South Kilburn (SK) Family Fun Day ambassador, MC extraordinaire and community champion…these are just some of the things that South Kilburn resident, David Ellison is to local people. Affectionately known to the community as ‘TC’, David’s unwavering love for his community has firmly positioned him as not only a positive role model in South Kilburn, but a living and breathing definition of ‘community spirit’. We caught up with him to learn more about what fuels his passion and commitment to South Kilburn and how he has worked with the Trust over the years to bring his vision for the community to life.
David first engaged the Trust when he saw an advert for the South Kilburn Family Festival in 2015. Naturally, he responded – he wanted to get involved and help out. Sometime later he heard about the Festival committee. With the motivation of ‘making a difference’ and ‘giving back’ to the community that supported him through the loss of his mother, he decided to lend his strong ties with the community and local knowledge to the Festival by joining the Committee.
“I got involved because I wanted to give back as the community has always done a lot for me. It is all about making a difference by giving back. When you start giving back, hopefully people also follow the same example”, says David.
For David, it is not just about giving back, he has an eager interest to form links with organisations in South Kilburn and the community, South Kilburn Trust in particular. He knows all too well that without two-way communication, projects and services cannot affect change, and for David this is something that the SK Family Festival does very well.
“I think we need to maintain links by informing and re-engaging with the people. From my point of view this is the only time that the Trust and the people are actually really talking to each other on a holistic level,” he says.
Through David’s involvement in what has become a South Kilburn tradition – the SK Family Fun Day – he reminds us that an event like this is an important part of community life for many residents, one that is vital in shaping new relationships and a true sense of community.
“On the festival day, it was a great pleasure for me to see so many local people come out and enjoy themselves. It was a great way to meet new people,” says David.
David’s involvement is not only about creating a link between the Trust and the community, it is also about exploring the opportunities available for local people to gain valuable experience and skills by involving them in the planning, coordination and delivery of something for their community.
“My confidence has been growing and I thank the Trust for believing in me enough to give me the opportunity to host our Family Festival…it’s been a learning curve for me; learning how organisations work, punctuality, how to carry yourself in a meeting, how to get information to the wider community, developing community work skills on both sides of the divide. These are skills you just don’t get every day”, says David.
What is very powerful about David’s story is that it demonstrates that in order to improve the community we must start getting involved, giving back and creating opportunities to come together.
We work with local people who are giving back in many ways, David is just one of them. We always welcome opportunities to work with the community.
To get involved, volunteer or talk about the ways that you can help the community, email firstname.lastname@example.org.