BCDA Annual Impact Report 2022

A summary of our 2022 achievements and progress. Whether you’re a service user; a friend or volunteer; one of our donors or BDCA Buddies; a local partner or a funder… thank you for your support and for being part of our Bonny Downs family.

A summary of our 2022 achievements and progress. Whether you’re a service user; a friend or volunteer; one of our donors or BDCA Buddies; a local partner or a funder… thank you for your support and for being part of our Bonny Downs family.


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is a dynamic community-led

charity that has been serving the

residents of the London Borough of Newham -

and beyond - since 1998.

We support a diverse cross-section of our local

community, working with people of all ages,

cultures and backgrounds.

We have a positive impact on local lives through

a wide range of services and activities

designed to bring people together and provide

opportunities to connect with neighbours;

improve their health and wellbeing; access the

support they need; learn new skills; give back to

their community; and celebrate life!


About Us...........................................................3

A Word from our Chair..........................4

2022 Highlights...........................................5

The Year in Numbers............................6

Our Volunteers............................................7

Community Support.............................. 8

Children and Families.........................10

Over 65s......................................................... 12


Sports and Fitness................................16

Community Garden.............................18

Valued Partnerships........................... 20


Looking Ahead.........................................23

Thank you!....................................................24

Christmas celebration 2021!



Spring sunshine in the Community Garden

Our Vision

For Newham to be a thriving

community where everyone feels

connected,valued and fulfilled!

Our Mission

We work to break down barriers,

bring people together and build

people up

Our Motto

Changing lives and transforming

our community!

Our Values


Every person is a valued member of our

community. We care for and support each other

by celebrating diversity, challenging prejudice,

breaking down barriers, building bridges and

broadening horizons – for everyone!


We adopt an attitude of thankfulness – even

in the midst of life’s disappointments and

challenges. We celebrate our community‘s many

strengths, efforts and all of our achievements,

however small. We see Newham as a place of

potential and possibility!


We encourage everyone to be the best they can

be. We support people to overcome the barriers

which stop them fulfilling their true potential,

and we partner with them to build a strong and

resilient community.



Practising problem-solving at Bonny Downs Nursery

“For us at Bonny Downs, there’s no such thing as CAN’T.”

David Mann

I tell my granddaughter, “There’s no such thing as


When she says, “I can’t do that”, I try and help her find

a new way to tackle her challenge and more often

than not, she CAN. Even if she really can’t, she learns

so much from trying to explore options, break barriers,

build bridges, and push boundaries.

Many of us face seemingly impossible problems that

we CAN’T cope with. But there’s no such thing as

CAN’T. With support from each other in our community,

we CAN cope and often we CAN overcome challenges

we thought were impossible.

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of

committed people CAN change the world - it’s the only

thing that ever has.”

For us at Bonny Downs, there’s no such thing as CAN’T.

Our amazing team of staff, volunteers and residents

continually focus on what we CAN do with what we’ve

got and what we CAN do to get what else we need.

Thank you for walking with us on this journey as we

change the world, one small step at a time.

David Mann


Bonny Downs Community Association



I am extremely proud of what we’ve managed to

achieve as a community and at BDCA this past year,

despite facing huge challenges with recovering from

the pandemic and the growing cost-of-living crisis.

Here are some highlights:



We put into action what we learned from our

consultation with over 400 residents: that they

desperately wanted activities to bring the community

back together. We therefore worked hard to resume

face-to-face activities and focus on celebrations that

contribute to a sense of community, belonging and

togetherness. Highlights include our Interfaith Garden

events, Family Hub cultural celebrations, Children &

Families parties, Over 65’s socials and Community

Support shared lunches.


We have grown our community support offer by

launching a Food Club, where for a low entry fee,

residents can choose the items they need most at low

prices. The launch of our CommuniTEA Café offers a

warm space for residents to enjoy free hot drinks with

their neighbours. We’ve added pension credit advice

to our advocacy service for Over 65s. We also continue

to offer food parcels, debt advice, a uniform bank, and

toys for families at Christmas, all of which comes with a

friendly welcome.


We launched our new Social Enterprise Nursery in

response to the growing local need for childcare. Like

with any new venture, it has challenges but I’m proud

of the determination and hardworking team spirit that

pulled together to provide a safe, loving and stimulating

environment for children. As one parent told us, “I’m so

happy that my son enjoys his days in nursery, and I love

the environment. Thank you to everyone working to

make his days beautiful and happy!”

This year we also celebrated 10 years of our After

School Club and holiday care provision! Rated ‘Good’

by Ofsted, it provides much-valued and high-quality

care for families.



This year we refreshed our charity’s strategy using

what we’ve learnt from the pandemic and reflecting on

Newham’s future needs whilst helping our community

to recover and rebuild. You can read more about this on

page 23.

I want to give a heartfelt thank you to our partners,

funders and supporters, and above all our staff,

trustees and volunteers. Working together has helped

us do better at BDCA and to make a bigger impact

within our community.

As per our new strategic plan there is no better time

than now for a ‘time of change’ and we are more

determined than ever to continue to work together to

recover, rebuild, reconnect and rediscover joy within

our community!

Sarah Laing

Managing Director

Celebrating World Book Day at Bonny Downs Nursery



We provided

82,842 HOURS

of BDCA-led activities and

services for our community

Local residents visited

or used our services

26,329 TIMES

2,748 are unique visitors!

We provided full and part-time

employment for around


all at London Living Wages



attended our Food Bank


hired our facilities for meetings,

events and parties!

Our gender breakdown was


40% MALE


The age of our guests ranged

0 TO 98

with a median age of 49!

Our guests speak more than



Our guests come

from a range of faith

backgrounds including













Enjoying thank you cake during Volunteers Week

We are deeply grateful for our volunteers for giving

so much of their time and talent. From our Family

programmes to our Garden project, our foodbank to

our over-65s activities, our volunteers are at the heart

of everything we do at Bonny Downs. Their skills and

passions hugely enriches our organisation. Thanks

to our volunteers, we are able to better support local

people who truly need assistance.

During National Volunteers Week in June, we

celebrated our amazing volunteers with cakes and

certificates. But as we come to the end of another year,

we want to say it again: thank you!

Clearing up the Community Garden

“Thank you for the extraordinary love and care you put

into action for your community every day. We couldn’t do it

without you. We love you and we’re so thankful for you!”

Sarah Laing, Managing Director

Meet Sarifa

“I’m enjoying helping people and learning

so much.”

Sarifa was made redundant from her

job. She volunteered to support our

busy office as a way of expanding her

experience, skills, and knowledge

beyond retail so she could have wider

job opportunities.

“I’ve learned a lot here,” says Sarifa.

“For example, I was nervous about

answering the phones but now I can

take a call confidently. And I know how

to use a computer much better now.”

Sarifa also enjoys the social aspect

of meeting so many different people

and assisting them. “I’d be sitting

bored at home if I wasn’t volunteering

here. I’m really enjoying helping

people. And all the staff are so

friendly, I can go to any of them for


BCDA ANNUAL REPORT 2022 2021 - 7



Our team of community support staff and volunteers

worked tirelessly to help vulnerable local people

recover from the pandemic, and tackle the mounting

cost of living crisis.

Our weekly foodbank continued to give out emergency

food parcels as well as providing a healthy hot lunch for

visitors – along with the time and space for a friendly chat.

We also launched two new food services for the

community to complement our foodbank. In October

2021, we began a Food Pantry in partnership with St

Barts Church, and in September 2022 we launched the

Bonny Downs Community Food Club.

Like a foodbank, the purpose of both is to support

people who are struggling to afford the essentials they

need. Unlike a foodbank which is a short-term crisis

support, our Food Club provides a regular support

network and longer-term solution that empowers

people. For a low entry fee, visitors get food and

household items they need at discounted prices. Food

is sourced through a mix of items saved from food

waste, donations, and members clubs.

By running these three services, we can now offer people

greater choice and more support in tackling the underlying

causes of the poverty they face. We have qualified advisors

onsite to help attendees with issues, including making

household budgets, tips on managing money and debt

advice. Due to this, and continued high demand generally,

our debt advice centre remained at full capacity.

Our partnership with NEWway in the councilcommissioned

NEWday project continues to provide a

daytime support centre for rough sleepers five days a

week, and specialist housing advice.

This year we received the Health Equity 50 Steps

Award from Newham Council recognising our work as a

community vaccination centre during the pandemic.



Some of our foodbank volunteers

“I must say from entering

until leaving, I have

never encountered such

enthusiastic and helpful

happy people. For volunteers

they were all fantastic.

Many thanks from a happy


Meet Andrew

“If I didn’t have your help, I would be having

bailiffs at my door daily.”

Having lost his job, house

and family, a shell-shocked

homeless Andrew reached

out to our night shelter for

help after being knocked back

by other places. Andrew was

also stressed about his debt of

£39,000. During his stay at the night

shelter, our debt advisor helped

him to explore his options and

declare bankruptcy, which was a

huge stress relief for him. We also

paid his deposit for the shared

accommodation where he currently


Now, Andrew has gone from

being isolated and embarrassed

to outgoing and deeply engaged

in volunteering for the community.

He volunteers for our night shelter,

foodbank and food club from driving

our minibus, shopping, picking up

donations and stock-taking.

“You helped me move on with my

life,” says Andrew. “Kim helped me

with the debt and resolved it quickly.

I volunteer so much to say thank you

for all the help I got over the last two




® Our foodbank gave out enough food parcels to

feed 1,792 people

® Our Food Pantry in partnership with St Barts

welcomes a steady stream of around 25 families

® Our new Food Club had demand soar from 22

people at launch to 64 a week within a month

® Our debt centre team provided 438 hours of advice

and information to 79 clients

Irons Supporting Foodbanks 2000kg food


Community Food Club launch day

“I had such a positive

experience I wanted to let you

know how much I appreciated

being able to come… Thank

you to all the volunteers,

staff and donors. I very much

appreciate every single item

I got today.”

A Food Club attendee

“The assistance Kim has

provided to help me resolve

my debt situation was of the

highest quality. Everything was

done in a very professional


Debt Centre service user

Support with form filling



Reading in the sunshine at Bonny Downs Nursery garden


A major highlight this year is the opening of Bonny

Downs Nursery. Like our After School Club launched

ten years ago, the nursery is run as a social enterprise.

It offers high-quality childcare at competitive prices,

provides full and part-time employment for local

people, and reinvests any surplus income into services

for the local community. We welcomed our first

toddlers and pre-schoolers in January and in April

babies under 2 years old joined us.

Our weekly Family Hub continues to support parents

raising children on very low income. Many attendees

are recent arrivals in Newham, including refugees

and asylum seekers, who benefited from information

on areas such as immigration, form filling and

volunteering as well as access to practical support

such as a kids’ clothes bank. Equally importantly, this

service provides a safe space for parents to make new

connections and friendships. Our regular ‘cook-along’

sessions are a favourite, and many participants grew

in confidence enough to co-lead activities, hosting

celebrations around festivals such as Eid and Onam (a

Keralan harvest festival).

Our three regular, free weekly parents & toddlers

groups remained as popular as ever. Parents have

stepped up to help coordinate sessions such as

Tiny Tunes, our sensory singing class for under-2s.

Our outdoors Tots Go Wild attendees meeting

in Central Park especially enjoyed the beautiful

Summer weather! Family-friendly fitness classes and

conversational English classes also flourished.

Our After School and Holiday Clubs brought respite for

parents and joy to local children over half-term, Easter

and summer holidays. Our GoWild! Summer Scheme

has become a much-valued part of the Newham

holiday calendar, and 2022 was no exception, with

free places made available to families on the lowest


Easter Community Celebration

“I love seeing the children having so much fun that when their

parents come to pick them up they don’t want to go home!”

Nargis, our Nursery Deputy Manager



® We provided 196 hours of fun for young children at our parent

and toddler groups

® 33 babies and toddlers are enjoying our new purpose-built


® Our After School Club provided sports, crafts, games and

snacks for 133 children during term time and school holidays

® 208 local children attended our GoWild! Summer Scheme to

enjoy a variety of games, arts, sports, and day trips

Read all about our new nursery at bonnydowns.org/nursery

Guided play at nursery

Summer fun at GoWild!

Celebrating Onam

“If I did not have the After School Club and Holiday Service,

I would be unable to work/study”

46% of parents agreed with this statement in our After School Club survey

Meet Nora

“Things are still hard but now I have support

Aand friends.”

Nora fled physical, financial,

and mental abuse only to

find herself alone, struggling

to care for herself and her

baby. Her depression and anxiety

sent her to the GP who offered

a social prescription to attend

Bonny Downs Family Hub.

“Andrea and Stacey welcomed

me like they knew me already,”

Nora said. She was given the

support she needed such as

donated clothes and referral to

counselling. “Andrea helped me

get school uniform for my son at

a time when I would have had to

spend my food budget on the

uniform and go hungry. When I

first came to the Hub, I was always

crying. Now, I’m always laughing.

My confidence is up, and my

mental health always improves

when I come to Family Hub. My

son is also much more sociable

and happier since he attended the

Summer Scheme.”


OVER 65s


After the Covid disruption of the previous few years, our

Over 65s members took advantage of opportunities to

come together again as a community.

Our weekly coffee morning was buzzing again, while

the sports and fitness activities such as Chair-based

Exercise and Music & Movement attracted strong

attendance. We were also able to relaunch Bowls, a

perennial favourite that had been suspended due to the


We took every chance to celebrate together too.

Highlights included an intergenerational Jubilee event

with local families, a Summer Staycation at our community

centre, and a Spring into Friendship event in March to

compensate for a Covid-cancelled Christmas party!

We hosted an exciting and varied programme of day

trips to help our older neighbours get out and about

beyond Newham. This included a seaside trip to

Brighton, a boat trip in Bedfordshire, and a nostalgic ride

on the Bluebell Steam Railway in Sussex.

Our 1-1 advocacy service supported local older people

with information and advice on a wide range of personal

issues, from benefits and energy bills to housing

and mobility. With the cost of living crisis in mind, we

launched a new information drive on Pension Credit too.

Our befriending project, launched at the height of the

pandemic, continued to support lonely and vulnerable

members of the community, and it is especially heartwarming

to see many volunteers and befriendees

forging long-lasting friendships.

Bluebell Railway trip

“I am happy that you came to see me at home. I now have a

stairlift and can stay where I am living now.”

Baljit benefited from our Over 65s Advocacy Service

Meet Beryl

“I wouldn’t have known what to do if it

hadn’t been for your help.”

Ex-florist, Beryl, 75, lost her

husband in October 2021.

Whilst grieving, she had

to borrow money to pay

for his cremation and stressed

about how to notify officials of

his death.

Our advocacy service helped

Beryl with all the necessary

admin of informing the state.

Her advocate also applied

for benefits such as Pension

Credit and Funeral Payment

which enabled her to pay back

her loan.

Like many elders in the

community, Beryl had not

gone back to normality

following the Covid

lockdowns. However,

after getting the support

she needed, Beryl started

attending our weekly arts and

craft club. She now feels more

confident and has become

more outgoing.


“After being at home for so long with severe mobility problems

unable to get out, it is such a pleasure, with the help of Dial-a-

Ride and lovely friends at Bonny Downs, to now be able to enjoy

meeting people on Coffee Mornings.”

Val attends Over-65s Coffee Morning

“You’ve also helped me to deal with stress outside of the actual

issue you supprted me with, for which I’m grateful.”

Rosemary benefited from our Over 65s Advocacy Service


® 323 people aged 65+ joined our activities and


® We provided 116 hours of chatting over tea and


® Our advocacy service supported 142 older people

tackle their personal challenges

Chitchat over Coffee Morning

® 16 volunteers provided over 97 hours of

befriending support

Spring into Friendship event

Over 65s befriending

“I feel less stressed after using the Advocacy Service”

90% of service users agreed with this statement in our

Over 65s Advocacy Survey



Youth playing footy

Gym session at Youth Club


Our expanded youth project in collaboration with the

Newham Youth Empowerment team and our partners

at The Renewal Programme has flourished since it

launched in Spring 2021. We provided local young

people aged 9-19 years old with positive activities

6 days a week to steer them away from crime and

antisocial behaviour, and help them to instead grow in

confidence, find new friendships, and learn new skills.

Regular activities included:

• Four weekly outdoor sports sessions, with activities

including football, basketball, and archery

• Three weekly indoor drop-in chillout sessions, with

activities ranging from crafts to gaming and table


• A weekly gym session with a personal fitness trainer

and top equipment such as bench press, rowing

machine and workout bikes

• Support to help local young people with their

studies and CV writing, including online and face to

face GCSE tuition in partnership with Peppo

• A monthly mental health and wellbeing workshop

Additionally, we organised special trips such as

trampolining at Flip Out, enjoying the seaside at

Margate and trying out archery at Fairplay House.

Budding artists at the Youth Hub

We established a group for LGBTQIA+ young people

where we offer advice, support and mentoring.

Members also volunteer with the youth cub by helping

set up sessions, assisting in the kitchen and supporting

other young people. They also feedback as a forum to

help shape the activities in the youth club and organise

fun events such as a Halloween party.

This Summer again, we recruited and trained young

leaders aged 15-22 years to help us plan and deliver

the GoWild! Summer Scheme as part of our annual

leadership development programme. This provided

young people with paid work, volunteering, and

accredited sports leadership qualifications.

“Being able to express my

queer identity and get

advice has helped me feel


Youth Club Member

“I enjoy my time during the

Summer Scheme and feel it’s

important for life skills and

it’s helpful for job interviews

in the future”

Young Leader



® We provided 954 hours of regular youth club

sessions attended by 625 young people

® 70 young people benefited from over 270 hours of

free online and face-to-face tuition to help with their


® 41 young people benefited from paid work,

volunteering experience and/ or leadership

qualifications through our leadership development


Youth club making music

Youth club making playing pool music

“I wanted to join a gym, but it wasn’t something my family

could afford so youth club has allowed me to increase my

fitness and confidence and help release some mental stress

through exercise.”

Youth Club Member

Meet Janilson

“I have transformed mentally and physically

through the Youth Club gym and activities.”

Janilson began his weight loss

journey as he wanted to improve

his health and have opportunities

to try more things. He attended

the weekly gym and football sessions

at our youth club, and enjoyed the


“The youth club has made a massive

difference in my life,” says Janilson.

It enabled him to make new friends,

learn new skills and improve his

confidence as well as shed the

weight. “I think that my journey would

have been way harder if it wasn’t

for the youth club. My weight loss

was possible because of the gym,

football sessions and all the other

activities I do here.”




Our playing field and multi-use games area were

fully booked this year despite the disruption of earlier

lockdowns. A wide variety of community groups and

local clubs used our facilities for football, cricket and

other activities including men, women and non-binary

people of all ages and fitness levels.

We continued to offer an extensive programme of

organised sports from Aerobics to Zumba– including

our ever-popular Walking Football for over-40s and a

fully-subscribed weeknight ‘Footy & Friends’ session for

younger players.

Various sports, from non-contact boxing to basketball

and archery to table-tennis, featured regularly on

our youth calendar for ages 9 to 19 years. We further

expanded our programme for local women, with several

sessions timed around work and school runs to reflect

the pressures of managing a busy family life. These

included two dance fitness sessions, as well as an

evening women’s fitness session, and a lunchtime yoga

session to which mums can bring along their babies.

As always, our Over-65s made the most of the

opportunity to keep fit and active, with Chair-based

Exercise and Music & Movement classes being

favourites. We were able to restart indoor bowls and

continue the darts sessions too!

Aiming sharp in Darts

“The beautiful Zumba work out is absolutely great – both the

dancing and the teacher. Thank you so much for giving us such a

lovely work out class.”

Zumba participant

Meet Trina

“It gives me something to do and keeps my mind

active, otherwise I’d be sitting at home watching

TV all day.”

Trina, 78, is a carer for her

husband whose health

deteriorated last year. Now

unable to go out with him for

socialising, Trina attends Bonny

Downs Chair-based Exercise and

Pilates classes as a way of keeping

herself healthy and socialising with

friendly neighbours. Trina fractured

her shoulder last year and believes

the exercise sessions helped her

heal quicker.

“The classes give me something to

get up and get dressed for,” says

Trina. “Because of lockdown we’ve

just got so used to staying at home

in our comfy clothes. So this gives

me a reason to get dressed and go


She also enjoys the fact that after

the exercise classes she can sit in

the CommuniTEA Café and have a

natter over a hot cup of tea. “They’re

so nice and welcoming here, I don’t

feel the need to leave immediately

after the class.”


” Walking football has

made a massive difference

to my confidence and

fitness. I’m much more

outgoing and community

minded now.”


“Amar helps everyone who

attends to succeed at

Pilates… the sessions have

really helped me to recover

strength after pregnancy

and after a back injury”


Walking football



® 102 clubs and community groups made great use of our

facilities available for hire at competitive rates

® 338 local people joined a BDCA-led sports or fitness session

® An average week typically saw us running at least 16 hours

of sports and fitness activities

® Our youth members played 201 hours of sports while older

neighbours enjoyed 160 hours of being active

A return to Bowls Pilates Family friendly yoga

“I attend Pilates and Fitness classes, a great way to keep in

shape both mentally and physically. Good bunch of ladies who

make me feel loved and welcome”




Luscious greens growing in our Community Garden


Our Grow Together Be Together Community Garden is an

urban oasis for locals to relax, socialise with neighbours

and boost their wellbeing. Our twice-weekly gardening

sessions attracted a diverse group of local volunteers,

who learned many practical skills from weeding to

propagating and had opportunities to take fresh food

from harvesting.

At our family-friendly Saturday sessions, children were

able to get stuck into a variety of fun, educational and

sometimes messy activities! The garden also played

host to several visits from the children at our After School

and Holiday Clubs and new Nursery, who learned about

the changing seasons and the importance of caring for

our environment. Our local primary schools also used

our garden as an Outdoor Classroom for their children’s

environmental education.

The garden continued to serve as a space for adult

education and training too. Our partners at NEWlife made

great use of the space once again by offering weekly

employment training workshops for homeless and

ex-homeless people, with several going on to find new

volunteering and employment opportunities.

With the pandemic receding, the garden really came

into its own this year as a place of celebration for the

community! Some of our favourite events included

Christmas and Easter celebrations, a Jubilee party and an

Equinox party, usually with free refreshments, crafts and

games, and family storytelling. Meanwhile, our Bonny

Downs Church partners filled the garden on Sunday

mornings during the summer months with the sound

of singing, prayer and laughter and our Skills Enterprise

partners filled it with colours for Holi!

“I love it here. It’s been

a place of peace for me. I

struggled after my mum died

of covid. But I come here and

use my skills, outside in this

delightful space and it helps

me to carry on.”



® 162 locals joined us for over 200 hours of community


® The garden hosted 18 hours of employment training for

vulnerable adults

® Over 100 people celebrated Easter together in the

garden alongside a giant bunny!

® Thanks to the hot summer, we saw record harvests of

tomatoes and cucumbers, which were given out to the


Flying kites in the Community Garden Christmas Celebration 2021 Getting colourful during Holi

Meet Andrew

“The garden makes me feel useful.

Coming here makes me happy.”

Andrew had a successful career

as an installation engineer,

but health issues made him

unable to work for the last

five years. The deterioration in his

health left him feeling isolated and

lonely. His doctor directed him to

our community garden via social


“My mobility was really bad for a

while which made me not even

want to leave the house at all,” says

Andrew. “I started to find it hard to

make myself even go outside.”

The garden provides Andrew with

many things to do that suit his level

of fitness and mobility. “The raised

beds are perfect for me as I can

reach everything easily and I can sit

down while I am planting, weeding

or harvesting the veg we grow. This

year’s bumper crop of tomatoes

was fantastic. I loved the Chocolate

Cherry Tomatoes we grew in the


Andrew now feels connected to

his local community and a part of

something good. “If I’ve had a bad

week and not really seen anyone,

coming to the garden and having

a chat really makes me feel better.

It’s a lovely group of people and

it’s good to have a laugh with





BDCA remains committed to taking a partnership

approach in our work. We know that we are ‘better

together’, and communities thrive when we work

together for them.

Our guests that use our services benefit from the

expertise found in other charities and organisations.

For example, our foodbank, which has re-joined the

Trussell Trust, is also part of a GLA funded programme,

‘Advice in Community Settings’. This partnership

approach allows us to triage those coming to the

foodbank for direct support from specialist agencies

such as East End Citizen Advice, Mary Ward Legal

Centre, Refugee and Migrant Forum for East London

& Essex, and Community Links. This partnership works

towards our aim that no one should need the use of a

foodbank, by accessing support that is ‘More than Food’

and tackling the wider issues causing the poverty that

they face.

We have enjoyed providing corporate volunteering

opportunities. Our friends at Amazon, Mastercard

and ExCel London helped transform our community

spaces and hosted a beautiful Christmas Lunch for our


We have strengthened existing partnerships and

built new ones. We provided services through

contracts with the London Borough of Newham and are

particularly proud of our youth provision in partnership

with the Renewal Programme. We are grateful to our

friends at Irons Supporting Foodbanks who regularly

donate pallets of goods for our foodbank. Our newest

partnership with Cadent Gas Ltd and Morrisons Energy

Services enables us to help struggling Newham

families navigate the cost of living and fuel crises this


These are just some examples of the amazing

partnerships we have been lucky to forge this year.

Other organisations we have partnered with include

Ascension Community Trust, ALTEL, Bonny Downs

Baptist Church, Theatre Royal Stratford East and

many more. We are so thankful to all our partners for

supporting our work for the community.

Our teamwork approach has been recognised. BDCA

was named Community Group of the Year at the

East London Community Heroes Awards 2022! This

prestigious award honours groups that exemplify what

can be achieved when people work together.

Bill Hill



Angie Allgood




“We’re very grateful for our ongoing partnership

with Bonny Downs. It’s particularly helpful and

beneficial for our young members to have a facility

to play football on a Sunday and call it their home

ground. I am forever grateful to Deepa, Mark and

Kevin for assisting with my countless requests. We are

proud to partner with them on providing football to

the youngsters within the East Ham community.”

– Suhail Vawda, Chairman,

Central Park Allstars Football Club

“We’re very proud of the work and support we’re

able to give back to Newham and its local community.

Bonny Downs Community Association is one of five

main charity partners we help throughout the year,

including undertaking initiatives such as serving a

special Christmas lunch for everyone as we did last

year. The impact of the pandemic continues to be felt

by many people, so it’s important we look after one

another and our communities, and we look forward to

continuing this.”

– Natalie Sykes, Sustainability Manager,

ExCeL London

“I have great confidence in the team at

Bonny Downs. They are outward looking, and

have deep experience of tackling hardship in


– Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham

“Our partnership with Bonny Downs continues to

be a fantastic experience. It was apparent from the

very first time we worked with them that they play

a vital role within their community, and we feel lucky

to work with them. As a local theatre it’s incredibly

important that we reach out to our communities,

and our collaboration with Bonny Downs has resulted

in the co-creation of a bespoke programme of work

including workshops, theatre trips and opportunities

for socialising and creating together.”

– Flo Paul, Head of Learning & Participation,

Theatre Royal Stratford East

“It has been amazing to work more closely with BDCA

over the past year, in particular our joined-up work

with the foodbank. We have always been impressed

by the quality of services at BDCA and their approach

to putting people first. By working in partnership,

we’ve not only been able to have a bigger impact in

Newham, but also learn from them to develop our

own services and organisation as a whole.”

- Hannah Tulloch, CEO,

Ascension Community Trust

“BDCA provides a vital lifeline to many locals,

including members of the South Indian diaspora

in Newham. We were pleased and relieved that

their timely intervention during and following the

Pandemic eased the pressure on the MAUK services

that we struggled to maintain with just volunteers.

“We are very proud to be working in partnership with

Bonny Downs Community Association for the Centres

for Warmth project. Through their commitment,

passion, and trusted presence in the local community

- BDCA’s role in the partnership is invaluable. Although

we provide the funding and resources, BDCA’s delivery

ensures that residents in Newham can access and

receive the essential advice about energy efficiency, gas

safety and wider areas of support. They are a pleasure

to work with, inspiring, and we look forward to our

future together as we aim to make a difference in


This year we used Flanders Field for our Platinum

Mela celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee, which

attracted 4000-plus residents. We are grateful to

BDCA for the venue and the assistance from their

excellent staff. We are confident that BDCA will

continue to utilise their venues for events that unite


- Sreejith Sreedharan, Secretary,

Malayalee Association of the UK

– Lucy Nembaware, Project Coordinator,

Morrison Energy Services working on behalf of Cadent Gas



This past year has seen us emerge gradually from

the Covid pandemic and move straight into the Cost

of Living crisis, making it another tough year for our

community. This meant it was challenging for BDCA’s

finances too. Like other charities, we have worked to

respond to changing needs and soaring costs, while

grants have become even more competitive, and our

earned income recovered slowly from the pandemic. At

the start of the financial year, in April 2021, restrictions on

venues had only just been lifted.

Despite this, BDCA’s income to 31 March 2022 remained

strong, at the same level as last year, and we ended the

year with a very slight surplus. This means we still have

reserves to help us weather the difficult times ahead.

We are in this position thanks to the generosity of our

supporters and our existing and new grant funding

partners. We are very grateful to them all.

During the 21-22 financial year we were able to build

an extension on The Well, after Covid delayed the

construction, and one of our major achievements of

2022 was finally opening our beautiful Social Enterprise

nursery in January! This is an acknowledged risk in the

current climate, which we will monitor closely. We have

a great team of local staff who we are proud to employ

at the London Living Wage, and a growing number of

children enjoying the top-quality care you’d expect

from BDCA’s Children & Families team!

INCOME 2021-22

This year our funds totalled £1,266,578. Here’s where they came from:

Gifts & Legacies


National Lottery


Investment income


National Lottery


Gifts & Legacies


Investment income


Government grants


Government grants








Admin Fundraising

Our total expenditure was £1,221,211. Here’s £22,262

Minibus how £98,616 we used it:

























Earned income &



Earned income &



Children & Families


Children & Families



£227,216 Youth



Elders Over 65s

£80,077 £80,077

Sports Sports

£104,782 £104,782

Community Poverty response Support


The summary accounts have been extracted from BDCA’s annual accounts and trustees’ report, a full copy of which can

be obtained by contacting us at info@bonnydowns.org or downloading from the Charity Commission website.

The auditor’s report on the accounts was unqualified and so was the auditor’s statement under S.496 Companies Act

2006 in respect of the trustees’ and directors’ reports. .


The BDCA team at Staff Stay Day

We are proud to present our new five-year strategic

plan! Going forward, staff across our whole charity will

be working towards our JEDI aims:


Our neighbourhood is still reeling from Covid-19 and

struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis. But

after all the health anxiety, financial strain, job losses

and lonely lockdowns, our community desperately

needs help to rediscover joy. BDCA will try our best to

bring healing and hope after all the pandemic pain. Our

volunteer appreciation events, coach trips and interfaith

celebrations were cancelled throughout Covid but we’re

making up for lost time and are excited to organise

parties and trips throughout 2023!


We recognise the need to face up to the injustices

present in our community so that all residents can

thrive. BDCA is committed to supporting those suffering

hardship and will keep providing free support services

such as: debt surgery; distributing essentials (food,

clothes, toiletries) for people experiencing poverty; safe

spaces for young people at risk of becoming involved

with crime; support centre for adults experiencing

homelessness; advocacy for digitally excluded Over-

65s; support group for newly-arrived migrant mums;

sports/ gardening groups/ community lunch for those

who are often left out because of economic barriers.


BDCA will continue bringing diverse residents together

until Newham is a place where everyone feels

connected, valued and fulfilled. Over the coming year,

we will work on raising awareness of our free services so

even more neighbours from different walks of life can

join in and make friends. We will keep partnering with

Faith Leaders and advisors from Stonewall to welcome

people from all faiths and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Our Stepping Up programme will train up another

35 local young people into community transformers.

We will also use affirmative action in our hiring and

promotion procedures to recruit team members from

under-represented groups.


Although our social enterprises were badly hit by the

lockdowns, we will be innovating more ways to earn

our own money through ethical businesses. We are

already reducing our grant reliance and providing local

jobs through our nursery, after school/holiday care

and hiring out our facilities. We will keep consulting our

neighbours to identify opportunities for other services

that help address unmet local needs and boost our

charity sustainability at the same time. Finding creative

ways to become more self-sufficient will be vital going


Despite the challenging times we’re working in, we

are more committed than ever to fulfil our mission of

breaking down barriers, bringing people together and

building people up across Newham. Bring on 2023!

Jessica Craig




We are so grateful to all our employees, volunteers, trustees, funders,

partner organisations, donors, and neighbours. Your generosity and support

enable us to carry out much-needed work for our local community.

We also now have 34 BDCA Buddies who donate monthly to our work. Thank

you to Anthony, Bill, Craig, Deborah, Ellen, Harry, James, Jess, Jo, Katherine,

M, Michaela, Minh-Hung, Neil, Nicola, Pamela, Sarah, Sharon (x2), Sian, Sue,

Susan, Vicky - and eleven other Buddies who wish to remain anonymous.

We also want to say thank you to everyone who supported our Cost of Living

Crisis appeal this summer, which exceeded our initial target within 48 hours

and raised £12,320 plus Gift Aid!


To donate to our work, please visit


To read more about giving monthly as a BDCA Buddy, please visit



David Mann (Chair), Michala Dobiasova (Vice Chair), Brian Dexter (Treasurer),

Deborah Crawford, Ifeoma Okuwudili, Nigel Brook, Tricia Jones,



Sarah Laing (Managing Director) and C0-Directors

Angie Allgood, Jessica Craig, Philippa King,

Sulthana Begum, Tracey Pease


Find us on

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


0208 586 7070


Bonny Downs Community Association

Registered charity no 1071625 and registered company limited by guarantee no 3625785

24 - BCDA ANNUAL REPORT 2022Registered office: The Well Community Centre, 49 Vicarage Lane, London E6 6DQ

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