The Erith Park Regeneration team has been supporting a young customer at Erith Park to achieve her dreams of becoming an architect. Caroline Field, Regeneration Project Manager for Orbit Homes, tells Mary's story here:
Erith Park resident Mary Adeferati has just finished her studies in 3D design and critical and contextual studies at Shooters Hill College. Now, equipped with three great A Levels (an A and two A*s), she is about to start an Architecture degree at Kingston University.
She first became interested in architecture during a school design project, when she designed a small play pavilion. Discussions with her uncle and her teachers made her realise how important good design is in ensuring people get a good quality of life – and how a career in architecture could meet her values of social responsibility.
Mary has first hand experience of the importance of architecture because her family has lived through the Erith Park regeneration scheme, moving from one of the outdated flats to a brand new house.
She will be the first of her family to go from school to university but her younger siblings also have high ambitions. Her sister is planning a career in medicine and her brother would like to be an RAF pilot.
Mary describes her mum, Freda, as the number one person in her life: 'She came to the UK as a young adult and worked hard to put herself through university to train as a nurse. She’s always encouraged all of us to study hard and aim high.'
Freda knew that relevant work experience would really help Mary to build her confidence and background knowledge ahead of starting her university studies. The family don’t know any architects, so she asked Orbit’s Erith Park regeneration team for help. Between us, we helped Mary to tidy up her CV and introduced her to Broadway Malyan, our Erith Park architects.
Their director, Martin Bates, was really impressed by Mary. He says: 'She struck us immediately as a real star. We were bowled over by her enthusiasm and commitment. So we were delighted to offer her paid work experience to give her a taste of work as a professional architect.'
Orbit’s Community Investment team also provided a grant so that Mary could join Broadway Malyan’s annual staff study trip. She travelled to Munich and Stuttgart to look at some of the stunning architecture in these cities.
Mary said: ‘I had a great time and the Broadway Malyan team were amazing. They took me along to everything they did and I learned so much from them. They even said I could go back next summer. I really appreciate all of the support from the Erith Park regeneration scheme, Broadway Malyan, and of course Orbit’s Community Investment team for the grant. Thank you so much.’
Both Orbit and Broadway Malyan are very proud of Mary and are delighted to be able to support her on her first steps towards her professional career."