What got you interested in working in Barking and Dagenham?
Working in Barking & Dagenham interests me as I have lived, worked and studied in the borough of twenty-six years, with the aims and ambitions for the future of the borough also being personal ones to me. Being in the ‘golden’ phase for regeneration and renewal places Barking & Dagenham in a unique position to drive forward long lasting change which, combined with the establishment of a number of borough-focused organisations, makes the future of the borough an exciting opportunity to be a part of and contribute to. Even though the steps towards said change begun in 2013, the longevity of the plans means there will be ongoing opportunities to shape the borough, including ones which might not have necessarily been realised yet.
What challenges do you think you might face in this role?
Barking & Dagenham, as a borough, has historically had low civic engagement from local communities, including small groups and organisations, compared to other London boroughs. Therefore, one challenge I may face in this role is increasing said civic engagement to ensure long-term, meaningful participation and engagement by local communities in all B&D Giving endeavors. However, another potential challenge will be the ongoing establishment of B&D Giving as an organisation, how it successful takes over the role BD Renew previously played in the borough, and continues to work with other key partners and stakeholders to ensure the wider community and voluntary sector is delivering for local communities in Barking & Dagenham.
What are your hopes for the borough?
My ambitions for the borough is that its potential is fully realised, with it becoming a destination of choice for all, including to live, work, study and play. I would like Barking & Dagenham to play an active role in the wider Greater London region, capitalising on its pre-existing and future links locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
How do you think the community can help achieve those goals?
Andrew is LGBTQ+ Fund Manager at METRO Charity and a PhD Student at King’s College, London.
He has lived, worked and studied in the borough for almost three decades.