First Coding teaches important computing skills across a range of areas such as Scratch and Python coding as well as app design too. This year a few students entered an app design competition and I did the same. I would like to share with you my journey so far, for a project that started out as a competition entry has now evolved into a countrywide project aimed at highlighting mental health and I hope this encourages others with ideas of their own to create and share.

K6 Payphone at Port Isaac with First Coding
You may recall my entry from various Facebook posts whereby I was creating a new telephone network. Not only is it designed to save the old phone boxes from extinction by repurposing the payphones within them, myself and others have been hard at work collecting payphone telephone numbers with a view to ringing them all together at known times when people are at their lowest. When picked up a message of hope and reflection will be played raising awareness of mental health causes. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to work all the payphones in Salisbury but now after just a few weeks I can reach boxes across the whole country – this is both unbelievably fantastic and a little bit scary at the same time. I am now working with support organisations to help develop the message that will be played.

I didn’t win the competition but an idea doesn’t have to be award winning to have an impact. It really doesn’t matter if what you make is not worthy of first place, you just have to make it!