Meet Omobolaji, who we helped start his engineering career and has just moved into one of the first new homes on the Aylesbury estate.
Omobolaji has lived on the Aylesbury estate since 2012, two years before we took on the regeneration in 2014 – a major programme to create new homes, community facilities and improved open spaces alongside ensuring that local people experience social and economic benefits such as employment, education and training, and improvements in health and wellbeing.
When Omobolaji completed his engineering degree at London Southbank University in 2014 he had some trouble finding a permanent job. He did agency contracts to get experience in the meantime. Our programme manager on the Aylesbury regeneration team, Chris Cotton, helped him by looking out for opportunities he could get involved in.
Chris came across a programme Transport for London was running with their contractors to help young people get into work and managed to get Omobolaji into it. Omobolaji completed the programme in central London which taught him how to network and helped with CV writing. After the course he got calls from three companies and manged to secure a job with Telent, a contractor at Transport for London (TfL).
As a successful story coming out of TfL programme, Omobolaji was asked to speak at an event at the Victoria and Albert Museum organised by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. It was a great opportunity for him to tell his story and how Notting Hill Genesis and the programme had helped him succeed in his career.
He then made the brave decision to start a masters qualification while doing full-time work and by which time he had a partner and a new baby.
“It was a real challenge to juggle all these things,” he explains. “Working nights wasn’t great and then going into the university three times a week while having the baby to look after and my partner working as well. I was determined though, I didn’t even tell my work I was doing it. I just wanted to prove to myself I was capable. I was surprised though when my results came and I got a distinction!”
Omobolaji was then able to take the next step in his career with his new qualification and moved onto Siemens where he works now. He’s very happy to now be working day shifts which means he sees his partner and daughter far more.
At the beginning of August this year, Omobolaji moved from his one-bed flat on the Aylesbury estate to the newly built flats on what is known as phase A of the first development site.
“I’ve been heavily involved, along with other residents, in the consultation process for the regeneration,” says Omobolaji. “We were so happy to move in a couple weeks ago – the flat is so spacious for my family. It’s great that I didn’t have to move from the area and the community I love so much.”
His daughter Grace, who’s about to turn six, was particularly happy to have her own room and no longer have to share with her parents.
Omobolaji mentions how much Chris has supported him throughout his career and now getting into his new flat. He knows many of the regulars at the Aylesbury office in Taplow street and makes sure to visit when he passes.
It’s so wonderful to see the impact we can make on residents’ lives – Omobolaji is a great example of how far you can go when given the right tools and support.