Aleksandra

Aleksandra profile

Aleksandra

“I currently live in Covent Garden, but I grew up all over Camden, including Swiss Cottage, King’s Cross and Kilburn.  

“I studied Professional Musical Theatre at Wac Arts and now I’m a singer-songwriter. I perform at open mics around Camden Town as well as working with lots of community organisations, including Fitzrovia Youth in Action.  

“I’ve met people who knew Amy Winehouse, and Dua Lipa was a couple of years above me at Parliament Hill School. Knowing that they came from Camden inspires me.   

“Living in Camden, and being so connected to the rest of central London, offers a lot of opportunities because there’s so much going on. You just need to be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and things happen. I’ve made loads of connections from going to gigs, from getting invited to Italy to now working at a youth organisation, SoapBox, just over the border in Islington.   

“I hope Camden doesn’t change too much from big businesses buying out the small, and it being an expensive place to live. We need to hold onto our history and authenticity.”  
 

   

Anna

Anna

Anna

“I grew up in Melbourne and came to Camden as a student 50 years ago. I’ve lived here ever since. Camden has so much variety and cosmopolitan character. 

“I met Michael Napier, my late ex-husband, in Camden outside a building which he and some friends wanted to use. I was part of another group interested in the same space. The groups combined forces, and worked on lots of projects together, including Kilburn Festival, West Hampstead Housing Co-operative and Swiss Cottage Market. 

“I’ve worked in Camden for 30 years. I make films and document events for local organisations as a volunteer such as the Sidings Community Centre and the Gallery at St Pancras Hospital, which puts on fabulous events and exhibitions. I love it because I meet so many fantastic people and have the opportunity to document their innovative work.  

“For the last five years I’ve also taken photos and filmed events at West Hampstead Women’s Centre (WHWC). WHWC provides personal advice, learning and training, and space for self-help groups, as well as essential support for refugee and migrant women.” 
 
Sidings Community Centre: https://twitter.com/Sidingscc

https://www.facebook.com/SidingsCommunityCentre/  

West Hampstead Women’s Centre: https://twitter.com/WH_WomensCentre  

Anita

Anita

Anita Khalil

“I moved to Camden from Dubai in 2006. I’m from Lebanon and wanted to move back there but couldn’t after the outbreak of war. Starting afresh in a new country wasn’t part of my plans. I didn’t know anyone or the systems, and all my money went on renting a box room in a shared house.

“I soon started working at an opticians in Kentish Town, and within a year was promoted, but the first few years were difficult.  

“Making a friend who was a student from Brazil was what I needed. It helped to open up and find good in this place. Now Camden is home. 

“I’m a community translator for Islington, a community researcher for Camden, and also volunteer in my spare time, including as a Parent Champion, at Little Village Camden and through the Camden Parent Advisory Board.   

“When I meet people in the situation I was, I encourage them to volunteer because it helps you to learn about your area and widen your social network by engaging with the community.   

“I’m proud of the support and activities for families in Camden, including stay and play in children’s centres and rhyme time in libraries. Going to those helped me to make new networks after I had my first child. There’s so much on offer with community events in the summer and at Christmas, and with Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill on my doorstep.”   
 

Ricky

Ricky

Ricky

“I’ve lived in Camden for about 26 years, first in Agar Grove, and now near Highgate Cemetery, after living in Essex and Australia.

 

“I was drawn here after visiting Camden Lock for the first time, when I was working locally fitting office furniture – it felt so multicultural and like the entire world in one place.

 

“When I moved to Camden, my neighbours came round and introduced themselves and I felt really welcomed. It’s the sort of place where the postman says hello.

“There’s a lot of community spirit, and people getting involved in their local areas. I had so much support from people and local businesses when I set up Wood that Works, where I teach carpentry to children and young people in Highgate. It was a dream of mine ever since I went to college to learn to make toys, and I’m pleased to be able to give back to the community that welcomed me.”  

Adam

Adam

Adam Shaffer

“I went to secondary school in Camden and spent a lot of time here as a teenager. I started volunteering with Camden Green Gym after I graduated from university. I helped run their free outdoor nature conservation sessions. I loved every moment, working alongside fantastic individuals and conservation professionals.

“I think Camden’s culture has always been a cut above the neighbouring boroughs. There is so much to do, day and night. It’s home to some of the best museums, parks and open spaces in the country. 

“My favourite memory in Camden was when I crashed into Matt Lucas on West End Lane in a homemade soapbox car made of pallets and plastic crates! As I looked up I asked him: ‘Are you that guy on TV?’ to which he replied, ‘No, I’m the guy on this pavement!’“ 
 
Find out about volunteering with Camden Green Gym, which offers opportunities to get active and improve the environment, at tcv.org.uk/camden 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GreenGymCamden 
 

Catherine

Catherine

 

Catherine Keshishian

“My connection to Camden goes back a long way, I’ve lived in Kentish Town for 14 years and my parents met at the Carreras Factory in Mornington Crescent.

 “My Dad had a carpet shop on Camden High Street when I was growing up. I used to hang out there with my brother and sister at the weekends. We would make camps and obstacle courses out of carpets and foam. 

“I volunteer at Kentish Town Social Club every Wednesday with North London Cares. I pick up my 96-year-old neighbour, Laura, on the way and we have a catch-up. It’s often the first time she’s been out of the house for a few days. We do different activities like film, craft, dancing and learning together.

 “I used to not know anyone in my local area. Now I bump into people every day – I love that. It feels like a community now.” 

North London Cares brings together older people and volunteers to tackle loneliness and social isolation. If you’re interested in getting involved you can find out more and register your interest.  

https://twitter.com/NorthLDNCares 
https://www.facebook.com/northlondoncares/ 
 

Abbie

Abbie

 

Abbie 

“I work in Camden at Fitzrovia Youth in Action on the peer mentoring programme, which my team and I deliver through schools and youth clubs across Camden.

“We support young people with their mental health, building up their confidence and resilience through workshops and working with them to try out activities and have discussions about their wellbeing.   

“We have worked across over 10 schools and youth organisations in Camden and training more than 90 peer mentors, enabling them to work with over 160 mentees.  

“Young people are change makers and if you give them the tools they need to achieve, they can make such a difference. Camden is an amazing, vibrant, diverse and forward thinking place with so much opportunity.

“People are open and accepting and there’s such a sense of community here.”    
 

Asif

Asif

 

Asif

Asif works at the Council supporting our deaf community  

“I’ve been deaf since birth and have had to overcome a huge number of barriers throughout my life.  

“I’ve dedicated lots of my time to support and empower people to have a voice and influence the way things are done. I campaign to change things for the better and make sure that more deaf and hard of hearing people are able to achieve their full potential. I believe we need more positive role models in order to change attitudes and inspire future generations.  

“Last year I was named in the Disability Power 100 List as one of the most influential disabled people in the country, and I’ve received numerous awards in recognition of my community work.  

“At the Council, I work with residents to make sure they’re able to access support and that the support is the best it can possibly be. Alongside this, I organised our first ever Deaf Awareness Day, have delivered deaf awareness training to staff across the Council and even taught British Sign Language to the Mayor! 

“I will continue to inspire others and show people, especially young people, that if I can achieve my dreams, anyone can.” 
 

India

India

 

India
“I’m a youth worker and volunteer as a boxing coach in Somers Town. 

“I work with young people aged 14 to 19, encouraging them to keep fit and train them in different sports.

“Being a similar age gives me a personal connection to them and I’m often that person they come to for advice or help on other aspects of their life. I really enjoy working with young people and watching their confidence grow.

“Camden is a great place to be – it’s like the land of opportunity. You have a blank canvas where you can develop your ideas and do whatever you want to do. And if you don’t know how to start, there’s always someone in Camden to guide you whether it’s a friend or an organisation. It’s a place where you can achieve.”  
 

Nick

Nick

Nick
"I moved to Camden 25 years ago. I still live in the same estate I moved to back then, on Redhill Street. It’s a little slice of urban heaven between Regent's Park, Euston and Camden Town. It’s lovely to live in such a tranquil area, sometimes you don’t even feel like you’re in London but then you can walk down the road and be in the West End or on Camden High Street in 10 minutes.

"I’ve been with Camden LGBT Forum (now called forum+) for over 12 years, as staff first, then a volunteer, now back as staff. We’re a charity run by LGBT+ people for LGBT+ people to improve the lives of our communities in Camden and surrounding boroughs. As a gay man I’d say, from a diversity perspective, Camden is probably the most forward thinking place in London and maybe even the UK, with some of the original LGBT groups starting out here. It’s such an open and welcoming place which has meant that over the years more and more LGBT+ people have found a home here.

"Camden is a magnet for the weird and the wonderful and it’s got this unpretentiousness nature that makes it unique from other boroughs. We’ve got really posh, expensive areas alongside some of the most deprived areas in the UK but there’s a real sense of community and people coming together from all walks of life.

"Camden is a fantastic multicultural melting pot of language, skin colour and faith and I love that."

Olivia

Olivia

 

Olivia

 “Camden is such a special place to me. It’s unique with so many different people of all backgrounds. The people are friendly and I have made so many new friends through sport. I’m a school PE ambassador and I always encourage my friends to take part in sports.  

“I play football up to five times a week. I play for Camden School for Girls, Camden Youth FC Under 13s and Arsenal Women’s player development programme. I’m also in clubs for trampolining, netball and cricket. I go to the gym and I’m learning how to skateboard.

“My favourite sport is football. I play right wing where I run up and down the line and put in crosses for the strikers. You get to keep fit and healthy and make new friends.”
 

Sandra

Sandra

 

Sandra

Sandra is a Commissioning Engagement Officer at the Council  

“In 2016 I set up a company called Knots UK – a headwrap and accessories company. Two of our wraps are currently on stage in the Only Fools and Horses musical.  
 
“The journey began when a friend of mine had lost her hair to chemotherapy and asked me to show her how to wear a headwrap. I started the company not just to sell wraps to women, but to help women with cancer or suffering from any type of hair loss. For me, that’s where the real joy lies. I just want to give something back. I’m an ambassador with a charity called Hello Love who support women with cancer too.  
 
“I work part-time and term-time at the Council which gives me time to concentrate on my business (aka my side hustle) as well as being a parent to my teenage son. Seeing the positive impact Camden has on people's lives motivates my work.  I transfer that to the work of Knots UK. I enjoy meeting new people and watching them leave with something that makes them feel good about themselves. They leave standing a foot taller. 
 
“I’ve learned so much about the complex history of the headwrap. When slaves were taken from Africa they were stripped of their beautiful traditional clothes and given torn t-shirts to cover their afro hair instead. This was a way of eradicating their sense of culture and identity and was a uniform symbol of oppression. Later, women began to explore the many ways of wearing a wrap, redefining the practice into one that generated a sense of liberty and empowerment.  
 
“We wear our wraps today to celebrate our cultures and by doing so we are appreciating the contributions of people of colour. I say ‘Here I am in my headwrap, on behalf of the amazing women who paved the way for me.’” 
 

Hannah

Hannah

 

Hannah

“I’m 13 years old, and since my mum died about two months ago, I need to give my dad a lot more support. He is partially blind because he has glaucoma. My brother is 28 and doesn’t live at home now.

“I enjoy music, PE and drama. I like musical arts and would like to do something with performing arts – I’ll see what happens.

“I love my youth centre at Coram’s Fields. I don’t know where I would be without them – they’re so good.”
 

Rahul

Rahul

 

Rahul

“I live in King’s Cross and grew up here. I’m now 29 years old. I work full-time for Lloyds Bank as a personal advisor but I want to give back to the community in my spare time so I volunteer for my local youth centres.
“I’ve been volunteering for Somers Town Youth Centre and South Camden Youth Access Point for 10 years and have completed my level one, two and three youth work qualifications.

“I’ve been helping to fundraise for international volunteering projects by these youth centres and young people from these centres have been to Bangladesh, South Africa and Brazil as a result.

“I’ve also supported King’s Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association youth centre with a project around understanding and tackling knife crime.

“Camden is such a great place with so many opportunities to put yourself out there and make a difference.”