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Q&A: My Newham - Rokeby School teacher Omer Bashir discusses food banks in Newham

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 December 2018

Archant

Omer Bashir is a teacher and former student at Rokeby School in Canning Town.

What’s your connection with the borough?

I have lived in Newham my whole life – I’ve even lived on the same road in three different properties.

Furthermore, I was a student at Rokeby School and at NewVIc Sixth Form College so I feel as though I have gone from being a child to becoming a man in this borough.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

The fact that I get to work at the school I was in as a student.

I was a student at Rokeby School from 2002-2007 and then I became a teacher at Rokeby in 2013 after passing my PGCE.

What one thing would you change?

The lack of opportunities for young people.

This is one of the biggest causes in youth violence and crime.

Use three words to describe the area.

Home, traditional and life.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

My old headteacher and current boss, Charlotte Robinson.

She taught me as a 14-year-old and then gave me my first job as a teacher eight years later.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

I would introduce new laws to support people that are in use of food banks.

There is a national crisis where a record amount of people are using food banks.

At Rokeby School we have started our own food bank to support students and families in need of help.

We are also building close links with local food banks, like Bonny Downs and The Refugee and Migrant Project, who we will provide with excess food and hygiene products.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

I would focus on housing issues, food bank crises, gang and youth violence and issues with public services.

More awareness needs to be made so that real discussions can be had and appropriate solutions found.

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