United Kingdom: A very special Community Officer

I was born and brought up in Barking, on the Gascoigne Estate, once considered to be one of London suburbs’ least desirable addresses due to its high levels of poverty, crime and unemployment.
And yet I’ve always loved my neighbourhood for its extraordinary vitality and diversity.
That’s maybe why I was chosen to be the local community liaison officer when it was decided to knock down the estate and rebuild it from the ground up. My actual title at Bouygues UK is “Community Engagement Officer”, an important role because this enormous regeneration project has a significant social component. The philosophy behind the project was “no one left behind”. The position is more than just a name. It comes with real responsibility and I had to go on some training courses beforehand.
My role was to identify and provide feedback on the needs of the community, the very people at the heart of the project. As a result, we installed specific lighting to improve safety and make the old people feel more secure… just one of many initiatives!
The involvement of local people was vital to the project’s success. Having been given the opportunity to be the mouthpiece for local interests and useful to my neighbourhood is a source of great pride for me. .

Facts & figures

Social cohesion & solidarity

  • 300 hours of volunteering
  • 47 trainees from this neighbourhood obtained a job on the project

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