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In Conversation With...Michael Magbagbeola, who's organised a knife crime event at our hospital

In Conversation With...Michael Magbagbeola, who's organised a knife crime event at our hospital

We know there are lots of very interesting people in our Trust, whether through your work, your interests or your hobbies outside work. We want to get to know you and share your story.

This week we spoke to Michael Magbagbeola, senior people and organisational development (OD) business partner. Michael, who runs his own charity, Save the King, has organised an event to raise awareness about knife crime, at Queen’s Hospital on Saturday 20 July.

Lives: In Romford with wife Theresa and children Joshua, Esther and Caleb

And: Michael was inspired to set up his charity following the death of his father.

Tell us more about your event, Save our Children

It’s aimed at children aged ten and over and their parents, to raise awareness of the risks of gang grooming and knife crime. Local police officers will be there and Martin Griffiths, the surgeon who is the NHS’ first clinical director for violence reduction, is among the speakers.

It’s taking place between 1pm and 4pm in the Education Centre at Queen’s Hospital on Saturday 20 July. It’s free and open to anyone, so please come along. You can book a place on the Eventbrite website.

St Giles Trust, a charity which helps disadvantaged people contribute positively to society, will be running two separate workshops, one for parents and one for young people, on the day.

I was looking for a venue and the hospital seemed perfect. The NHS should be involved in tackling this, we all have a part to play because of the impact gangs and violence have on our communities. One organisation can only do so much.

Knife crime is a vicious circle where vulnerable young people are recruited by gangs. My charity supports the homeless, imprisoned, and the sick and with this event, I want to help people who are at risk of imprisonment.

A lot of those who we help in prison are kids who don’t need to be there.

Why did you decide to set up your charity, Save the King?

I was inspired to set it up after my father died. He was a reverend so I grew up in the church. When he passed away I heard so many stories of how he’d helped people, and that inspired me to set up the charity. It’s been running for around two years and was registered with the charity commission in the last year.

There are about 30 volunteers working with me and a big part of what we do is providing chaplaincy support to prisons and hospitals. I started off as a hospital chaplain when I worked at Southend Hospital. I’m also a chaplain at Pentonville Prison and I help run the Sunday service.

The currency of our charity is not money, it’s time – how many hours you can give to support someone.

Next up is to provide a place for homeless people to go for a shower and something to eat, however, it’s not easy to find a venue for that.

That must keep you busy and you also have a full time job at our Trust….

I’m a senior people and OD business partner, working with our Anaesthetics and Surgery divisions, as well as our Finance, Information Management and Technology, Estates and Strategy and Planning teams.

My role is about improving the workplace experience for staff and making our hospitals a better place to work. I give advice and guidance and support our managers. Our Trust is a busy workplace and there is lots of pressure coming from all directions.

I recently saw a quote that said in HR you’re an unofficial psychologist, lawyer, teacher, peace maker, event planner and shoulder to cry on….. That’s about right!

How did you end up in HR?

When I was doing my A-levels I did a psychometric test as part of my business studies course. One of the careers it came up with was HR – there was also priest and policeman, however, I thought HR fit best with what I was already doing.

I did a degree in HR at Middlesex University. It was the first place I thrived academically as the testing wasn’t as traditional as school, there was more variety. When I graduated I was the CIPD undergraduate prize winner for the region. I happily took it, but I wasn’t quite sure why I won!

My first job was at Guy and St Thomas’ as a HR officer, it’s such a huge trust I didn’t get as much experience as there are so many teams to deal with different things. After that I was at Ealing Hospital and North Middlesex Trust, where I got to do a lot more.

At North Middlesex I dealt with one of my biggest projects which included closing an A&E and maternity department. It was challenging as a lot of people felt unsafe in their roles and people did lose their jobs.

After that I went to Southend Hospital where I did the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson NHS leadership programme and my masters in healthcare. It was really tough to do that alongside my job, some nights I’d be in the library until 11pm.

I came to our Trust two years ago as I wanted to be closer to home to help out my mum after my father died.

What do you like best about your job?

HR is a caring profession and I like helping people. I like to help make improvements which make life easier for people, and when we can give people a career path which was not open to them before.

I was involved in our nursing associate programme, and am really proud to see people with no experience getting the care certificate and working their way up – they could be a matron in ten years.

Seeing the joy in people’s faces when they find out they’ve got a place on a course, or have been accepted for something they didn’t believe was possible, and grow and develop – that’s what I enjoy about coming to work.

We’d love to know what change you would make if you were prime minister for a day?

I’d make all churches community centres. There are lots of churches across the country, and if every one was used to support communities, they’d be much better for it.


Churches used to be about community, with everything centred around them, that’s changed now.