Ayo was born in Kent, lived in Nigeria, raised in Eastbourne, is a world traveller, a mix of cultures, inspirations and influences. She is enthusiastic and dedicated to chasing all her passions and she truly believes:

“if your dreams don’t scare you, they are not BIG enough.

She is a Chartered Civil Engineer. She graduated with a Masters in Civil and Coastal Engineering from Plymouth University in 2016. There she also studied Mandarin and completed an exchange to Shanghai Maritime University.

Ayo featured in The Mirror’s Newspaper’s Climate Issue

She was one of the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) President’s Future leaders in 2018. She is also one of the ICE’s Water Superheroes, aptly named ‘Eco Warrior’ (previously Eco Angel).

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art.

Her hobbies have alway being singing, dancing and the performing arts. She has sang in choirs from her school chamber choir, church band to Angelica, a harmony group who raises money for the charity Starlight.

Ayo was a member of the charity singing group – Angelica for several years, during her time with the group they auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent.

She developed her talent for dance, drama and singing by taking classes as well attending a Saturday stage school for the duration of her education where she had the opportunity to tour in the opera ‘Tosca’ and perform at amazing venues such as Her Majesty’s Theatre London. She also danced as part of the stage school’s troupe.

Ayo with Stagecoach performing at ‘Her Majesty’s Theatre’, the home of the Phantom of the Opera

She later volunteered her time at the stage school where she was once a student as an assistant to the dancing teachers helping with warms up, technique and encouraging and supporting students 6-16 years old.

During her time at University, she had the opportunity to represent her local community as a beauty queen.

She went on to have some success in pageantry winning the titles: ‘Miss Plymouth Galaxy 2012/13’, ‘Miss Sussex 2013’ and Miss East Sussex 2014’.

From this she had the opportunity to model, represent brands and create interesting and innovative imagery. In addition, she used pageantry as a platform to further her charity work.

She is passionate about sharing her ideas and unique approach to life through motivational talks and presenting. She is a keen advocate on contributing to local and global communities through charity and community activities.

What would you like to know about Ayo?

Charity work and fundraising has always being a huge part of her life.  She founded an annual charity event in 2015 to raise funds for Derriford Hospital’s Children’s Cancer Service (DCCS).

Press on ‘Miss Plymouth Sweetheart’ Founded by Ayo to support Derriford Children Cancer Service (DCCS) Charity

She also supported other charities, such as Sands, Rainbow Hospice, British Heart Foundation, RSPCA and Prospect Hospice, by running a half marathon, running several boot camps, organising fashion shows, partaking in social enterprise and singing in a harmony group and volunteering at the homeless shelter.

Her other passions are: reading interesting books, exploring new foods and when she get the chance, backpacking around the world. So far, she has backpacked through India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and visited 31 countries in total. She really hopes to see as much of the world as possible and learn about all the different cultures.

Ayo commencing her travels to India in 2017

In 2018, She was elected the women’s officer for the Reading Constituency Labour Party. She campaigned in May 2019 Local Government election as a Labour and Cooperative Candidate for Caversham in Reading . She wanted to be a Councillor because she knew she had what it took to do the job, but furthermore she was focused on helping and transforming the lives of those around her using all her skills as a Civil engineer, a fundraiser and volunteer and as a elected councilor. She was successfully elected (winning the formerly held Conservative council seat) and she was honoured to represent residents on the planning application committee (PAC) and Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education Committee (ASCE). She also sat on the parenting panel and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Local Liaison Committee. She knocked on doors, held surgeries to listen to local residents, led community campaigns and undertook case work for her residents.

Ayo winning Caversham in May 2019, surrounded by the Reading Labour Team

Ayo remains committed to serving in all capacities available to her. As a Civil engineer in flood risk, a volunteer, charity fundraiser, activist, community leader, elected councillor, environmental campaigner, speaker, presenter, role model.

She was selected for the Labour’s Future Candidate Programme where she was on the 2021/22 cohort. She successful passed the scheme.

On the 17th November, Ayo was appointed the Deputy Mayor for Reading, a term that ran to May 2022.

Ayo Sokale pictured right as Deputy Mayor, with the Mayor Rachel Eden