them to realise that they can make games instead of just playing them.”

Next steps for the Khutwa Centre

Nadia plans to speak to interested schools and youth centres over summer holiday, and she will host more training events for volunteers, in Maysan as well as in other provinces. There’s plenty of exciting things to come for the Code Club community in Iraq.

Two young girls dressed in yellow working at a computer.
Two young girls taking part in Scratch Day

Help grow Code Club in your community

If you are part of a not-for-profit organisation and would like to work with us to grow Code Club in your local community, then find out more about our Growth Leaders programme on our website. 

To find out how to start your own Code Club, head to if you are based in the UK, or to if you are based outside the UK. 

How an employee volunteering scheme is inspiring the next generation to code

Since last autumn, ten volunteers from the Tesco Head Office in Hertfordshire have been supporting children aged 7–9 years at the Code Club running in Welwyn St Mary’s C of E Primary School. Find out the impact volunteering is having on them and the club members.

  Code Club volunteer from Tesco supporting a female club member.
Code Club volunteer from Tesco supporting a young club member

What inspired Tesco volunteers to give their time

So why did these Tesco employees get involved in Code Club as part of their company’s employee volunteering scheme?

The first time I heard about Code Club was when I got an email from a colleague. I felt like it would be a good chance for me to teach some of my coding and logical thinking skills to the kids. I wish I had such a club in my school back then, that would have helped me a lot to develop my coding skills and better prepare me to become a software developer for my career.

– Julia Wong, Code Club volunteer from Tesco

[What motivates me is the] enthusiasm of the children and knowing that we’re enabling them with the skills and experience to have a brighter future. It’s particularly rewarding to see so many girls taking part in Code Club, and for them to see the opportunities that STEM subjects and careers might offer them when they are older.

– Tina Stevens, Code Club volunteer from Tesco

Code Club volunteer from Tesco supporting female club member with a project.
Code Club volunteer from Tesco supporting a young member with a project

Seeing how the kids improve

Jessica Shaffner shares how she has seen the children at the Code Club develop each week:  

It’s been great to see those who were a little nervous at first really take ownership of their work and start to experiment with more complex elements week by week. There are a few who were anxious about working alone, to begin with, who now help other children who are less advanced.

– Jessica Shaffner, Code Club volunteer from Tesco

Sam Carr is a software developer at Tesco and has been volunteering at the Code Club since 2018:

It’s been wonderful to see individuals who were not as focused at the beginning now working on Scratch projects at home and I’m really proud to show what they’ve done.

– Sam Carr, Code Club volunteer from Tesco

Miles Bardon, another Tesco software engineer, has been a Code Club volunteer since January 2019:

Many of them have become confident in using Scratch, to the point where they go home and make their own games, or can help their friends with their problems. They take care of their personal development, relying on us as volunteers to push them in the right direction when they get really stuck.

– Miles Bardon, Code Club volunteer from Tesco

Positive impact on the volunteers

Volunteering is also rewarding because it offers many personal opportunities, from sharing skills and experiences to developing your own confidence, while giving something back to the local community.

Although we are volunteering to help the children learn to code, they are also helping us to improve skills that we use day-to-day in the office, such as handling questions and thinking on our feet.

– Tina Stevens, Code Club volunteer from Tesco

Code Club volunteer from Tesco  supporting male club member with Scratch project.
Code Club volunteer from Tesco supporting a club member

Whether you’re an experienced coder or an absolute beginner, volunteering at your local Code Club is a great way to expand your digital skills. Find out how you or your company can get involved by visiting our website.