Obafemi's Story

 “The Bromley by Bow Centre model is a radical approach for the health of our nation, needed now more than ever”

Themes: Trustee; health; volunteering; connection with others

Obafemi Shokoya has been a board trustee of the Bromley by Bow Centre since December 2018.  The East End of London is firmly in his blood and he is passionate about the challenges and the potential of local people, something he has experienced first-hand.

Raised in Newham, Obafemi is a proud child of African immigrants and his family remains local.  For his career, he trained as a hospital pharmacist and worked in the NHS for 20 years, the latter ten years as a chief pharmacist specialising in transformative change in Croydon, East Kent and Barts Hospitals. In 2018, he started his own healthcare leadership consultancy.

Through his involvement with INSEAD, the international business school that promotes equality diversity and inclusion, Obafemi was introduced to the Centre and was astounded by what he experienced. It wasn’t long before he agreed to join the trustee board. 

He sums up what impresses him most: “It’s the basis the Centre operates on, every day; its deeply-embedded principles. The way the organisation helps transform physical and mental health and communities appears simple; advice for someone in distress, green space to enjoy, work and learning opportunities, a sense of purpose and belonging.  But behind this simplicity, there is a profound, and sophisticated operational model that creates the conditions people need to thrive. Collaborative communities achieve much more than individuals; the Centre team has known this for over 35 years.

Instead of dwelling on barriers, the staff and volunteer team members focus on the potential of local people.  They find solutions and opportunities that transform lives, day-in day-out and they build evidence by understanding, delivering and measuring what matters to people and communities – our system leaders should take note!”

As a trustee, Obafemi hopes to build wider recognition of the Bromley by Bow Centre model as a radical approach for the health of our nation, needed now more than ever. 

“Around 80% of ill health is related to challenging social and economic conditions, further amplified by the pandemic. We all need brave and innovative approaches to local population health and the Bromley by Bow Centre has created an exceptional blueprint for change.” Obafemi concludes.