After successfully crowding funding to set up South London Raspberry Jam almost 3 years ago, we’ve been able to introduce coding to hundreds and hundreds of young people. Last year, our second successful crowd-funding campaign took Femi and his mum to Bangladesh to introduce coding through the Microbit using robots to 220 young disadvantaged kids (our target was 100).
Now, after organising a national Young Coders Conference at the Tate Modern in London, our next crowd- funding campaign will aim to have an even greater impact. We want to set up a pilot Young Coders MeetUp – to provide an inclusive and youth led environment for 10 – 16 yr olds to learn, collaborate and network together. South London Raspberry Jam are really passionate about community, inclusion and diversity so over the next three years we aim to help 100 young disadvantaged people to join this community so they can also explore coding and digital making – and take advantage of work opportunities in the tech industry.
We're living in an exciting world of technological innovation from which we can all prosper. However, in order to fully acess all these emerging advantages we need to develop inclusive and inspiring places for young people to learn about coding, digital making and physical computing. In London there's a growing skills shortage in the Tech Industry and at the same time, amongst young people, unemployment is highest (1 in 10).
Under the shadow of the iconic Shard, in London and other growing Tech Hubs around the UK, there's pockets of deprivation where young people can't even get a job in the supermarket. Many young people are interested in technology in some way or love coding, but often feel isolated, when their schools aren't able to provide the opportunites to go further. We want to break this and provide an inclusive and youth-led space for learning, collaborating and networking.
What we want to achieve:
From October 2018, we will launch our first Young Coders MeetUp featuring Industry professionals to do keynote talks, offer Lightening talks and run workshops for 10 -16 year olds interested in coding and technology. The young attendees will then be invited to become members and to decide what they want on the agenda for the next MeetUp - completely youth-led. The website linked to the MeetUp will become a hub for networking and a source of information for young coders. The outreach programme will develop a pathway for under-represented communities to be supported and welcomed to the Young Coders communitiy.
How we will do this:
South London Raspberry Jam are developing a framework for the Young Coders MeetUp, with the help of the amazing coding community, which will be able to be modelled, enabling self sufficient hubs to be set up by other young coders, across the country and exported abroad. This initial phase of fundraising will enable us to use an 'Agile' approach to get a pilot up and running, as a prototype for collecting feedback and analytics to inform the next 12 month phase. We will then produce a 'handbook' as a guide on fundrasing, how to outreach to under-represented communities and evertything you need to know about running a Young Coders MeetUp.
Call to action:
Raising £25,000 will enable us to run 6 monthly MeetUps, develop a brand, set up a website framework as a hub and to outreach to under represented communities. Please help us by making a personal donation and then spreading the word using your networks.
Here's how we plan to use the money we raise:
1) Admin/running costs of 6x MeetUps (4 hours each) = £3,000
2) Recording equipment (Camera, lights, microphone) - to stream talks on the internet for those who can't attend and to develop and archive = £1,500
3) 6 laptops with insurance/locks to loan to young coders without equipment of their own = £7,000
4) Travel expenses for out of London speakers/young coders who need a bursary = £1,200 (£200 per month)
5) Marketing/developing a 'Handbook' = £2,800
6) Running 4 outreach events to develop pathways to the Young Coders MeetUps for grassroot communities = £2,000
7) Website development/hosting/maintainance/support = £1,500
8) Printing - including poster/programmes/schedules/resources = £1,000
9) Co-ordinator during campaigning and pilot MeetUp phase (incl. collating analytics/write up) = £3,000
10) Coding kits for outreach workshops (such as Microbits with batterries downloading cables x 100 kits) = £2,000
This adds up to £25,000. It's our third and most ambitious crowd-funding campaign to date but it has potential to have the biggest impact by reaching more young people who are presently under-represented. We would like this pilot to become a blueprint for kickstarting young coding communities across the country as well as internationally as our networks widen. This pilot MeetUp will provide invaluable feedback and analytical data so that more formal funding can be accessed in the next stages.
Benefit to you:
By investing in our Young Coders MeetUp pilot, you'll get regular updates and further opportunities to contribute and share your passion for tech as well as to encourage young people to play an active role in the coding community. We will offer new perks when we can and anyone who has already contributed will receive them retrospectively. You will be the first to hear about all our events.
Thank you for your support.
Femi Owolade-Coombes & Nishka Mathur and the Young Coders team
South London Raspberry Jam