Code Ninjas, a new kids coding centre in Hemel Hempstead, has been opened by two best friends.

The site, aimed at children between 5 and 14, is based in The Marlowes Shopping Centre, and allows students to learn code by building robots.

Pupils, or "ninjas", will then create their own games in the "parent-free zone" that friends and family can play at home.

Code Ninjas has been launched by best friends, Robin Theakston and Charlie Gunn.

Continuing along the ninja theme, the centre will be referred to as a "dojo" - as in martial arts - with teachers named "code sensei".

Ninjas will work through a colour-coded programme - developed in partnership with Microsoft - to earn wristbands, or "belts".

Charlie said: "Between us, we have five children – I have two boys, aged seven and ten, and a daughter who is 11.

"I’ve spent much of my career working in finance which, like most sectors over the course of the last decade, has become very reliant on technology.

Herts Advertiser: Best friends Charlie and Robin, founders of Code Ninjas.Best friends Charlie and Robin, founders of Code Ninjas. (Image: Code Ninjas)

"It’s obvious to me that our kids’ lives will be improved by understanding how coding works.

"The future is exciting, but our children need to be prepared. We want to help give children all the tools they need to succeed."

Robin added: "A key motivator for launching this business together is our desire to create a different experience for children living locally.

"There are so many after-school clubs and weekend camps out there for children that have a passion for sport or the arts, but nothing that encourages a love of coding and Computer Science.


"We want to support local children to feel confident in their own digital abilities. As a dad of two, it’s something I feel particularly passionate about.

"Having worked in the education sector for the majority of my career, I’m passionate about supporting children wherever I can."

Robin and Charlie already operate "dojos" in High Wycombe and Aylesbury, with further information available at