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Q & A with our new Ambassador, Andrew Heath-Richardson

July 2018

We are proud to announce that Andrew Heath-Richardson, an independent Alderman candidate for the Ward of Cheap, is now officially an ambassador for EECF.

Born and raised in East London, Andrew started his career as an apprentice in the electrical industry and slowly progressed to being a director of a multi-billion property development company in Canary Wharf. With over 37 years’ experience in the property development and construction industry, Andrew has worked on a variety of redevelopment and regeneration projects including Drapers’ Gardens and 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London.
Since 2006, Andrew has been engaged in numerous community service roles such as Freeman of the City of London; member of Court of the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers, one of the City’s Livery Companies; deputy chair of Co-operation Ireland, a peace keeping charity, and a director of the City Property Association. He recently became an Ambassador for the East End Community Foundation. 

You have travelled and worked internationally. What made you come back to London?
I was born and raised in East London. Having gained experience in different parts of the world including France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, I decided to come back to what I call ‘home’. In January 1998, I returned to the UK and started work with the Canary Wharf Group, where I have been ever since.

When did you first come to learn about us?
In 2012, I was working on the 20 Fenchurch Street project, “the Walkie Talkie” building in the City of London, which is when I first heard about East End Community Foundation.
 
What made you get involved with EECF?
I strongly believe in community engagement as a way to make an impact for the wider good. Having seen many organisations in the past, the idea of how EECF works appealed me, which is why I first got involved. It feels great to have been able to help EECF establish the 20 Fenchurch Street Fund, now delivering fantastic projects in the whole of East London.

What social issue interests you the most?
As a candidate for Alderman, youth involvement is one of the social issues that I actively campaigned for. I believe organisations need to focus on vocational training to increase youth employability, which will in turn help fight some of the major issues like anti-social behaviour. This will also promote growth, self-esteem and community well-being. I see that EECF has been supporting numerous projects on this front.

Could you shed some light on your mental health and well-being initiative?
I campaigned to introduce “Charity Rooms and Spaces” in conjunction with The Royal Foundation’s “Heads Together” initiative as a way to encourage community use of empty spaces for mental health and well-being projects. The initiative was focused on delivering projects ‘drop-in service’ for City workers, especially younger workers. The aim was to roll out this initiative to all Wards in the City of London.

As a local, how do you see yourself making a difference?
I was born and raised in East London by a working single mother, I had to work evenings, Saturdays and Sundays to help my mother survive after she and my father divorced and he did not contribute to my upbringing.
As an East Ender, I believe my personal journey could appeal many young people and it might even inspire a few to take charge of their own destiny. My life could have been very different had I not steered my own journey to personal growth, self-development and employability.
I am glad that I am now in a position to help organisations such as EECF so they can continue to deliver more projects that can focus on engaging young people to increase employability and to help them achieve their full potential.

How do you feel about being an ambassador for EECF?
I am very proud of, now officially, being an Ambassador for EECF. I am a highly motivated, public spirited person, and I feel that I have reached a point in my career where I am able to give something back to society. I have gained my experience by being flexible and relying on my own resourcefulness.
As EECF ambassador, I see my role as an active fundraiser and facilitator. I believe I will be able to help EECF foster new business relationships with people and organisations in the City.

Do you have any advice for us?
I think the EECF team puts in great effort to raise funds working with individuals and businesses in the borough. It is great to see how diligently they work to achieve outcomes and to make an impact in East London. It would be great to see this replicated in more boroughs in London.
 

Andrew Heath-Richardson

Associate Director-Development

Canary Wharf Group PLC