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There wasn’t an empty seat in the house as Hackney Wick founder Bobby Kasanga stopped by our “Beyond Your Bubble” session
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29th April 2024

There wasn’t an empty seat in the house as Hackney Wick founder Bobby Kasanga stopped by our “Beyond Your Bubble” session

We recently hosted Hackney Wick founder Bobby Kasanga as part of our Beyond Your Bubble Series where we welcome people from different walks of life to share their lived experiences.

Once a member of the Peckham Boys gang, Bobby is now a celebrated community activist and entrepreneur. His remarkable transformation from gang life to making a positive difference is nothing short of an inspiration. Raised in South East London, he witnessed firsthand the challenges of inner-city life, which ultimately led him to spend 8 years in prison.

Upon his release, Bobby founded Hackney Wick FC, a football club that empowers disadvantaged young people in his community. It’s also Hackney’s first semi-professional club in almost a century.

Through football, Bobby has created a safe space for young people to grow; and in doing so changed the makeup of the community that he lives and works in. He continues to advocate for social justice and youth empowerment.

Here are just three things (of the many) we learnt from his session …

  • There is always room to grow: while in prison, Kasanga wrote two books of crime fiction and graduated with a degree in criminology from the Open University. Keen to not continue down the path he was going on, he says focusing on growing and bettering himself was a big factor in where he is today
  • Keep going in the face of adversity: Hackney Wick FC launched in April 2015. Though initial funding was a hurdle, they rallied the community. Bobby alongside local volunteers hit the streets, knocking on doors and drumming up support. Doors were slammed in faces, but they persevered
  • Give back to your community: the most rewarding part of the club’s work is the community engagement, especially with young people; Bobby urges people to find a sense of belonging and purpose in life and work

Our “Beyond Your Bubble” series sparks curiosity and ignites inspiration by introducing us to exceptional individuals from all walks of life. By valuing diverse voices and perspectives, we hope to foster an inclusive environment where everyone feels empowered to have a voice at our agency. Ultimately, these talks aim to broaden our perspectives, both at work and in life, encouraging us to see the world beyond our bubble.

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