Ali is a member of the Marble Arch London Street Team, which patrols the area helping businesses and employees, as well as visitors and residents in the district.
1Can you explain your role in one sentence?I’m a member of the Marble Arch Street Team that patrols the area looking to deter antisocial behaviour and create a safer environment for everyone here, as well as make everyone happy and be someone people can speak with whether its calling an ambulance or providing directions.
2How long have you been doing this job?I’ve been on the Marble Arch Street Team from the very beginning so two years, but I have worked for Andrews International, the contractor who works with the BID, for three years.
3Did you find yourself in this role by accident or by design?By design. The BID worked with Andrews to select the best professionals for the job who are a mix of ambassadors that direct visitors, but also security that deter unwelcome and negative behaviour. Also, the job role requires Arabic speakers so members of the Street Team can engage with the local businesses along Edgware Road.
4What’s the best part about your job? I like to help people. I'm constantly talking to people all day and making sure they are safe and taken care of. I especially get satisfaction from referring rough sleepers to Street Link or helping them to West London Mission in the mornings, that way we know they are safe and seen by professionals that can help them.
5What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened to you in your job?It's never a normal day, as you can imagine. But I have to say it would be the time I found a live chicken wandering around Edgware Road. I managed to catch it and bring it back to the office, which everyone was shocked by. [Pictured below] From there we took it to the local vet in Connaught Village.
6What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work in this role?We need to stay healthy for work, so I enjoy going to the gym and being active. I also really appreciate having the time to spend with my family.
7What do you like about this area?How people respect each other. I walk the entirety of the area multiple times a day and see many different types of people and cultures, but this diversity has made people more sympathetic and understanding of one another.
8Where’s your favourite place to go for lunch in the local area?You can't beat Maroush. I would tell you what my favourite dish is, but I can't choose - I like it all. Plus, they're very kind to the members of the Street Team and that means a lot. Like I said, everyone is respectful.
9Who is YOUR hero and what is it about them that inspires you?My team – we all support each other to support the community, that’s what inspires me. We're out here in the falling snow or the blistering heat, as well as everything in between, in order to make sure everyone is safe, the businesses are happy and the area is managed on a street level. We, the team, pick each other up and push each other when we're tired or cold or had a difficult situation. It means a lot.
10If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?I would really like to visit Dubai. It seems unlike anywhere I've ever been and it's constantly changing and growing.