Posted on November 18, 2016 by staff

Social initiative teaches homeless and refugees to code


A new initiative which helps homeless people and refugees to code is trying to reach a £20,000 funding goal on Kickstarter.

School of Code CEO Chris Meah told BusinessCloud that the UK is facing a digital skills crisis.

“Businesses are desperately searching for technology talent, and there are great careers and prospects in the tech industry,” he said.

“But there simply aren’t enough programmers. Within the lack of numbers there is also a lack of diversity which highlights the narrow route into coding.

“At the same time there are huge levels of unemployment and people getting left behind and lacking digital skills education.

“I started the School of Code to make sure everyone has the chance to learn about technology, and remove the barriers people find when learning to code.

“It can be lonely, frustrating, boring, and lots of people quit and think it’s not for them.

“By making coding social we can embed support and motivation into the learning process, which widens the route and lets more people have fun with code.”

At the time of writing, there are 56 hours to go on the crowdfunding campaign with almost £16,000 pledged.

School of Code is based in Birmingham and has a strong social conscience. Its online platform means anyone anywhere can get involved. They also run physical classes.

Meah added: “We have a platform for schools which aims to help specifically 11-16 year olds with coding.

“We are also launching a general learner tool where anyone can log on and learn to code, getting help and support by teaming up with a coding buddy to tackle problems.

“We run a ‘Coding against homelessness’ class with Crisis, where we teach their members how to code a website from scratch with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

“With Code Your Future, we are going to use our online multiplayer platform to help provide a platform for learning and remote mentoring so we can teach refugees coding skills and help get them into jobs.

“Entrepreneurial Spark have been amazing supporters of ours by taking us onto their accelerator program.”

School of Code has also worked with the BBC and within tech hub Silicon Canal.