Profiles: Becky Brookman

Profiles: Becky Brookman

Who are you/what do you do for NN?


I am Becky, the West London Coordinator for Near Neighbours. I oversee everything happening across 11 boroughs in London – on of our biggest areas! This includes Barnet, Brent, Camden, Harrow, Westminster, Hammersmith, Hounslow, Ealing, Wandsworth, Lambeth and Croydon. I am also a post grad theology student and a have-a-go marathon runner!


Why do you love working for NN?


I love being able to help local people from faith and community groups see their ideas flourish! It’s not often that a couple of local people can get together and actually be given support and funding to make a difference. It’s a real joy to be the person who can help to kick-start that process, and to help join the dots. Particularly, I enjoy working with smaller faith groups, such as with Jewish, Hindu and Sikh communities in the West London hub, because it’s so important to highlight the good work being done across these more minority faith groups.


What is your favourite memory from working at NN?


I happened to bump in to an amazing lady from Barnet at a community meeting. She is a Pastor at a small church community on a deprived estate in North West London. Her church meet in an old shop premises – a tiny space – and from that were running homework clubs, community events, meals for the elderly etc. When I met her before Christmas she was really struggling to find a way to fund an idea around creating a community foodshare given her lack of resources. However, she saw the need to support healthy lifestyles particularly for young families in her community, where fast food was prevalent and access to healthy food was difficult. Seeing her positivity and passion develop over the next few months was fantastic; I am delighted that we could support her work because now her community are empowered to offer affordable fresh food, healthy cooking classes and guidance to locals in need – working with volunteers from all faith backgrounds.


What are your hopes for NN?


I hope that we will receive further funding for future years! Lasting friendships take years to build, and we’ve seen some great initiatives develop. It would be great to nurture those. I would also love to see further engagement with youth; it seems like this is really building momentum through our Catalyst Youth Leadership training.


Do you think NN is making an impact, if so, in what way?


I think the main way that Near Neighbours is making a difference is through empowering ordinary people to make changes in their own areas. It is so important that local faith communities feel valued, and like they matter and that they can make a difference. We can never create a more cohesive and stronger society unless the power to create positive change is in the hands of the people living in those communities - Near Neighbours gives them this chance.

Author: Mr Tim Burton-Jones

Date: 01 April 2015