Vanessa Simao

Network Co-ordinator

Why I wanted to join the team

I started getting involved in local projects from 2009, to support young people living in a hostel. Since then I have been heavily involved in volunteering and support work in and around Barking and Dagenham.Then in 2014, my passion for social change led me and other residents to found Moms on a Mission. This was in order to help young and vulnerable people, as we noticed a cut back in local support services. The Moms on a Mission team meet up monthly in local libraries, and aim to raise awareness and help individuals, by campaigning against child poverty through our advocacy work. My hope is that my experiences will tie in with my new role at Participatory City, so I can reach even more people through many projects.

A little bit about Vanessa’s background

Vanessa moved to Barking and Dagenham from Lisbon, and has lived in the borough for ten years. Her interests led her to volunteering in youth centres and to take up a course in Youth Studies. Vanessa was a trainee at Young Women’s Trust, and has previously worked as a community officer at Wize Choice and has experience as a support worked for older people and teenagers. She frequently plays the role of host at local events, and has a passion for motivational speaking. She is currently the Networks Co-ordinator on the neighbourhood team.