This summer, technology firm UKFast is opening up its Manchester campus to local children, with its training centre and labs hosting a series of Code Clubs and its 500-seat auditorium screening family films for local youngsters deserving of a treat.
UKFast Code Clubs launched in 2015, but this year are bigger and better than ever, with hundreds of children set to attend across six weeks.
The Code Clubs offer children the opportunity to learn the basics of coding, alongside computer science knowledge including servers, data transfer and networking. Clubs are led by experts who work with the technology every day.
The Summer Cinema Club in UKFast’s brand new auditorium is playing host to more than 1500 children across four screenings – playing Moana, The Greatest Showman, Avengers: Infinity War and an autism-friendly screening of Finding Nemo.
UKFast is accepting enquiries from projects and community organisations across the region and is offering family tickets for groups of five.
This week’s inaugural UKFast Summer Cinema Club saw Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service attend to show off their fire engines to children and adults alike.
UKFast MD Gail Jones said: “It’s fantastic for us to be able to open up our campus this summer for the Greater Manchester community. The Code Clubs have always been popular with young people and their parents, and are a great way to get young people interested in tech and coding.
“Running a Code Club is such an energising experience. It means we are getting more kids in here and helping to create the next generation of tech experts, as well as giving opportunities to have fun and learn new things. It’s another way of being proactive in order to meet the digital skills gap we hear so much about, all while giving parents a well-earned break!
“From the point of view of our team at UKFast, Code Clubs allow people from different departments to get involved and it gives people another platform to interact with and develop themselves.”
UKFast’s Code Club is accredited with Star Code Club status from the national network of Code Clubs. Star Code Club status is awarded to “supportive and committed club hosts who believe in the value of computer science education.”
Last year, UKFast doubled the size of its campus HQ with the acquisition of a second 40,000 sq. ft. building adjacent to its original base at Manchester Science Park. Among the first of the completed areas in the new space is a state-of-the-art auditorium with seating for up to 500 people.
Jones added: “The Summer Cinema Club is a completely new addition and there’s been a huge amount of interest in it. We have the facilities with our new auditorium to provide an amazing experience for hundreds of children, so it makes perfect sense to do so.”