25 Nov 2019
Meet Shah – he’s a member of our Youth Board and recently-elected public governor with the East London NHS Foundation Trust. We couldn’t be prouder of what Shah has achieved and so, to celebrate his success, we caught up with him to find out what made him apply and what his plans are for the future.
I always knew I wanted to make a difference. That’s why after completing my A-levels, I took it upon myself to seek out opportunities to develop my skills, build relationships, and take part in activities that would ultimately make our society a better place.
I then found Mayor’s Fund for London, and the charity immediately resonated with me. It had a strong impact across the city that was growing, and a large portfolio of activities with a moral purpose that matched my own.
I then became aware of the opportunity to apply to be a member of the Mayor’s Fund for London Youth Board. At first, I was unsure if I should apply. However, I decided to put my fears aside and go for it, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I made.
Since joining the Youth Board, I’ve taken part in lots of great activities. These include: co-ordinating a youth-led event, attending key meetings and the 10th year anniversary birthday part of the charity. I’ve particularly enjoyed meeting with my fellow Youth Board members to discuss what the charity’s priorities should be, and the important issues in London we need to tackle.
It’s also been beneficial in allowing me to gain insights into the world of work; I’ve learnt how to communicate with different stakeholders, how to manage tasks, chair meetings and represent young people.
My time with the Youth Board made me think about what else I could do to make an impact. That’s when I applied to become a public governor with the East London NHS Foundation Trust for the borough of Tower Hamlets.
Last year was the first time I applied. There were only two vacancies in the constituency, and I knew the application process would be tough, but I decided to go for it.
Sadly, it was not to be. When I didn’t get voted in, I was initially discouraged. But, after thinking about it for a long time, I gradually came to realise that anything is possible as long as you work hard and strive to reach your goals.
So, I applied again the following year, and this time, decided on a new strategy for my campaign. Instead of canvassing for votes all by myself, I decided to approach my network of friends to help me. It took a large amount of confidence, but I knew that two hands must be better than one.
Luckily, my resilience and courage paid off and earlier this month, I was appointed as one of three public governors for the Trust. I was chuffed when I found out the results. Having been unsuccessful last time round, I wasn’t sure if I would get appointed. But it felt joyous to find out that I got 35 votes and came second out of five candidates who applied.
I’m now really looking forward to starting my role, which includes reviewing strategic objectives for the Trust, and presenting the views of my constituents to stakeholders. Having grown up in the borough of Tower Hamlets, I’m acutely aware of its own unique challenges. To be given the opportunity to make a positive difference to my community and help tackle the difficulties it faces means a lot.
In the future, I hope to progress even further and develop my skills and knowledge as much as I can. Over the next couple of years, I’m going to focus on my role as an NHS governor and member of Mayor’s Fund Youth Board in addition to many other commitments.
I see myself as a long-standing public servant, but I am also very interested in finance and hope to qualify as an accountant one day. But no matter where my career takes me, I hope to always live my life by the values of teamwork, honesty, and integrity.
By Shah Obayedul Hoque