Meet our newly appointed Director of Community, David Hopkins
We would like to introduce Coin Street’s new Director of Community, David Hopkins. Find out how David spends his time out of the office and why meeting and listening to you, the local community, will be his first priority in post.
Tell us a little about what you were you doing before joining Coin Street?
I was working as a consultant with a pan-London charity Hestia helping them build a strategy to support more victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. It is shocking how big an issue modern slavery is across London and you don’t have to look far to find it, whether in your local car wash, nail bar, restaurant, or the building site up the road. More broadly, I have spent 20 years working on social impact and communities – first as a community worker and then variously in a range of roles around greenspace development, youth work, philanthropy, leadership development, and fundraising.
What is your first priority in the role and longer term aim?
First priority, as always, listen and meet people. I’m keen to understand what makes Waterloo and North Southwark tick as a community. I want to understand where Coin Street fits in the overall jigsaw of organisations and individuals. My longer term aim is to build some meaningful alliances with others to create change – ultimately with the aim of strengthening the community here.
What attracted you to Coin Street?
It is a unique example of how community and commercial can complement each other to arrive at a marriage which can thrive and last. I’ve spent a lot of time working with charities on income growth and diversification over the past few years and it is pretty tough and getting tougher. Coin Street offers a model whereby we can recycle income from business activity and invest it into creating the sort of community people want to live, work and play in.
What does community mean to you?
Knowing that there are people I can turn to for a spot of help when I need it, and that I have the opportunity to do the same. Feeling part of something outside myself and my family. Being able to learn something I need on the one hand and teach something I am good at on the other.
Do you have a favourite memory of the area?
I’ve spent many balmy evenings strolling along the South Bank but I particularly remember a lovely evening with my wife (no kids on hand!) setting out from County Hall then over the river for some comedy at Heaven in Charing Cross then back for drinks at Studio 6 at Gabriel’s Wharf; the perfect evening for enjoying being by the water and the buzz in the air.
How do you spend your time when not at work?
My favourite thing to do is just to hang out with my son Cal, 17, and daughter Abbey, 10. It’s the little moments that matter – a couple of nights ago, Abbey read to me (with great excitement) a chapter of her favourite book Carbonel about a magical cat, and I remember thinking that this is a special time that will be over before I know it.
What was the last book you read?
This is London by Ben Judah. It is an epic exploration of London as it really is today – telling the stories of the Polish builder, the Filipina housemaid, the young Egyptian socialite, the Albanian street dweller. It is an amazing testament to the global draw of our city, and just how tough it can be with the odds stacked against you.
What was your last adventure?
Well, you asking me this has made me realise I probably don’t have enough adventures in my life. Ask me again in a month and I will aim to have done better!