DigiLocal People – a parent’s perspective

The following note was sent to DigiLocal by Gudrun, Thomas’ mum. We’re very grateful to her for sharing her thoughts and insight into supporting young people to discover their digital talents.

Thomas (left) at the 2019 NASA Space Apps Challenge co-hosted by DigiLocal

Thomas joined DigiLocal in July of 2016, at the age of 9.  We had no computer at home up to this point  and the only exposure he had to computers was at his primary school where 3 children shared a computer during computer lessions.  He saw a coding club in the library and I then found DigiLocal.   His learning curve was so steep thanks to DigiLocal at this time where he learned to code in scratch. 

He went from the bottom of the classs to becoming so good at coding scratch that he was able to run an after school coding Club in his primary school teaching his peers.  It was the most popular after school club during that term.  When he left Primary school he then went back in Year 7 to run the club again, but COVID-19 got in the way and this ended.

Thanks to DigiLocal work at providing recycled computers to children, Thomas now has his own computer at home and his coding skills have progressed on to python and now he has just started learning C.

DigiLocal did not only teach him coding but valuable life skills, confidence and opened his world up to endless possibilities.  Through DigiLocal he has spoken to influential people from the West of England Mayor (Tim Bowles, DigiLocal Celebration 2017), to university engineering professors, and employees from leading manufactures all about his coding aspirations and projects he has collaborated on.  He has learned that his ability is limited only by his own or others skills and as such works hard to learn more and keeps pushing boundaries.  

Coding is not book work, but fun, something he would happily do 24/7. And thanks to the internship opportunity he had at DigiLocal,  he feels confident this is something he could do as a living.

He is currently doing computer science for GCSE along with triple science and Product and Design Technology.  He would not have found a love for coding and working with electronics if it had not been for John and DigiLocal who opened this world up to him.

He and his family would highly recommend DigiLocal  to anyone who has a passion for coding or simply wants to learn more.  The possibilities are endless, the people are amazing and there is no learning just lots and lots of fun!


  • See the full write up of the 2019 NASA Space Apps Challenge here.
  • Thomas also took part in the 2020 NASA Space Apps Challenge (online) and his project BioEnterprise was a Global Nominee from the UK.