Augusta Ahakpo

"The most exciting thing about Barking & Dagenham Giving is that they value collaborative engagement and inclusivity within the community, to inspire its citizens via a participatory platform, providing direct empowerment to local people who will then feel proud of their borough. BD Giving is pivotal in channelling the voices of the unspoken"

Why does working in Barking and Dagenham interest you?

I was born in Barking hospital and have been living in the borough ever since. I want to help grow this borough that I have been a part of all my life and have seen change over the years. In the past five to six years changes to improve Barking and Dagenham have been rapidly visible and this is extremely satisfying. Working for BD Giving that actively participates in improving and developing the lives of the people in our community is my chance to ‘make a mark’ in helping the borough succeed, which is truly fulfilling.

What are some challenges you believe you may face in this role?

One of my challenges is to organise the recording and filing of the day-to-day accounting data, and building the processes and procedures that are needed to support this growing organisation.

What are your ambitions for the borough?

Although the borough is granted with the youngest population, it has one of the highest rates of unemployment and concurrently the lowest average annual income in London. I want to see this change and the new film studios, the new rail-line at Barking Riverside and the Thames clipper, in addition to the relocation of the wholesale Billingsgate, New Spitalfields and Smithfield markets, will help. My ambitions are for Barking & Dagenham to increase recruiting local citizens and retain its people and not lose the special identity and talent to other boroughs.

What role does the community have in realising that ambition?

We are all in it together and will work together to achieve this. Our community will need to want to help advance the borough forward and make it a pleasant place to live. The people of Barking and Dagenham have the drive and the ambitious East End spirit. Those who live, work and stay in the Borough will inspire the younger generation to make Barking and Dagenham their home.

Augusta Ahakpo