Children at King’s College Hospital sample Raspberry Pi

06 September 2016 - Young people on the children’s wards at King’s have been using Raspberry Pi computers to learn how to code while they are in hospital.

Rachel Rainey

Under the supervision of Glafkos Havariyoun, a Trainee Clinical Scientist at King’s, children and young people who are interested in coding are taught the basics, which includes programming a robot to move.

Rachel Rainey, who has been a patient at King’s College Hospital for six months, has been learning to code in the Schoolroom at King’s.

The 12-year-old from Downham, who was at King’s following a brain haemorrhage, attended Raspberry Pi sessions with Glafkos.

Last year Glafkos Havariyoun took part in an online event to get children interested in science.

He won 'I'm a Scientist: Get me out of here!’ - an interactive competition to be school students’ favourite scientist - and has spent the money he won on Raspberry Pi equipment for the King’s Schoolroom.

Rachel has had four Raspberry Pi sessions with Glafkos and is almost at level four.

Rachel said: “I have used Scratch before, which is a simpler online programme for coding, but Raspberry Pi is a step up. Using Raspberry Pi was hard at the start but as you get more into it it’s quite easy really.

“We learned to get the robot to move in different ways and get it to pick up objects.”

Rachel will be going into year 8 in September, and feels she will be ahead of the game when her class start looking at how to code.

Talking about the project, Glafkos said: "I’ve completed a number of sessions with the children, for about an hour each time. I taught them what a Raspberry Pi is, and what coding is. They then started coding with the robotic arm and moving things around, they all picked it up really quickly. I think they all had fun and were very interested in coding and carrying on with it in the future. It’s really important to get children interested in science and how the things around them work."

Raspberry Pi are a series of motherboards the size of a credit card. They perform the same operations as a home computer, and have USB ports to plug in a mouse or keyboard. They are especially aimed at teaching coding to children.

Photo caption: Rachel with her Raspberry Pi certificate

For further information please contact:
Molly Downing
Communications Assistant
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 3257

Notes to editors

1. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, training over 900 dentists, 750 doctors and 300 nurses every year. The Trust is recognized internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma. On 1 October 2013, King’s took over the running of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and Orpington Hospital, as well as some services at Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. The new enlarged organisation has over 10,500 staff and provides over 1 million patient contacts a year. 9,000 babies are delivered by our hospitals each year, and over 750 patients come to our Emergency Departments every day. For more information, please visit the website. You can also support the work of King’s College Hospital at

2. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

King’s Health Partners is one of only six Department of Health-designated AHSCs in England and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our partnership brings together...

  • three of the UK’s leading NHS Foundation Trusts;
  • one of the top 30 universities in the world;
  • services provided over 225 locations, including seven hospitals and community and mental health centres;
  • 2.2 million patient contacts each year;
  • 31,000 staff;
  • 25,000 students;
  • a combined annual turnover of £2.8bn.

... to advance health and wellbeing by integrating world-class research, care and teaching.

3. At King’s College Hospital we fundraise for the best in treatment, research and health education, leading-edge equipment and improving well-being in our communities. By uniting doctors, nurses, researchers and academics with our supporters and volunteers we can provide the best patient care that goes above and beyond. Find out more and support us at