Rabiyah Latif: Near Neighbours Co-ordinator
5 September 2016 by Fiona Handscomb

Rabiyah Latif: Near Neighbours Co-ordinator

Rabiyah Latif profileWhat does a Near Neighbours Co-ordinator do?

The Near Neighbours programme is part of a national initiative that runs in eight urban areas. The role involves building local relationships in communities, advising grant applicants and supporting successful projects. I also work in partnership with similar initiatives in the city that have a shared vision in building strong communities and friendships.

Can you describe a typical day in the life of a Near Neighbours Co-ordinator?

My day usually starts with catching up on emails and sorting out what I need to get done that day. I then head out to visit potential projects from whom we have received an application that meets our grant criteria. This gives us the opportunity to get to meet people, get to know them, their community and their organisation and to advise them. General meetings with colleagues and partners also feature on a weekly basis where wider initiatives are discussed.

What brought you to this point – how and why did you become a Near Neighbours Co-ordinator?

I have worked with schools and communities for a long time and decided to focus more so on community engagement going forward in my career. Community and cultural engagement has always been the core focus of all my public sector work and where I find I am most comfortable developing programmes. To be able to influence long-term attitudes amongst communities for positive change is and always will be the drive for my work.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a regular walker, swimmer and yogi that makes time for music and food indulgences with family and friends. Travel, film and good company are never too far away if I have anything to do with planning it! A good balance between work and play is essential.

What three things do you hate the most?

Hate is a strong word, but I am inclined to lean toward: liars who make it to leadership, tyrants that rule whole nations and general human cruelty.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

I don’t think I have favourite yet, as there are places I still want to see. North Wales sits in my top three.

What did you want to be when you were small?

A vet.

What makes you laugh?

Boris Johnson!

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself:

I go away for a day once a month to a place I have never seen before and I don’t share the experience with anyone! It’s my ‘switch off day’ from a blessed, but hectic life.

To find out more about Rabiyah, have a look at her profile on the Near Neighbours website.

Near Neighbours is an initiative from the Church of England's Church Urban Fund