Post People: Dagenham councillor inspired to do good by his mum
PUBLISHED: 08:59 02 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:59 02 March 2017
River ward councillor Peter Chand, 51, tells Jon King how his mum inspired him to serve the borough he has lived in and loved all his life.
“I was born in Ballards Road, Dagenham and funnily enough I still live there after 51 years.
“My parents came over from India in the early 1950s. Their first house was in Ballards Road. I’m the youngest of seven kids.
“I was a youth worker for a little while before the service was disbanded. I love working with young people. I enjoyed doing sporting activities. I worked in Newham Sixth Form College for 15 years too before moving on.
“In 2010 we had 12 sitting British National Party councillors. People would say to me Dagenham is racist and I would say it’s not. There was a negative vibe about Dagenham so I decided to get involved.
“I was part of the group that forced the BNP out. People went out in numbers and voted them all out. I was there at the count next to the BNP leader Nick Griffin and it was fantastic seeing all of his henchmen losing their stronghold.
“I love working in the community. When I was young I used to help the elderly, doing a bit of gardening. In 1982 I decided to raise money for the Old Church Hospital. There were four of us. I had a gym at the back of my house. We did a non-stop karate marathon and raised £150.
“My mum instilled in us a community spirit. It’s nice to help people. There are a lot of vulnerable people out there. I put myself up to be a councillor because I want to serve the people.
“Now I’m working with people with learning disabilities. My ethos is getting them into the community so they can lead a life without support.
“I’m opening a Friday afternoon get-together at the Fanshawe Community Centre for people with learning disabilities. It’s called the Ginger Social Club. We’re starting this month.
“People with learning disabilities are probably the most neglected group in London. They’re not very vocal and struggle financially. We’ve decided we want to help them.”