When I get to the “where are you from?” or the “are you a Londoner?” bit of a conversation, I always respond by telling people I’m from Kingston. Usually, the first assumption for people is that I migrated across the pond from the beautiful island of Jamaica, well, in fact, I’m from Kingston-upon-Thames! The look of bewilderment usually follows. Though I may sport dreadlocks and a love of music the truth is that I am a Surrey boy through and through. Not quite as exotic as Jamaica!
Growing up in reach of London stirred my imagination of all the things I could do and all of the people I could meet. At the weekends during my teenage years, my friends and I would travel up on the train for a coveted day out in London, walking around people watching and dreaming of the day we could become Londoners ourselves. So, when I was finally old enough to leave home, I packed my bags and made my way to the ‘Big Smoke’.
I have been living and working in London for eight years now and I have found that the diverse and changing nature of this city, as exciting as it is, can also be isolating. Trying to keep up with the competition and match the affluent lifestyles of others is not always such a walk in the park, and connecting with friends is made that much more difficult when everyone is so busy from the demands of working in the city that never sleeps. I quickly learned that hundreds of connections on social media did not translate into a real-life community.
In London, there is a unique opportunity to connect with people from backgrounds I might never have had the chance to if I was elsewhere, but it can be hard to make these connections without the right environment. My work has centred on events and music and in previous roles I’ve had the privilege to meet people from many different walks of life, from all around the globe. In more recent years I have shifted my focus to more community facing roles, helping to develop and implement music programmes to encourage socialisation and positivity amongst disadvantaged young people, and contributing to a music programme to build and strengthen communities amongst people of retirement age.
Programmes like these and the work that South London Cares does through the social club programme is a vital part of caring for people’s wellbeing. These projects have enabled me to experience just how much of an impact community can have on people’s lives and it has made me even more passionate about facilitating opportunities for people of all ages to connect with each other in a meaningful way.
When I heard about the Social Clubs Programme Coordinator role at South London Cares I knew it was something special. Although I’ve only visited a handful of social clubs at this point, it’s been a pleasure to witness the amazing community the SLC team has already founded. The impact on the individuals involved is clear to see and it has completely confirmed that this is the role I am supposed to be in.
I am so excited to be joining the South London Cares team and cannot wait to get stuck in, using my creative skills and energetic personality to fuel even more social clubs and be part of strengthening the incredible South London Cares community.
Posted by Enoch Adolfo on Thursday 20th June 2019
Enoch designs and delivers Social Clubs across Southwark and Lambeth. Previously Enoch worked as a professional musician as a Drummer and worked on a start up in East London working on a cycling app.