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A New Alliance: We’ve Teamed Up With Barnardo’s And Raspberry Pi

November 13th, 2014 by

Working together to help others is one of life’s greatest virtues…

Recently we partnered up with the guys at Barnardo’s and Raspberry Pi to do just that: lend a helping hand to the youth local to our area who are less equipped educationally.

As a corporate group, we feel that our responsibility lies in contributing to the development of our area. Whilst Shoreditch and the surrounding area has much promising business talent, Tower Hamlets remains the third poorest borough in the country; opportunities for positive development can be slim on the ground. As an Internet company, we know a bit about the workings of a computer and really appreciate the value of knowledge; we know just how much the young minds of Tower Hamlets could benefit from experience in coding and programming, and that’s just why this partnership is important!

On November 6th we headed to The Hub Construction Skills Centre run by Barnado’s in Stepney Green, a stone’s throw from our Shoreditch office. There we met a handful of young individuals whose lives are being turned around by the Barnardo’s chaps. Investing in the future of technology is high on our to-do list, and where better to start than to give the opportunity to learn coding and programming to young people at a disadvantage? Giving these young people a chance to occupy their minds goes a long way to keeping them out of trouble, whilst providing valuable opportunities for them to better their lives.

The young people that we met at the hub this week had been getting to grips with plumbing, decorating and building in a safe environment that they perhaps wouldn’t have had access to before. And it was time for them to add another string to their bow…

Where does a fruit pie fit into all of this?

The Raspberry Pi (not pie) Foundation is a not-for-profit charity formed to advance both adult and child education, specifically in computing and related subjects. They do this using their very own Raspberry Pi computer.

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The Raspberry Pi is a computer about the size of a credit card, with which the young people at the Barnardo’s hub got stuck in to the ins and outs of computing and programming. The low-cost computer has helped hundreds of thousands of people get to grips with the technological side of what really goes on behind a computer screen.

Clive and Dave from Raspberry Pi ran the session for us, showing the young people around the mini computer. In no time at all everyone was on their feet hooking their Raspberry Pi up to their monitors, getting to grips with USB ports, HDMI cables, and input commands.

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Clive and Dave led a masterclass in communicating with the technology that we see and interact with daily. Encouraging the young people to engage with technology and enjoy the learning experience is what Raspberry Pi are all about, and seeing the participants getting involved so readily and enthusiastically made the day a success all round. They even managed to fit in some Minecraft! Incidentally our attempts at building a virtual landscape were decidedly worse than the young people’s…

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Following the success of our day at the Hub, we’re sponsoring the collaboration between Barnardo’s and Raspberry Pi over the coming year to help these young people progress in computing and programming. We’ll be taking them for a tour of our data centre and helping them out with potential work experience should they take a real interest. Hopefully the opportunity which they’re being presented with here can make a real difference to their lives.

A bit about Barnardo’s

Barnardo’s is a not-for-profit charitable organisation dedicated to changing the lives of vulnerable children and young people. Founded in the 19th century by Thomas Barnardo, the charity works directly with over 200,000 children annually, providing counselling, fostering and adoption along with vocational training and functional skills which can radically change the prospects of those at a disadvantage.

You can follow our partnership with Barnardo’s and Raspberry Pi on our blog.

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