Social Action

I was delighted to take part in the Conservative Party’s social action project, Project Umubano in its 10th anniversary year in Rwanda. The project is making a difference to the everyday lives of the people of Africa.
My brief was to teach secondary school mentors English and about their new school curriculum. Teaching teachers was a new challenge for me as my expertise is in school governance and not teaching. I campaigned for increased primary school provision in my local area and was part of the team that created a brand new free school in 2016, Ashmole Primary School.
Ashmole Academy Trust, where I am Chairman, very kindly donated nearly ½ a ton of secondary school books to the project which were gratefully received. St Paul’s Church of England School, mums and friends also made very generous donations of books and other resources to Project Umubano. In total I shipped 27 boxes weighing 413 Kg, the equivalent weight of 6 people or 2 gorillas, to Rwanda.
I am grateful to those who donated and for encouraging their children to part with their possessions. My son Harry refused to part with his Spiderman mask so I had to sort out all my donations whilst the children were at school! 
I spent a considerable time collecting donations and boxing them up so that 27 boxes were loaded and delivered to Parliament. I had some help from my husband for the physical work of lifting and shifting as I just wasn’t up to gorilla carrying! Umubano Primary School were delighted with the donations.
My area of activity was education and for four days I taught, along with my classroom buddy Ewan, secondary school mentors English and about their new school curriculum. 

In every class of students there are memorable characters and Ewan’s and my class had its share. There was Bango the class joker, Isabel the chatterbox and Jean Claude who was so serious. There were many memorable moments such as when my class argued with me about how you pronounce “play”. I was definitely right! Ewan, who has a Geography degree, drew a map of Rwanda to help in an exercise which also drew lots of criticism from the class, until he proved he was right using his phone and the internet. I did laugh.

I also cried. What took us to Rwanda was the terrible genocide of 1994 and there were many incredibly moving moments. The week concluded at the Genocide Memorial Centre where Susan, a survivor from the Holocaust, and Edisa, a survivor from the Rwandan genocide, told their stories.



I have had a varied and full career in Technical Engineering and am currently an IT Engineer delivering million pound networking projects for local government authorities. I have procured innovative solutions for Ashmole Primary school and embraced digital communications in my voluntary work for the Conservatives and my campaigning.

I run a Coding Club for Key Stage 1 children to introduce young children to the world of coding, giving them the skills to thrive and survive in the world of tomorrow.

Text from a post I wrote in January 2017:

Computers now play an increasingly important part of the world we live in. Technology is literally everywhere and in the last few years has been advancing at an incredible rate. This means that children interact with technology at a very young age and it will play a core part of their life in the future. Coding Colossus believe that because our children are being introduced to technology at a young age, they should also be introduced to concepts like coding at a young age.

I’m sure we could debate forever what our children should learn when they are growing up, and advanced programming skills would probably not appear high on the list, but there are some core skills that most of us would agree upon. Skills such as discipline, working together, being able to express yourself and being able to communicate. Coding may not directly teach these skills but children will learn them as they start to code and play with technology. By taking up coding children will learn logical thinking, problem solving, to experiment, to learn from failure, they will learn to ask for help, and learn that hard work, patience and persistence does pay off in the end. Coding doesn’t have to be a boring, no fun exercise. It can be great fun regardless of how old you are. Using trial and error children will probably create some unexpected and silly results which they will love, but ultimately achieving what they set out to do keeps them coming back for more.

For example; children who are learning how to create a game, may during it’s creation have characters moving in unexpected directions on the screen, but they’re likely to keep on coming back to fix these bugs as the end result will be a game which they made themselves and can come back to and play as often as they like.

At Coding Colossus we believe that in this modern world having computer skills is now a necessity. Even if our children are not learning how to code then they still need to basic skills to survive and thrive in a technology integrated world. Learning to code helps give our children a better understanding of the rapidly changing technology that affects them every day, and learning to code can help our children develop the skills to play a part in this change.

You are never too young, or too old (parents!), to learn to code. Pre-school children can use a tablet or smart phone. By using graphically based coding tools they can learn ’cause and effect’, which helps give them a head start when they start computing as part of the school curriculum, which helps build the foundations for them to be successful in today’s world. One of the great things about learning to code is that it helps build a child’s problem solving skills. Learning to manipulate code means understanding a problem, working out the steps required to solve a problem, testing, revisiting the steps, and choosing between possible options to arrive at a solution. Coding helps our children learn the skills to problem solve, and developing problem solving skills at an early age can only give our children a head start.

Coding is a language, so teaching our children coding at a young age gives them similar benefits to learning a foreign language. They don’t just learn to work with technology easier, they learn to communicate better. All children need to be computer literate if they want to survive and thrive in the modern world. Coding takes this a step further, giving the child an opportunity to learn better ways to interact with the technology around them. They will learn how to solve problems and gain the skills they need to be successful in later in life.