Club members’ stories: Code Club is ‘Code-mazing!’

Code Club is all about our young members and helping them discover how they can use code for the things that matter most to them.

Meet 8-year-old, budding coder Oliver from Congleton in Cheshire, England. He’s recently joined Congleton Library Code Club, led by educator Rich Hind, who has been part of the Code Club community since 2016!

Oliver at Congleton Code Club

What do you do at Code Club?
“We code using Scratch.”

Why do you come to Code Club?
“Because I enjoy coding and want to learn more.”

What do you learn at Code Club?
“We learn what all the code blocks do and what happens when you put them together.”

What is your favourite part of Code Club?
“Coding, obviously! ”

Can you share one memory from Code Club that always makes you smile?
“Winning the biggest chocolate bar ever!”

Can you tell us about one time you helped someone else at your Code Club?
“I’ve actually not done that, no one needs help!”

Tell us about something you’ve made at Code Club that you’re really proud of!
“A bug maze”

If your friend was thinking about joining Code Club, what would you say to them?
“You learn how to use harder coding — I would tell them to join!”

If you had to describe Code Club in one word what would it be?
“Code-mazing!”

Complete this sentence: My Code Club leader Rich is amazing because…
“He knows everything about coding and he’s friendly.”

Code Club educator Rich had this to say about Oliver’s responses:

“I am really glad that Oliver is enjoying his time with us in Code Club (although, thinking I know everything about coding is a bit far!) and he is thoughtful and super engaged in what we do. I have seen him helping others in our class, but he is far too modest to tell you!”

You don’t need special expertise to start running your own Code Club, and you can help even more young people, like Oliver, learn coding and digital skills. Start a club today!

Say hello to the Code Club team 

Meet the Code Club team! We’re a small, but impactful team that are scattered across the world. Here’s a glimpse of who we are, our roles, and what we get up to in our spare time!

Tamasin Greenough Graham, Head of Code Club

“I lead the lovely Code Club team who support you, our amazing community, to run inspiring Code Clubs for children in your area. I make sure that we develop the Code Club programme to make the most impact, so that every young person can have fun while getting creative with coding.

I love to be outside and spend my free time camping and hiking.”

Darren Bayliss,  Programme Coordinator (Ireland)

“Hello from Ireland! I love working with the community across Ireland and building a network of clubs throughout schools.

But what I’m most passionate about is seeing firsthand the impact our work and mission have on young people. There is nothing better than seeing that smile when a person sees their piece of code work.”

Isabel Ronaldson, Global Community Coordinator

“I work with our partner organisations around the world, helping to bring Code Club and CoderDojo to even more young people internationally. I love hearing your stories and seeing the impact you have on your communities. I also love finding ways to make it easier for you to connect with even more learners.

In my spare time, I love good books, working in my garden, and cooking.”

Kat Leadbetter, Community Manager in England

“I’ve worked at Code Club for nearly 6 years, first supporting our international community and now helping to start clubs in England. Recently I’ve been leading our 10th birthday celebrations, and it’s been wonderful to look back on the incredible things our community has achieved over the past decade.

I enjoy music and I’m also one of three people in the team to have a degree in Astronomy.”

Kevin, Program Coordinator (USA) 

“It’s so nice to e-meet you! My name is Kevin and as the Clubs Program Coordinator, I support the amazing U.S. Code Club community. That’s right, from the North to the South, East and West! I love storytelling, and with a pen and my handy notebook, I aspire to highlight the inspirational stories that our community has to share!”

Sarah Eve Roberts, Community Coordinator (Wales)

“Helo from Wales! I’m the resident space boffin with a decade of experience teaching children about the stars. But the skill gap in Tech brought me down to Earth, and now I’m passionate about supporting and growing our fantastic Code Club community here in Wales. I want to help children all over the country to gain the skills they need to thrive in this technological era.”

Vasu, Programme Coordinator (India)

“Namaste from India! I love working with people, building connections, creating support systems for a better tomorrow! My work with Code Club has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride, from witnessing the community in action in urban cities, to creating smaller hubs of learning in the most rural parts of India — it has been an absolute joy to see people coming together to shape the future of learning!”

Yasmin Hanif, Community Manager in Scotland

“I’m new to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, supporting Code Clubs in Scotland as well as across the UK. I love the wonderful communities that you have created and the passion that everyone has for Code Clubs. You’ll find me out and about meeting as many people as possible.

I love cake, pizza and helping young people to thrive!”

Rujeko Moyo, Community Coordinator (England)

“Hi there! I’m super-passionate about holistic approaches to learning that prepare children to thrive in this ever-changing technological era that is called ‘The 21st century!’ So I’m thrilled to be riding on the Code Club bandwagon that is nurturing and unleashing these ever-so-vital skills. If you are based ANYWHERE in England and want to start a Code Club — I’m your go-to person!”

Zoe Davidson, Programme Coordinator

“You may recognise my name from your inbox! I keep you updated on all the exciting Code Club opportunities, along with celebrating you, the Code Club community. Your enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment is infectious and I thoroughly enjoy shouting about it!

Out of work you will find me mooching around galleries and trying to befriend daschunds!”

We always enjoy hearing about the inspiring work that happens in Code Clubs across the world. Share what your club members have achieved by contacting any of us at support@codeclub.org — it really does make us happy!

If you are interested in starting a Code Club, we’re on hand to help! If you’re based in the UK, Ireland, India, or the USA, head to this page. Signing up from somewhere else in the world? Take a look at how you can set up a Code Club.

The people power of Code Club

It’s you, the community of educators and members, that makes Code Club such a vibrant programme. For us this is the most exciting part of what we do — hearing how Code Club positively impacts your lives and the people around you is truly a great honour!

Four community members share their stories as part of our #CodeClubIs10 celebrations.

Park Street Code Club, Cambridge celebrates Code Club’s birthday

Keeping the Code Club spirit alive

Kayla Jackson-Smart, 17, is a Code Club alumni from Manchester. The skills she gained from attending Code Club supported her through her computer science GCSE. Now four years on, Kayla’s keeping the Code Club spirit alive and creating sprites for Scratch in her graphic design A level. 

“I attended Code Club in Primary School and went on to take Computer Science as a GCSE. I love making things on computers, especially graphics, but I didn’t really enjoy the GCSE much, but it set me up for my Graphic Design A level.

I’m currently working on component one of my Graphic Design course where I’m creating a set of costumes to use in Scratch. I’m hoping to visit my old Code Club so they can use them in a project.”

Kayla jumping for joy for Code Club!

Career-changing experiences with Code Club

“Before I started Code Club, coding to me was like The Matrix seeing the numbers scroll down a screen, it didn’t mean anything!”

We headed online to catch up with Liam Garnett, from Leeds Libraries to hear about the impact that Code Club has had on his career, but also his knowledge of coding. He may not be a computer hacker like ‘The One’ in The Matrix, but he now has a better understanding of code!

Liam at Leeds library Code Club.

“I started in Leeds Library as a Library Assistant on the front line. I took a strong interest in the digital aspect of our services and launched a Code Club at Seacroft, in East Leeds and now I support four clubs across the city. Leading on this has helped shape my career and led me down the path I am on now, as a Senior Librarian for Digital.”

“I am still not great at coding, but the skills I’ve gained in helping kids learn has been really important to me.That softly approach works well, letting kids make mistakes and then together we can work out what has gone wrong.”

Coding with friends

“It gave me a lot of important skills that continue to help me in my work to this day, and helped me make friends with people I’m still very close to.”

Jamie,18, Durham Johnston Digital Leaders.

Engaging with new friends and being surrounded by positive role models is an important part of any extracurricular activities. Coding with friends is what Code Club is all about and we’re so pleased to hear that Jamie is still close to his Code Club buddies.

Travel the world

Nadia’s Code Club journey is inspiring. It started in 2015, when Nadia was in the UK studying for her PhD, to then heading back to her home country and becoming a Code Club Iraq partner.

“I volunteered for Code Club through Brunel University London, with Oak Farm Library, in 2016 I was awarded by the Mayor of Hillingdon for being the best volunteer at Code Club!

Nadia, volunteering at Oak Farm Library

What I learned with Code Club is that I can pay it forward. I can learn and I can develop myself, and then I pass this knowledge to someone else, who in their turn will pass it to someone else, and then we will have a whole community that will change and will change for the better. When I headed back to Iraq, I knew I wanted to bring everything I gained in the UK and give children in Iraq the same opportunities.

When we first started Code Club in Maysan (Southern Iraq) you will find female teachers, doctors, but you will never see a female ICT trainer, because she ‘cannot do it’. So we started by changing this concept, we started by training fourteen female educators, so we changed the image for women, about women in our community.”

Nadia spreading the message of Code Club in Maysan, Iraq.

This is just a snapshot of the different ways Code Club has impacted community members, both personally and professionally. We know there will be many more stories that deserve a spotlight. So, to all of you Code Club educators and members, we see you and we appreciate you!

Share the positive impact that Code Club has had on your life by using the hashtag #CodeClubIs10. We’d love to celebrate them with the world.