Where do our guides come from?

One of the questions we are always asked is where we find our guides.  The answer isn't straight forward as there's no single formula for finding a brilliant and engaging guide.

Some guides are quietly intriguing and some are full of energy.  Some speak perfect English and some don't.  We are slowly finding more guides for our tours but we have a long way to go!

London has over 300 communities to explore and this has been a bit daunting for us.  We are taking things slowly and have started by working in communities we know well.  This means that the cofounders became our first guides - to their own communities.

Cofounders Deborah and Nidhi are both already connected to the two communities they guide and well equipped to explain the traditions to them on the hoof.  Caroline is Jewish and can trace her roots back to the old  East End which provides heaps of interesting material.  

Deborah leads a tour around historic Little Italy (in Clerkenwell) and Nidhi's favourite tour is the Little India tour (in Wembley). But she also knows East Ham and Southall really well. Caroline leads a tour of Jewish Golders Green as well as one of the historic East End.

For new guides we have tracked down people who share our values, are proud of their community and more than happy to share what they know.  They might have already dabbled in supperclubs or running tours but the most important thing we look for is an enthusiasm and knowledge about the actual community and a relatively unexplored neighbourhood in London.

Deborah met Kemi, our Nigerian guide, through their shared love of acting and Caroline met Margarida, our Portuguese guide, at her kids' school.  Claudia, our Brazilian guide, was one of Deborah's students.  Other guides, like Vicky and Manju, who run our Nordic and South Indian tours, contacted us and have proved to be brilliant and committed.  

Some of the places we visit: the temples, mosques and synagogues, provide their own professional or volunteer guides and we have come to know some of them very well.  

As for the future, we are always hunting for more people to bring those 300 communities of London to life.  There's still so many more to discover.  Who knows, maybe the next guide will be you?

If you would like to know more or are interested in becoming a guide, do get in touch at hello@sharedcity.co.uk