What I am working on at the moment
I currently work at Lankelly Chase, a charitable foundation that works to improve the quality of life of people who face severe and multiple disadvantage. I support pioneering people and communities to nurture the ideas and relationships that can help improve the way we all approach social disadvantage.
Why I wanted to join the Participatory City Global Advisory
I wanted to be part of the advisory panel for two reasons. Firstly, the initial neighbourhood demonstration is in Barking and Dagenham, the area in which I grew up in and later worked as a community development worker. Secondly, I believe passionately in the power of community. It is through the community that I have found friendship, fun, belonging, love and meaning in my life. It is in the working class homes and neighbourhoods that are labelled as disadvantaged, that I have found an abundance of skills and gifts that get you through life.
A little bit about my background
I was born in Uganda and came to the UK aged 10 with my mum and brother, seeking asylum. It was a major shock to discover that there were poor people in Britain. To deal with the poverty, isolation and sense of otherness, I quietly joined activities and got to know people eventually feeling like part of the community – with all its imperfections and complexities. I have worked for Asian Action Group and the Community Development Foundation. I have a degree in social policy and a master’s degree in Children and International Development. For the latter I spent three months in Nairobi’s informal settlements, unlearning many of the things I had been taught and reframing my beliefs about people and change. I am an Arsenal fan; love listening to Nina Simone and I am part of a singing circle.