Wonga Codemakers

Wonga Codemakers has successfully completed its pilot camp at Newcastle United, part of a mission to find and then inspire the next generation of British entrepreneurs and internet visionaries.

This programme further cemented Wonga's partnership with Newcastle United and its community.

The pilot was a free five-day coding camp for 13 and 14-year-olds in the North-East. The participants were taught by Computer Science University students and also heard from inspirational speakers from the entrepreneurial world, including Alex Klein, co-founder of Kano.me, Barnaby Clark, founder of Planvine, and Jonathan Bradford, Founder of Ignite 100 and MD of Techstars.

There was even time to get active, with the young people playing football on two afternoons.

On the final day, the participants gave Dragons' Den-style presentations of the actual websites they had built in small teams, making use of their new coding skills, based on real business ideas.

The judging panel was Kate Bradley, head of Newcastle United Foundation, Yonatan Raz-Fridman, co-founder of Kano.me, and Joel Shamash, from Wonga.com.

Prizes included Amazon vouchers and hi-tech coding kits. All the participants received tickets United's opening game of the season and Sam McLoughlin, project manager for community development at Newcastle United Foundation, said: "I think Wonga Codemakers is a fantastic idea.

"These young people are the future of our country and I think doing activities like this is making sure it's a bright future. The students have been superb.

"For Newcastle United Foundation, it's great to work with our club sponsor and to see them wanting to get involved with the community."

Kareem Khazem, Wonga Codemakers instructor and computer science masters student at Imperial College, London, added: "It's really important that more kids learn how to master code because, in the future, they're going to be the ones who essentially write the fabric of society, with code being such a massive part of it. It's a huge part of the way we live today."

Ryan Douglas, a Wonga Codemakers participant, said: "I've learned such a lot in the short time I have been here.

"I've learned to build a website without the help of others and this is an experience I have got such a lot out of."