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.