Community TechAid is delighted to welcome new trustees and staff
We are delighted to welcome Soha Adams, Shamima Akhtar, Ben Roback and Jason Scott-Taggart to our Trustee Board, and Steve Woolnough as our new Technical Operations Manager. We are also pleased to welcome Tony Anzelmo on board as our freelance App Developer.
They each bring with them an array of skills and experience and are passionate about providing equitable access to the digital world.
Commenting on their appointment, Linda Heiden, Chair of Community TechAid said:
“As Community TechAid's work, ambitions and impact grow, it is absolutely critical that we expand and deepen our Trustee Board’s range of expertise and experience, and build our organisational resilience. Our new trustees and Technical Ops Manager complement our existing teams perfectly, and will play crucial roles in taking CTA to the next level.”
Soha is a chartered accountant with more than 20 years of experience working for consumer goods companies. Whilst living outside the UK, Soha had the opportunity to get involved in charitable activities which supported local communities. Once back, she wanted to join a charity organisation to offer her skills and more importantly, to learn about how charities were supporting their beneficiaries and their communities.
Soha recognised that having access to the internet and a reliable device is no longer a luxury for a few in society but a necessity for all: for school children to complete their homework to adults reporting issues to councils or booking GP appointments. Closing the gap will help to reduce the barriers to employment and social exclusion for low income, older or other disadvantaged members of the society.
"I decided to join CTA as I have always been interested in IT and have seen first hand how my children use technology as an important tool for their learning at school. CTA’s efforts in order to reduce digital waste by recycling and reusing devices was also a key factor and I'm excited to be involved!"
Shamima is an accessibility policy expert working to break down barriers for disabled people by helping them to realise the benefits of assistive technology through public policy. She is visually impaired, an assistive technology user and supports the The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Assistive Technology and the ATech Policy Lab. Her background is in disability inclusion having worked on policy and campaigns as the Disabled Student’s Officer at her Student Union, an elected NUS officer and in the Disabled People’s Organisation sector.
Shamima is passionate about digital inclusion because it disproportionately impacts disabled people. She has worked on digital inclusion policy through thought leadership and delivered a roundtable on Digital Inclusion and Disability during London Tech Week 2022. She also works on education, employment and disability policy more broadly.
“I am excited to join Community TechAid’s board helping to realise their mission to close the digital divide by providing technology and skills to marginalised communities, whilst recycling, reusing and repairing e-waste.”
Ben is a Director in the Government, Advocacy & Public Affairs (GAPA) practice at FGS Global, a global strategic communications company. He works with international businesses on their political and media relations strategies, helping them to navigate complex political risk and advocate for effective policy change.
Ben qualified as a Guide Runner with England Athletics in 2016 and has since guided at the London Marathon. In 2018 he became a Trustee of Metro Blind Sport, working closely with the CEO and Trustees on Metro's communications strategy.
“Passionate about closing the digital divide while simultaneously avoiding needless waste, CTA is the perfect organisation to deliver these objectives - by putting old technology to good use for the local community and wider society as a whole. Technological progress means we are increasingly digital by default, but that only exacerbates the divide amongst those who are left behind. This means we have to work harder to ensure there are no barriers to basic technology or connectivity.
The enthusiasm of the employees and volunteers at CTA is infectious, and I cannot wait to be a part of the charity’s future growth.”
Jason is an IT Director working mainly in Financial Services for the last 30 years. He has been involved in multiple charities and been a Primary and Secondary school governor. Jason sits on the Community Board of the Digital Poverty Alliance and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, chairing a Panel on Homelessness, through which he first came into contact with CTA.
“Access to digital services is now a matter of subsistence and no longer just an advantage; therefore, as an IT professional, I feel obliged to highlight the need and attempt to address it in society. I was so impressed with the positive impact and effective growth of the CTA that I am keen to get involved and contribute.”
Steve joins Community TechAid as our new Technical Operations Manager.
Steve started volunteering with Community TechAid in November 2022, and joined as the Technical Operations Manager in March. He has a background in electronic engineering and security testing. Having previously volunteered as a STEM ambassador, Steve has seen first hand the impact of improving access to the digital world. He is passionate about supporting people in learning and loves nothing more than helping people develop new technological skills.
“I joined Community TechAid because it offers me the opportunity to use my technical knowledge and experience to help the local community while also having a great environmental impact. I’m really excited to learn and develop alongside the charity.”
Tony started as one of CTA's first volunteers, as a way to help the community with his technology skills during the early part of the COVID pandemic.
He is a lifelong tech "nerd", and has worked in the industry for over 25 years, in roles ranging from sysadmin, database dba, and database developer, to his current role as CTA's freelance app developer. His favourite quote is from William Gibson, "The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed", which reflects his belief that everyone should have access to the internet through a computer of their own, no matter their circumstances.
Meet the rest of the Community TechAid team here.