An outreach project that teaches young women from disadvantaged backgrounds how to code has just received a generous gift from Goldman Sachs Gives.

Participants of the Go_Girl pilot course, 2015/16

The Go_Girl programme, led by researchers Dr Niall Winters and Dr Anne Geniets from the University's Department of Education, teaches young women aged 18-20 programming and design skills. The project helps to improve the confidence and educational opportunities of those involved by giving them new skills, both social and technological.

Thanks to support from Goldman Sachs Gives, a pilot programme targeting 25 young women living in social housing in Oxfordshire will be launched in 2017. This programme will build on a pilot course funded by an Oxford University IT Innovation Award in 2015/16. Participants will be introduced to website and app design, as well as computer game design and coding.

Go_Girl is run in collaboration with Oxfordshire County Council, through youth worker Mel Jewell. Mel, who recruits and accompanies the young women throughout the course, says: 'I am so excited about rolling out the Go_Girl programme this May for another year. The Go Girls from the pilot have progressed so much over the last 12 months, and it has been an absolute pleasure working with them all. Watch this space!'

Jo Hannaford, Partner at Goldman Sachs, says: 'Providing young women from disadvantaged backgrounds with technical skills is an important mission and one that serves to level the playing field. Through taking part in the programme, these young women will gain highly sought after technical skills which we hope will empower them and open doors to greater opportunities.'