The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded a grant of £99,616 to fund our new project designed to assist Newham’s recovery from the pandemic.
The grant will enable BDCA to deliver Voices for Change, a programme of activities and services which will empower residents and support them to build a better and healthier community by working collaboratively together. This is expected to include:
- Intergenerational Community Conversations allowing people to share and learn from each other’s lockdown experiences and help set future priorities for local residents.
- Inclusive Sport sessions to help boost health and social reconnection as lockdown restrictions continue, including yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba and ‘walking football’ sessions.
- Virtual Coffee Mornings for housebound people who may be feeling forgotten and depressed while social distancing continues over the winter.
- Remote Reading Support sessions in which isolated elderly volunteers will receive digital skills training in order to provide virtual literacy support to local primary school pupils following recent school closures.
- Garden and Chat sessions where volunteers can make friends safely outdoors and learn new skills while growing fresh food for our foodbank.
The grant also funds two part-time, fixed-term contract roles to help deliver the programme. Tonte Lawson, Sports Project Co-ordinator at BDCA has been appointed as Activities Coordinator and Steve Bynon, who has previously supported the charity in voluntary roles, will work alongside him as Consultation Coordinator.
Chelle Coulton, Chief Executive of Bonny Downs Community Association, said:
“As one of the country’s boroughs worst affected by Coronavirus, Newham has a long road to recovery ahead. However, we’ve also seen throughout this pandemic the amazing sense of community that we have here.
“Voices for Change will capitalise on our borough’s great community spirit, helping local residents to reconnect with each other through positive health-boosting activities and empowering them to build a brighter future together.
“We are extremely grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund and the government for recognising the great need we have in Newham right now and for partnering with our community so generously to make this possible.”
BDCA plans to share further details of how residents in Newham can get involved in the coming weeks.