24th July 2023
Celebrating 12 years and looking to the future for volunteers!
Happy Birthday CoderDojo! Sunday, 23 July, marked 12 years since the first ever CoderDojo event! It’s a remarkable milestone that we couldn’t have reached without the incredible dedication of CoderDojo volunteers. Today, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for the work you do.
Speaking of milestones, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been part of the Foundation for 2 years now! When I joined, we were grappling with the challenges of the pandemic and lockdowns. In-person sessions were paused, and many Dojos began running online.
Thank you for responding to our regular poll emails. From these, 711 Dojos have told us they are back to in-person activities, which is fantastic to see! Over those 2 years it’s been great to get to know our community, and you’ve inspired me to open a Dojo in my local community too!
Listening to feedback
The CoderDojo team have been visiting Dojos and speaking to volunteers, trying to understand how we can best support you in the future. You’ve shared valuable insights with us, highlighting areas where we can enhance our support for you. Some areas you’ve pointed out include:
- resources to help recruit and induct new volunteers
- practical advice on inclusion, funding and governance
- help on how to support more capable Ninjas
- Improving the discoverability of resources
- support for different volunteer roles in the Dojo
A new project
We’ve heard you loud and clear. In the past year, we’ve been looking at ways to enhance the volunteer experience. Recognising the importance of this endeavour, we’ve initiated a significant project called the Volunteer Journey project.
The aim of the project is straightforward but ambitious, we want to ensure that volunteers:
- find the experience simple, easy to access and fun
- can access the training, support and resources to undertake their role
- feel valued, rewarded and recognised for their contributions
What we’ve achieved so far
Work has already started, and hopefully you’ve already seen our new volunteer recruitment resources and training module, website updates and our new module on how to mentor at a Dojo. These have been made possible thanks to the hard work of the Foundation team, and input from volunteers who have helped us prioritise what’s important, and helped us design these new tools.
How can you get involved?
To make the volunteer journey project a success, input from across our community is essential, and if you’d like to contribute to this work or you’ve got ideas of what we should focus on, please sign up to participate in feedback sessions.
By the time we get to our 13th birthday, we’ll still be talking about the Volunteer Journey project, but it’s important to take our time and get this right, so that we encourage future generations to volunteer with us, and help us reach our 20th and 30th birthdays!
So thank you for everything you do, and we really look forward to working with you to make CoderDojo an even better place to volunteer!
John Mc – Head of CoderDojo