As part of our second birthday celebrations this month, we're introducing the East London Cares team and finding out a bit more about what brought each of us to The Cares Family. Next up is Rob, East London Cares' Development Coordinator, who joined the team in August last year.
What brought you to East London Cares?
I worked for Manchester Cares for 9 months, before moving to East London Cares in September 2020. I was born and bred in the north (you’d never believe it from my lack of accent), so moving to London was a big adjustment! The thing I love most about London, and east London in particular, is how fast paced and bursting with life it is here. I’ve always been a people person, and after feeling more isolated during the first lockdown, east London was the perfect antidote.
What do you enjoy most about your role here?
Fundraising for East London Cares is all about inspiring people with stories from our community, and I love collecting and writing those stories. I’m constantly amazed by the work my colleagues do, and by the acts of kindness and friendship from our older and younger neighbours.
Where’s your favourite east London spot and why?
It’s a cliché, but it has to be Victoria Park. During the 2021 lockdown, I went for a walk by the lake every day on my lunch break and it made a big difference to my wellbeing. It’s so peaceful there, despite always being so busy. I also love rollerskating, and there’s a particular spot where rollerskaters meet up and scoot about. There’s always an amazing atmosphere – complete strangers chatting as if they’ve known each other for years!
What tips would you give to someone wanting to get involved with our programmes?
Don’t be nervous about making conversation! Before social clubs, I always used to get nervous about chatting to strangers – awkward silences are my worst nightmare. But I’ve found that the conversation always flows, and the club is over far before you want it to be. If you are nervous about coming to a social club for the first time, come to an activity based one first – like our Saturday Shimmy dance workshops – so you don’t have to worry about making conversation.
Describe the East London Cares community in three words…
Vibrant, kind and fun.
What’s your birthday wish for East London Cares?
That we keep being brave and trying new things. My colleagues are constantly trying to innovate, to make our programmes more inclusive, and better meet the needs of our community. I’m so excited to see how we develop in our third year.
If you'd like to talk to Rob about fundraising, making a donation or becoming a corporate partner, give him a call on 020 7118 4949 option 4 or email [email protected].
Posted by Roxi Rustem on Friday 8th October 2021
Roxi leads the team at East London Cares. She previously coordinated the Volunteer and Outreach programme at North London Cares and worked as the Community Engagement Manager for St Margaret's House in Bethnal Green.