Dr Julius-Cezar MacQuarie, also known as ‘JC’, has lived in a property managed by LOWE since July, sharing the space alongside a community of over 20 other guardians. Greeted with smiles and hugs, we met JC at a coffee shop just around the corner from Angel tube station and settled down to chat about what he’s been up to. We discussed everything from his days working at Pizza Express so that he could fund his MA, to his current work as an anthropologist and NHS practitioner.
JC described his home at City Road as a wonderful place that is more than just ‘affordable accommodation’. He says that the community of guardians is such a positive atmosphere to be in and with his work sometimes being a tough environment, it has been great for him to be able to come home to fantastic people that make everyday life just that bit better.
There has been a lot of sacrifice and struggle involved along JC’s career path, all motivated by his passion to help others and give back to the community through his job. His work is based around the city’s night-time economy and this branching from his initial focus on sex workers and growing to encompass London’s ‘invisible people’. As part of an NHS outreach project, he aims to help vulnerable women who have ended up in a life of sex work and abuse, offering access to protection and hot coffee while they work on the streets and help them with any personal problems. He spoke of an occasion where he spent several hours in a police station with a woman who had been severely abused but achieving little success. It can be a frustrating career path to have chosen given how difficult it can be to attain change and results, but JC is determined to give back to his community.
His research focuses mainly on researching the impact of the night work has on people’s mental health, social life and relationships. In addition to his work with the NHS, he has found that there are high rates of abuse towards night workers, especially those with a large female demographic like cleaning. JC spent 8 months working mainly at night to experience the lives of those he was studying, knocking off for Friday beers at 9am. What started as a concern for sex workers grew into a general concern for the lack of representation of your local bartender, the night manager at the petrol station, a concierge and your office cleaner. JC certainly suffered the consequences of sleep deprivation and a not-so-thriving social life, showing just how dedicated he is to his research and to making progress so that we have better policies and legislation towards the night workers that are an integral part of our society without whom we could not function.
JC plays a vital part in his outreach work, since plenty of the people that he interacts with are foreign. Being multi-lingual, JC importantly acts as a translator for many vulnerable women. His dedication to his work is incredible and his caring personality is evident whenever you speak to him. Hearing that he feels LOWE provides so much more than just a roof of his head is really heart-warming and he hopes that we continue to be a company that puts the guardians at its heart.