Meet the team

The Bureau Local team – listed alphabetically below – combine years of experience in local, national and international reporting with data journalism and community engagement backgrounds.

Natalie Bloomer

Natalie is a Bureau Local Senior Reporter with a particular interest in social affairs. Before joining the Bureau, she co-founded an independent news service in Northamptonshire, NN Journal, where she worked closely with local communities to report on the issues that mattered to them. She has written for several national media outlets on a range of topics including immigration, homelessness and the welfare system. She has previously collaborated on investigations with the BBC and Channel 4 News.

Charles Boutaud

Charles works at the intersection of data journalism and software development. He leads the work on building the tools to collect, analyse and open the data that support our investigations. He is passionate about making the available accessible by sourcing data from various sources and synthesising it into evidence and actionable pieces of information for collaborators and the wider public.

At Bureau Local, Charles works closely with each member of the team from scoping to publication, making sure no byte is left unturned along the way. Charles joined Bureau Local from Trinity Mirror’s data unit, having covered a wide range of issues for the group’s many local papers.

When looking for “news”, Charles likes to go to the “source” by trawling through the links, spreadsheets and data shared by the #opendata community. He also supports the Hackney Citizen, his independent local paper.

Gareth Davies

Based in Lancashire, England

Gareth is an award-winning Reporter, who specialises in public interest and investigative journalism. As the chief reporter of the Croydon Advertiser, a weekly newspaper in London, he won 10 awards in five years, including Weekly Reporter of the Year at the Regional Press Awards a record four times.

Since joining the Bureau in 2017, Gareth has focused on the local government funding crisis and its impact on communities. This includes a data-led investigation revealing which local authorities were heading for financial collapse, the public spaces such as libraries and communities centres being sold off and the increasingly risky methods councils have turned to in order to generate extra revenue, including billion pound investments in property.

Gareth grew up reading the Southampton Advertiser the Southern Daily Echo. Having moved to Lancashire, he reads the Blackpool Gazette and Lancashire Post (formerly the Evening Post).

Vicky Gayle

Based in the West Midlands, England

Based in the West Midlands. Vicky has so far reported on inequalities for chronically unwell and disabled people inside their homes during the pandemic, and inequitable access to primary care for migrants who become undocumented. Vicky began her journalism career in Birmingham before ending up in Colchester, where she worked as a news reporter at the Daily Gazette and other weekly titles in north Essex. After a secondment with the BBC’s Shared Data Unit in 2018, she returned to Newsquest where she co-led its first data investigations unit. She was also Black Ballad’s West Midlands commissioning editor for its Black Women in Britain project. Vicky first joined the Bureau to investigate health inequality, but now has a wider focus.

Rachel Hamada

Based in Edinburgh, Scotland

Rachel is a founder and director of Scottish investigative journalism cooperative the Ferret.

She has worked as a journalist for almost two decades, with a particular interest in social justice and marginalised communities. She recently led the Bureau's UK health inequality project, investigating deaths in home care, barriers to Covid-19 vaccines for migrant communities and waiting times for vital disability adaptations. She has worked as Community Organiser with Bureau Local for more than three years, both on editorial and also running the Change the Story project, which looked at reimagining local news with an emphasis on collaboration, inclusion and power building.

Rachel was also on the Scottish government working group on public interest journalism, has written about grassroots investigative journalism for Routledge's Investigative Journalism Handbook and has trained for the NUJ on new models of journalism. She is interested in spending more time exploring the intersection of journalism, games and theatre.

Emiliano Mellino

Based in Portsmouth, England

Emiliano is an award-winning journalist and organiser, specialising in large-scale collaborative investigations. His experience spans everything from union organising to financial journalism, and he has reported from London, Paris, Guatemala … and Portsmouth. Emiliano enjoys reading his local paper, the News, and is a fan of cooperative media startups, including the Bristol Cable, the Ferret and the Manchester Meteor.