Sophie Wellings is the Chief Executive of Link Age Southwark. Link Age Southwark is a local charity based in East Dulwich whose vision is of friendly local communities where older people and those living with a diagnosis of dementia thrive. Sophie has been with the Charity since 2020. 

How long have you lived in the area?

I live in Forest Hill and, incredibly, I appear to have been here for over 20 years! Originally a West Londoner, then North London but now a very committed SE23 resident.  

What brought you here?

Friends and the ability to buy. North London was beyond my budget in the areas I liked, and I had started to stray South for work and to visit friends. South London grew on me although I was a little freaked out by the lack of tubes when I first arrived.  

What has changed most during that time? The Overground! Bliss 

What do you most value about the area?

The trees and the parks. I walk to work through Dulwich Park and the park itself and the trees enroute, especially in Autumn, make me feel very lucky that I live and work surrounded by so much glorious colour and foliage.  

The most famous person you’ve seen or met?

Celeb spotting is pretty good in Dulwich – Iain Glen, Jo Brand, Pip Torrens, Richard Ayoade and Robert Glenister. They were all spotted in the street although three also appear on our website as our Ambassadors! (Iain, Pip and Robert) 

What is your favourite place to eat? The Lordship and Spinach both firm favourites. 

Coffee or tea? Where? Coffee hands down. On Friday mornings on my way into the office, I treat myself to a pain au raisin (big as a steering wheel!) and coffee from Kanella on Lordship Lane.  

The best kept secret…I’m always dubious about these questions as really – let’s not tell – but The Drop in East Dulwich is fab and definitely needs more custom. Local and run by an entrepreneurial female – what’s not to like, 

What is your favourite shop? I’m a big fan of charity shops and not just for the obvious reasons. I don’t really have a favourite as you can find ‘treasure in most’. 

What was the last thing you bought there? 

It’s not the last thing I bought at a charity shop but one of my favourite purchases is a large print of an Edward Hopper piece called ‘New York Movie’. Hopper was one of my Dad’s favourite artists and the print was in the window just after he died. Hopper’s art will always make me think of my Dad, who had a solitary aspect to him. Hopper caught loneliness and solitude beautifully and loneliness is at the core of the work that we do at Link Age Southwark.  

If money was no object.. I would never need to fundraise for the charity again and could sleep easy at night….. spoken like a true Charity CEO. 

The book I’m reading at the moment.. Demon Copperhead – Barbara Kingsolver. I’ve only just started it but from the first few paragraphs I know that I will not want it to end.  Twitter and Instagram @laswark