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Making the Difference - Murtala

“I would like to see more work for young people in the local area. It’s much harder now- I was lucky to have those opportunities when I first came here. ”

Murtala first joined the Selby Trust through Urban Futures work programme in 2010, working as a Community Pay Back volunteer for our Wood Works Wonders programme.

As a Duty Officer, he is part of the life-blood of the Selby Centre, helping to maintain the facilities and condition of the site. He works hard to constantly improve the Selby space for the groups and licensees that use the centre on a daily basis.

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Originally from Angola, Murtala's journey to the Selby centre reflects a global identity shared with many of the diverse users of the site and living in Totttenham where BAME communities make up more than 50% of the population.

Up-beat and never without a smile, Murtala is a crucial member of the team, and enjoys his role. Quiet, he is also very proud that he plays a big part in the everyday experience of the Selby Trust. 

As an ex-offender, he spent 8 months un-employed in 2009 as having a criminal record meant that securing work was difficult, leaving his skills un-recognised and under-used, albeit for a minor offence.

After coming to the Selby Centre’s Wood Works Wonders programme, his hard working attitude was immediately valued and left a lasting impression. When a vacancy for a duty officer arose, he applied and was pleased to be offered the position as the best candidate.

As a result, he sympathises with the problem of un-employment locally as he states that the situation is very different now to when he first came to Tottenham in 2003:

“Finding work is not as easy now, which is why you see more youths hanging out and smoking... because they have nothing else to do”

He likes living in Tottenham and his dream is to see more improvements to the Selby Centre in the years to come.  The Selby Trust is working in partnership with St Giles Trust to deliver a programme that aims to offer practical support to ex-offenders around housing, training and help the entering workforce. The project starting in January will include peer-mentoring at the Selby Centre to support ex-offenders to undergo the NVQ Level 3 Training programme, which has a 75% success rate for helping ex-offenders find work. To find out more about the partnership and Selby’s work with ex-offenders contact: Find out more about our projects and local community with regular news and updates on our facebook page.

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