UK Youth was previously awarded the Tech4Good Digital Skills Award for its innovative programme Generation Code. 

Generation Code is a programme delivered by youth workers and young champions which provides young people, who are typically less likely to engage in computer science (such as girls, small communities and racial and ethnic minorities), the opportunity to access and engage in computing. It’s overall aim is to address the lack of skills in computer science in young people and empower them to become digital creators in an ever-changing global society. Generation Code has now reached over 20,000 young people since 2015 and 87% of the young people who took part in Generation Code self-rated that their coding skills had increased after their session. The programme is run in partnership with Microsoft – a partnership that dates back more than seven years now.

The team are sharing what they’ve been up to since winning the award and what benefits they’ve seen for anyone thinking about entering the awards this year. 

Veronika, Project Manager of the Generation Code at UK Youth, said, “Winning awards, such as this one, has very much strengthened our partnership and allowed us to be innovative and bold with the evolution of the programme. Winning the Tech4Good Award has impacted the programme in many ways but I would like to highlight three particular aspects:

Raising our profile

Being awarded the Tech4Good Digital Skills Award has raised our profile and enabled our work and expertise to ‘be seen’ more widely. This has brought about invitations into several new spaces, such as the “One Digital” Task force which our Head of Programmes Christina Watson is a member of.   Additionally, it provided access to additional circles and networks which facilitated sharing our work more widely, getting a broader group of tech experts and specialists on board with the work we do supporting young people all over the UK.

Access to new networks, passionate people and expertise

Through the Awards and the Winners’ Dinner event we were connected with an awesome group of people; fellow winners, funders, supporters, and the government, all with their own expertise to offer. This enabled us to run a ‘Tech4Good’ specialised Hackathon with young coders from all across the UK coming together at the end of last year. To pull this event off we needed support from tech experts who could spark interest and inspire young people; what better network than the Tech4Good winners group! Finding the right specialists and experts is resource intensive but we were amazed by the support we received from fellow winners; with Baran from IMAREC, Yvonne and Scarlett from Mind of My Own and Chris from Small Robot Company all joining us on the day, hosting stalls, speaking on panels and giving bespoke advice to young people.

Unlocking new levels of empowerment, innovation and bold creativity

The biggest take away from winning the awards, however, has been getting inspired by the tech organisations, we’ve been meeting, learning from and working with over the last year. Seeing their pioneering and innovative work enabled and motivated us to develop the way we work to address the needs in our sector. Being surrounded by incredible minds, passionate about using technology for a good purpose to create impactful change has given us the boost to start our own little evolution of Generation Code and, be bold, push the boundaries and start something new.”

Christine Watson, Head of Programmes at UK Youth, also commented, “It is hugely beneficial for an organisation like UK Youth to be linked to expert contacts when we run specialist programmes such as Generation Code, and it just wouldn’t be possible for us to make all these links without some help in the brokering process – the Winners’ Dinner was especially great for this. The Tech4Good Awards have been so inspiring to be a part of and the contacts we’ve made have yielded a really tangible impact for the young people we support. Thank you!”

For anyone considering entering the awards, the full list of award categories and links can be found below. It is free to enter the Tech4Good awards and entry is open to any individual, start-up, charity, small or large business, local authority, public body, school, college, university or any other organisation with a base in the UK.