Champion for the underdog

09:09 10 August 2012

Pictures of Yetunde Adeola with Nadia Javed

Pictures of Yetunde Adeola with Nadia Javed


Yetunde Adeola only came to Gravesend six years ago but has already touched the lives of hundreds of people looking to get a leg-up on the career ladder.

She is both manager of the Breakthrough Academy where she gives support to new start-ups and trains unemployed people and she is the founder of the African Caribbean Forum for Kent.

On top of being a mother to four young children Yetunde often works a seven day week and yet, amazingly, everything she does is voluntary.

In her native Nigeria Yetunde trained as a counsellor before moving to London where she did a degree in education and community development.

On graduating, her family left London for Gravesend for the “good education and friendly community”, she says, and Yetunde decided to set up a forum to support the African and Caribbean communities to promote cultural understanding.

Fast forward to 2012 and the 41-year-old is considered the “go-to” person by the local Job Centre Plus for reaching out to all, not just minority ethnic groups, to develop self-confidence and build employment skills.

She also organises school talks about Africa to improve understanding between communities and this year Yetunde received a prestigious Pride in Gravesham award for promotion of cultural diversity.

“When we started there was a gap between the African community and other groups,” she said, “That’s why we tried to bridge that gap and motivate them to develop their careers, but now we are working mostly working with other cultures.”

At the Breakthrough Academy Yetunde runs the show with the help of 12 volunteers and a constant stream of students looking to gain work experience.

Her schedule is fully booked from Monday to Sunday, weaving around the school-runs, clubs and homework schedules of her young family.

The next step is to grow her company so she can provide funds for supporting people’s business ventures.

“My hopes are that we can find funding because there are so many creative businesses that could thrive in this community.

“I have seen so many talented women and men that have brilliant skills but unfortunately we cannot fund them.”

With rent to pay and the business balance diminishing, even in adversity Yetunde is committed to working for communities.

“It is very important because we can support each other to grow, it is bringing people together,” she said, “I will continue to do this for the rest of my life.”


Latest News

43 minutes ago
Magistrates court

Melanie Shaw, 45, told customers at the Harvester in Margate Road that they should have had their children aborted

Colonel Stephen Cartwright addresses his audience of businesspeople

Soldiers took the first step back to civilian working life at an employers’ workshop in Dartford run by the Army.

Mayor of Gravesham, Cllr Mick Wenban, and walkers at the weekend

Walkers of all ages took part in ‘Beating the Bounds’ over the weekend

PC Sarah Lewis-Perkins

PC Sarah Lewis-Perkins will now be honoured at this year’s Police Bravery Awards.

Yesterday, 14:23
Train passing level crossing

Operation Look, a week of action designed to crack down on offences at crossings, begins today

Yesterday, 10:12
Southeastern train

Engineering work will disrupt late-night trains in north Kent this week.

Most read


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Digital Edition

Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today E-edition

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder