Fola Ogunkola wins Good Neighbour award at Southwark Housing heroes

Read why Fola won:

There are very few residents on Leathermarket JMB’s Meakin and Elim estates who do not know Fola. The youngsters call him ‘Uncle’. Fola has been a particular champion of young people. When he became an officer of Decima Street TRA in 2006, he pushed for the TRA room to become a place where young people could meet, use computers and make music. However, Fola has always been very clear it is not just about young people being given things, but also about them taking responsibility and giving back to the TRA.

At a time when many TRAs are struggling to remain viable, Fola has worked tirelessly to support his TRA. He has established an annual TRA funday and awards night.

He loves his community and he has continued to be recognized as the voice of the community. He was delighted to see the strength of the TRA recognised when it picked up the ‘Outstanding TRA’ in Southwark’s 2014 Housing Heroes Awards.

Fola is a qualified accountant and has been keen to make his expertise available to help others. In 2006 he joined the board of Leathermarket Resident Services Organisation, which was set up as an offshoot of the JMB to promote local employment. In 2007 he became a JMB director, and has been re-elected by residents who live in his TRA area every year subsequently. Fola has been an integral part of the JMB’s success. The JMB became self-financing in 2013 and started its new build programme in 2016. Fola’s contribution has been recognised by his fellow directors who have asked him to become vice-chair and to chair the JMB’s important Major Works Sub-group, responsible for the delivery of £3m worth of major works each year.

At a national level, Fola’s abilities were spotted by the National Federation of TMOs who asked him to be an Executive Committee member in 2008.

Fola is a long serving member of the Borough & Bankside Area Forum. He is also a panel member of Southwark’s Arbitration tribunal

Asked about his greatest achievement Fola said “working with various unsung heroes, who continuously give their time to make a difference to people’s lives”