Sanjit Chudha has lived in Telegraph Hill for more than 20 years after moving in when he finished his degree in social policy at Goldsmith’s University.

Having held many positions in the community over the decades, he now runs the Telegraph Hill Noticeboard Facebook group – a responsibility he has grown to love.

After spending much of his career working on the internet as it grew into what he describes as a “force for change,” Sanjit, 51, now works in marketing and communications for the Tawala Theatre Company.

After the financial crisis hit, Sanjit found himself working harder at a job where he was no longer happy.

“I woke up one morning and my partner said to me: ‘you look grey’.”

So Sanjit decided to quit his job and take some time out – and it was this free time that started his community involvement.

“I first started getting involved with the Telegraph Hill Festival, and then I set up the Telegraph Hill Noticeboard in 2013.

“You started to see a crying need for a community gathering space where people could swap ideas or pool resources.

“We were all hyper-connected and the internet had come on leaps and bounds, so I thought ‘how can we build a community around all this change?’”

After setting up the group, Sanjit was surprised to see how keen people were to get involved.

“It took off way faster than I imagined it would. There weren’t really any rules to start with because in my head it was a resource as if you were talking to your neighbour – so you would be polite.”

However, the job of group admin came with its challenges, with online trolls turning up on the page as the cyber community grew (it now has more than 6,000 members).

“People are respectful, by and large,” Sanjit told News Shopper.

The group is a forum for discussion about issues local to the area and also forms its own marketplace with buying and selling – but its power to bring people together has also helped to fuel community initiatives in Telegraph Hill.

This power was demonstrated last summer, when a surge in muggings in the area caused several members to post about being victims of crime on the group.

“When things like this happen, it’s easy to place blame and point the finger, but it’s harder to understand the reasons behind it and identify the causes as a community,” Sanjit explained.

Using Telegraph Hill Noticeboard to communicate, a group of members managed to arrange a meeting with MP Vicky Foxcroft and police officers to discuss how to provide support to young people in the area who were at risk of being victims of crime or falling into crime.

“We created little safe spaces. We were able to identify three or four places where young people could go if they thought they were going to be attacked or pressured into a gang situation.

“We’ve found the connection with young people in those places has gone up since they became sanctuaries.”

Since starting the group, Sanjit has seen the generosity of the community shine through on several occasions when people have been in need.

He recalls the single mother on benefits who moved to the area and had very few possessions to her name – until the Telegraph Hill community chipped in to help her.

“There was a massive outpouring of support: Garden chairs, sofas, tables. Carpet fitters got in touch and a builder in the area who had some spare laminate laid her kitchen and hallway.

“It was little things like that - people can really make someone’s life better.

“Immediately you have someone who is potentially quite isolated welcomed into the community in a positive way.”

Ultimately, the kindness of the community has been a constant for Sanjit despite the enormous changes in the area over the last 20 years.

“People who live here have responded broadly well to changes in the area but there is an underlying sense of hurt.

“It’s good because there are lots of new cafes and restaurants in New Cross, but the cheap chippy gets pushed out because of the new trendy place, for example,” he explained.

“There’s something about a common cause that sites like this can create which kind of cuts through that division.”