My name is Arafat Kabuye, I grew up in Wandsworth Borough where I first met George. He was initially working closely with my neighbour whom I often got into trouble, and George allowed me to tag along to his sessions.
I was deemed high risk within Wandsworth, regularly getting myself into trouble with local police surrounding gang issues. With the help and guidance of George and other services, I managed to change my life around and started volunteering at the Chelsea Kickz project, where I progressed to work on their programme. I then went on to attend the University of Bedfordshire and graduated in Sports Management. After a short stint as a PE teacher, I worked with a charity that assisted people who are homeless in the Borough of Lambeth. This role really opened my eyes to a different world as it offered me an insight into how disadvantages and circumstances can really affect people in their day-to-day lives.
I then went on to work in a Gang Prevention team in Waltham Forest for 3 years, it is here where I dealt with both active and former gang members; using my lived experience, I was able to develop good working relationships with service users to help make lasting changes and support them to reach their full potential.
When I spoke with George and heard about the Lead Keyworker role at Carney’s Community, I was eager to apply and delighted with being appointed to the post. This has completed my transition from a former gang member to being at the forefront, supporting others through 1-2-1 key work to be the best that they can be, helping young people like myself in the area I grew up in.