Meet the team

John Bradford – John is the CEO of DigiLocal. John has been volunteering with young people for over 30 years, often on off-shore tall ships, culminating in a couple of years as a Skipper with The Rona Sailing Project. He’s also been a Business Mentor for Young Enterprise and most recently can be found helping out DigiLocal clubs as emergency cover for volunteers. He holds a PhD in manufacturing systems redesign, and a BEng Mechanical Engineering. Most of his professional career has been working for Universities on innovation projects, usually translating technical requirements between small engineering firms, large aerospace primes, and research academics.

John is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for DigiLocal.

Yesmain M – Yesmain is our DigiLocal Coordinator.

In addition to our staff, we have a fantastic team of around 40 volunteers who run each DigiLocal in partnership with their communities. We are also blessed to be working with some great community partners who help with venues and connections to the young people.

Without our volunteers & community partners this genuinely couldn’t happen, thank you all!


DigiLocal is governed by an independent Board of Trustees. Our Trustees are drawn from the communities we support, and provide vital governance and oversight to the charity. Each Trustee also brings a unique mix of knowledge and insight into the day-to-day work that DigiLocal undertakes. We are hugely grateful for their time and contribution to DigiLocal. They are (alphabetically):

Abdullahi Farah – Abdullahi is the Manager for the Bristol Somali Resource Centre. The Somali Resource Centre (SRC) is a project that provides services for the local communities especially (the hard to reach) communities. Volunteers previously ran it but in February 2008, it received funding from CAH to continue its work. The centre has a management committee of 12 overseeing the staff.

The SRC offers support, advice and guidance to the Somali community in the area. It also offers a space for the community to meet and undertake training and to find out how to access mainstream services. It aims to get the voice of the Somali community heard in the area, promote community cohesion and reduce the isolation of Somali people.
Akash Sachdeva – Akash is an intellectual property lawyer with over 25 years’ experience. Akash has particular expertise in patent and trade mark litigation and strategy, having acted for household names such as BlackBerry, Nokia, Facebook and eBay. He also has a history of advising SMEs on how best to protect, enforce and manage their intellectual property whether by way of litigation or commercial exploitation, as well as significant experience in media law issues, having previously advised a major newspaper group on defamation and online legal issues.

Akash has full rights of audience and has represented clients in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC), the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Court of Justice of the European Union. He also has experience advising clients from the Far East having spent five years in the Hong Kong office of a magic circle firm.
Ali Hassan – Sayidali is an IT manager at local a housing association in Bristol, socially and culturally connected to many parents who send their children to the DigiLocal.

Three of Sayidali’s children attend Barton Hill DigiLocal, and he believe’s that all children to have the right education before they reach adult life.

“I can use my Information Technologies skills and relationships with the communities to contribute to a cause I really care about children education.
Everyone has Value. Everyone has the potential to give back. That’s why I am a Trustee of Digi Local.”
Angela Loveridge – Angela is the founder and CEO of Better Together. Angela delivers e-safety workshops that offer practical advice to parents and carers to protect children online. She holds an MSc Information Technology and worked in a High Street bank in various roles before becoming a financial crime analyst. More recently, she successfully achieved an EPICT Licence, which is an internationally recognised qualification that acknowledges the online safety expertise of professionals who work with children and young people.

Angela has received training on a Home Office endorsed course to raise awareness of the PREVENT initiative which is aimed at preventing individuals from getting involved in or supporting terrorism, in all its forms. Angela is also currently working on a new venture. Her vision is to identify the next generation of cyber security professionals.

Angela is also mother to two daughters that attend DigiLocal @ Barton Hill Settlement.

Angela is our Trustee Designated Safeguarding Lead, working closely with the CEO to ensure safeguarding is core to everything we do. Any safeguarding questions can be directed to the CEO, or to Angela via

See also our Safeguarding page.
Bakoto Jobe – Bakoto was an attendee at DigiLocal for over a year when we started at Barton Hill Settlement. In addition to attending club sessions, she also helps out volunteering to mentor other young people that have just started with the club. She has continued developing her computing skills and has been given a lot of opportunities that support her career choices for the future.

Bakoto is currently in college studying Computer Science. She has completed work experience placements with Reach Robotic, Engine Shed and Kinneir Dufort through Babbasa thanks to links with DigiLocal.
Craig Oram – Craig is a Finance Manager with GIST and a Chartered Management Accountant with over 15 years experience. Progressing through the finance structure from clerk to management accountant, Craig learned about the leadership of individuals and how control along with accurate, timely reporting are the foundations of a successfully finance department. In particular he excelled at analysing, forecasting and providing insight into the activities of the company.

Craig is self-driven to generate data and reporting capabilities that have become an integral part of the daily business activities across all levels. He has a keen interest in the development of systems and the implementation and design of reporting structures.

Craig’s in-depth knowledge of the performance and cost drivers along with a good commercial acumen have led to responsibility for tender and presentation responses. He has expertise in liaising with individuals from major passenger vehicle manufacturers, winning a number of contracts along the way.

Craig is also father to a daughter who has attended DigiLocal @ Bradley Stoke since November 2017.
Heather Macdonald – Heather is the founder and CEO of WhyCommunications Ltd. Heather helps leaders in technology companies to tell the world WHY they and their products are worth giving a damn about. She has over 15 years’ experience in corporate communications and technical product marketing, and can articulate a company’s value to customers, investors, employees, and media targets.

Heather has worked at the front line of the M&A process within the semiconductor industry including preparation of documentation for due diligence process and board communications. She has worked on rebranding with corporate and scale-up businesses, bringing her understanding of the subtle qualities of a great brand, where to spend and where to save. She has also built long-lasting contacts in key press and analyst communities leading to mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships.

Heather also has experience in HR management in fast-growing organisations, with a special interest in internal communications, growing and nurturing of company culture.
Michael BartleyChair of Trustees
Mike is the CEO of Alpinum Consulting & Senior Vice President of Tessolve. Mike has a PhD in Mathematics from Bristol University, an MSc in Software Engineering, and an MBA from the Open University, and over 25 years of experience in software testing and hardware verification. He has built and managed state-of-the-art test and verification teams in a number of companies (including STMicroelectronics, Infineon and Elixent/Panasonic) who still use the methodologies he established.

Dr. Bartley is currently a Technical Advisor to the National Microelectronics Institute (NMI), Chair of the External Advisory Board for Computer Science Department at University of Bristol, and holds a PGCE. He has had over 20 articles published on the subject of verification and outsourcing.
Nicholas Flaherty – Nick Flaherty is a Bristol-based freelance technology writer, analyst and consultant who has covered the semiconductor and electronics markets for over 20 years, the last 15 in Bristol. He writes the Startup Blog for Electronics Weekly and blogs at The Embedded Blog and Portable Multimedia.

He has worked for Electronics Times and Electronic Engineering, edited MicroTechnology Europe and Electronic Product Design and started Automotive Electronics, as well as writing for many multinational semiconductor companies. He contributed to the NESTA report on the SW electronics industry, Chips With Everything.

He is also a member of the SouthWest Microelectronics Leadership Group, and sits on the the High Tech Sector Group of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).


Patrons are hugely important for any charity and we are very honoured to be working with some fantastic individuals that value what we are doing and want to help. Their support helps to raise the profile of DigiLocal, our communities, and the achievements of our young people.

John Manley

John led research groups at HP Labs in Bristol on large‐ and massive‐scale systems ranging from the management of global telecommunications networks to grid/utility/cloud computing. As Lab Director of Utility/Cloud Computing research he had a focus on autonomic Cloud services in high‐performance computing (CGI‐rendering, Computational Fluid Mechanics and Monte‐Carlo Simulations) and next‐generation ERP systems.

John has sat on various advisory boards including CERN Grid OpenLab, Science City Bristol, DTI Grid Computing Working Group and the UK Large‐scale Complex IT Systems Initiative. He is a Trustee of St George’s Bristol Music Trust, where he chairs the Education Committee. He chairs the International Advisory Board for TOUCAN (Software‐Defined Networks) and sits on the Engine Shed Advisory Board. John was the High Sheriff of Bristol (2020/2021).

He is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of the West of England.
Sharon Foster

Sharon Rosemarie Foster JP has worked for Bristol City Council for nearly 4 decades. She has been a Magistrate since 2008, chairing the Bench for nearly 10 years. Sharon is passionate about opportunities for education for children and young people. She has been a school governor and she is also a Trustee of Beira Mozambique Trust, a project of the Southern African Resources Centre. Sharon is an active steward in a union championing equality, inclusion, and diversity causes. She has also played a leading role in the fight against domestic abuse. Sharon is the mother of an adult daughter.

Sharon is the High Sheriff of Bristol (2023/2024), shining a light on Criminal Justice, Judiciary and VCS working in the area of crime prevention.