It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of David Ogwe, our Projects Coordinator, on Sunday 3rd of January 2021 from the COVID-19 virus.

David gave many years of service to Oasis. His wealth of knowledge and skill has enabled countless young people throughout Lambeth to explore and play. David was always generous with his time, advice, and ideas. He was quick to smile, never judgemental, and genuinely interested in understanding each individual.

"It is better to light a candle than to complain about sitting in darkness"

Celebrating David's Life

David believed in people and devoted his working life to supporting the young people of Lambeth to thrive. His positive energy has left a lasting impression on everyone here at Oasis. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

"I am thinking of you and your integrity , your enthusiasm, your love of people, your love of children and the love of your work. David I'm thinking of your beautiful soul. Forever I shall think of you."

"A father figure to so many, David's light and wisdom never ceased to brighten the day. David showed me what hard work and true care was..."

About David

David’s journey with Oasis began over 20 years ago when in 1996 he became an assistant at our Karting Project. Following this, he transitioned through several pivotal roles at Oasis, managing many of our core projects, and bringing his tireless commitment and enthusiasm to each. In 2005, David took his positive energy elsewhere, notably the Max Roach Adventure Playground in Brixton and Lambeth Family Support Services. In 2013 David returned to Oasis, and finally, in 2015, he became our ever-reliable Projects Coordinator.

In his role, David aided our project managers with sound advice, development support, and fundraising work. David strove to encourage members of this community, both young and old, to offer their spare time to Oasis, and show them the value of working in the service to their community. He never yielded in his efforts to maintain Oasis as an exciting and relevant place for young people.

David’s priority was always his family: his four children and his wife. It was from them that he took most pride. But here at Oasis, his greatest passions were developing our Adventure Playground project and advancing inclusivity within our services. 

“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” David you did just that. R.I.P.

A Eulogy to David

by Joanne Brown, Oasisplay Director

I first met David in the late 1990s when we both started work at Oasis. We didn’t work closely at this point, we were on different sites, but we came together from time to time in the central office.  I remember David coming in one day and announcing that he’d met the woman he was going to marry.  He was absolutely adamant, and I remember thinking how lucky he was to have found the person he wanted to share his life with. That person was of course Chinasa.

In 2005 David left Oasis to work at Max Roach Adventure Playground and with the family support team in Lambeth. Throughout this time he helped many young people and gained the respect and friendship of a whole host of colleagues and families.

In 2011 David joined our Inclusive Play project and in 2015 he returned to Oasis full time, as our Project Coordinator.  We worked together closely as senior managers, the two of us sharing ideas, thoughts, successes and difficulties. David brought a quiet confidence and commitment to his work.  He also brought wisdom, creativity and boundless positivity. 

I was always thankful for David’s loyalty and unwavering support. His ‘can do’ attitude was particularly helpful during times of struggle. I had utmost respect for David and his ability to engage with people – colleagues, children, young people, and families. He was genuinely interested in everyone – in an intelligent, caring and empathic way. He nurtured team members and encouraged them to explore their own ideas, interests, and abilities. He helped them to grow, as play workers and as people. David will be remembered by so many in Lambeth. For over 20 years he supported and guided young people, often through very challenging times in their lives, helping them to reach their goals and be the best they could be in an often unequal and unfair world.  

Meesey is a young woman who David worked with at Oasis and her words help to illustrate the impact David made:

He saw me and recognised my struggle and my damage and how to remedy/fix it. And when he did, he taught me how to do that for others at such a young age. He gave kids a safe space to be themselves, to be kids in a world where we were forced to grow up too fast because some of the things we were going through. What he provided was priceless. Someone to talk to, a guide, letting emotions out in a healthy way. He sheltered us and put us all on the paths we were meant to be on and gave us all the tools we needed to survive and prosper. When we left he would never stop asking about us, still making sure we were ok when we were well into our adulthood.’

Through his work at Oasis, Touretteshero and Max Roach Adventure Playground in Lambeth, David championed the right of all children to play. He was passionate about how it improves lives. He did this by creating joyful inclusive play spaces where all children could flourish. David was a master of play work, skilled at engaging children of all abilities in exciting and challenging activities. He was intuitively responsive and encouraging with an apparent ease which generated deep respect and admiration. He could build meaningful relationships with young people he’d just met, and could instantly hold the attention of big groups of otherwise chaotic and excited children. His skill and knowledge was unsurpassed. I’ve received many thoughts about David from colleagues and friends who have known him over the years. I’d like to share a few with you now:

  • He was a healer, and he healed so many of us and always strove to make the world a better place, especially for the young people he worked with.

  • He was genuinely ambitious for young people and dedicated to creating the best possible opportunities for all.

  • He had genuine and natural talent around children and the kindest, biggest heart. I fondly remember his cheeky smile, infectious happiness and ability to make just about anything fun. What an incredible and special person.

  • He inspires me greatly to be a good father and playworker. He is my role model, my inspiration, bringing peace and community to all who cross his path.

  • While his passing is a huge loss, I know his wisdom, energy, skill, love and friendship will have a lasting legacy with everyone who knew him.


David loved his work and was great at it, but above and beyond that, we all know how much he loved his family, how proud he was of his children Onyi, Onyeka, Bella and Nathaniel, and how much he adored and respected his wife, Chinasa.

“Legacy” is a very over-used word these days; it seems that everyone and everything has to have one – but with David, it’s true! He’s left behind a very real legacy, which will affect the way we do things at Oasis for many years to come. 

On a personal level, each of us who knew David and worked alongside him, whether things were going well or badly, will remember him with great affection. When all is said and done, however much you like your work, it’s the people that you meet in it that really matter. So colleagues like David are something very special – you don’t come across many of them, and when you do, they leave a lasting impression.

One of David’s favourite sayings, which I’ve been quoting a lot recently, is: ‘Better to light a candle that to complain about being in darkness.’ He told me this was something his father used to say. It’s a good proverb to remember at this difficult and sad time. 

David, we’re really going to miss you.

If you are affected by this news and need support contact us at . Barnardo’s See, Hear, Respond Hub has a wealth of information and resources to help children and young people through grief and bereavement.

We have created an online tribute page to David, so If you or your family would like to make a contribution to this, or wish to make your condolences to us or David’s family, then please do using the link below:

There is also a gofundme page to help support David’s family if you wish to contribute.

‘It is better to light a candle than to complain about sitting in darkness’ was one of David’s favourite sayings and it’s a good one to remember at this sad time.

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