TOM DAVENPORT is our new Operations Manager! Here he tells us about himself and how he will be supporting the growth of our network.
Where are you from and what makes you proud to be from there? Right now I live in Bournemouth, a town on the South Coast of England. It's famous for its amazing seven miles of white sandy beaches, which is hard to match anywhere else in the UK. But I was born a couple of hours north in Worcester, and I’ll be moving back that way with my family later this year. When we move I’ll miss the beach, but I’m looking forward to being closer to family.
What work did you do before you joined Arukah? I was a Community Worker at a church in Bournemouth. I helped the church reach out and support our local community in different ways, including preparing the church to plant another church which will happen in the coming months.
What drew you to Arukah and what motivates you? I love the way Arukah works to give a voice back to local communities, recognising the strengths of communities where others would only see problems. And I’m motivated by hope. As a Christian, the foundation of my hope is Jesus. He has changed every part of my life, and so I’m a living, breathing example that hope is real and change is possible!
What will your Operations Manager role involve? We’ve been using the metaphor of a vine being planted and grown to produce fruit. It doesn’t take long to hear of all the amazing good work happening in our Clusters. And if we see all this good work as the vine and its grapes, then my role is to help put trellises and supports in place to help the vines grow and produce even more fruit! I’m excited about being here to help Cluster members connect with each other and get support to do even more of what they are already do, and to see more fruit growing in the world!
What do you expect to be challenging in the role? I’m a people person and so naturally I thrive off connecting with people. Most of Arukah’s work is online, especially with the world the way it is right now. So it’s going to be challenging to build deep relationships across the network via Zoom! Having said that, this online way of working is also exciting. Since starting I’ve already been able to visit Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and India all in one morning from the comfort of my bedroom office!
How do you like to relax when you're not working? My family keeps me pretty busy. I’m married to Fi and we have four small boys, who keep me on my toes! We love getting out into nature with them and we love visiting the beach, climbing on rocks and hiding in the sand dunes. When I manage to get space from the boys I love running, basketball and any way you can think of being on or in the water.
Welcome to Arukah Network Tom! We're grateful to have you with us and excited at what the future might bring.