Covid for me meant an unplanned return to the UK from Uganda where I had been living and working for the past three years and with this sudden life change came an intense period of reflection about the idea of home and where I wanted to be.
Having been born in Australia, grown up mostly in the UK and then lived and worked across East Africa for several years I realised that for me home can mean a number of things. It means ‘where I am now’ as well as meaning at the same time ‘where I am not’. I have spent my life feeling like I am always in between places. Often my greatest sense of being at home comes from being with people I love. With very close friends and family spread across multiple continents this makes a sense of a ‘home to go back to’ even more challenging – I feel like I have many homes around the world.
In many ways this is an amazing thing… I feel so lucky to feel connected to some amazing people and places which bring me such different things. But when deciding what to do next, where to be in a COVID/ post-COVID world, I found it very challenging.
Ultimately I decided (for now at least!) that my primary ‘home’ is going to be London again. For now, WhatsApp and Zoom are keeping me connected to my other ‘homes’ and I hope (now that COVID regulations are easing) to be able to actually visit some of my other homes soon.
Once the decision to stay in London had been made the next question was what to do next, and that has led me to this exciting new role at Future Foundations where I am leading all of our amazing programmes for young people.
My career in the charity and education sectors was in many ways borne out of my own experiences as a young person being involved in programmes and activities that allowed me to develop my leadership skills and my own sense of being able to make a difference in the world somehow. From setting up a youth council in my town to being a trustee of the British Youth Council I developed the skills, interests and confidence which have supported me throughout my career. It is fantastic to have found a role where I can hopefully be part of providing similarly life changing development experiences for young people.
The icing on the cake is that the role comes with a team of amazing people who are already making me feel like I’m ‘at home’.