Even before the pandemic hit, 52% of children in our borough were living in poverty. One in 24 people were homeless – the highest rate of any local authority in England. Newham also had the highest rates of repossession in London, highlighting its longstanding challenges with debt.
Since the arrival of COVID-19 and the cost of living crisis, many local residents face increased challenges including housing problems, debt, food poverty and unemployment. Others continue to struggle with longer-term issues at home such as family breakdown, domestic violence, bereavement, chronic illness or addiction.
At Bonny Downs, we work tirelessly to support our neighbours in need, give them a helping hand, and help them move forward through a suite of joined-up support services. We also work in close partnership with other local organisations including Bonny Downs Baptist Church, Skills Enterprise, Ascension Community Trust and the NEWway Project to help build a brighter future for Newham together.
Our current support services include the following:
BDCA has teamed up with Bonny Downs Church to run our food bank where our volunteers provide emergency parcels and a free hot lunch for people who require food.
We are open Wednesdays 11.30 am – 2 pm at Bonny Downs Church, 18 Darwell Close, London E6 6BT. You will need to being a referral voucher.
Please read this page for more info and before visiting us.
Community Food Club
Starting 22 September 2022, the Community Food Club is hosted at Bonny Downs Church in East Ham every Thursday from 11am to 1pm.
The Club is open to anyone who lives in E6. We do not require people to prove their income or bring a referral voucher. Visitors do not need to book in advance and can just turn up on the day.
The cost to attend is £5 per visit, and in return visitors can exchange for the food and household items they want most at a low, discounted price.
We also partner with St Barts Church to offer a weekly Food Pantry providing low-cost food and essentials to local people. This is designed to provide a more regular support network than a food bank, helping to empower people and reduce dependency on food vouchers. This service is available by referral only from our food bank and other support services.
Through our partnership with NEWday, we support homeless and vulnerably housed adults with job search support, life skills courses, showers, laundry facilities, advocacy and signposting.
Now Covid restrictions are relaxed, you do not need to book an appointment and can simply drop in.
To receive support from NEWday you must have a London borough of Newham connection. Sorry, we are unable to support adults with dependents (children and elders).
For more info on available services, location and opening hours, please visit the NEWday website.
Personal Advice & Support
Our team of friendly advocates offer free personal advice appointments to help people through a crisis. Our trained advisors can help with a wide range of matters like budgeting, benefit applications, liaising with social services, negotiating affordable debt repayment plans and signposting to other local specialist support. Our current services include:
Our Debt Centre is open on Tuesday mornings from 9am – 1pm, offering debt and money management advice. We offer a limited number of face-to-face sessions, arranged by appointment only.
This service is open to Newham residents who are seeking support with personal debt (not associated with a business or self employment) and willing to face issues and seek resolution. We are affiliated to Community Money Advice and members of FCA.
Please email Kim for an initial appointment, including your name, address and phone number. We may call you for an initial telephone assessment.
Advocacy for ages 65+
We understand that older people sometimes need an extra helping hand. So, every day, our Advocacy Service helps people with a wide range of issues, from housing and health, to debt and disability, benefits and befriending, and more.
This service is for Newham residents aged 65+ who need someone to support them to get their voice heard and their wishes understood.
We offer personal, confidential appointments by phone and face-to-face.
Support for Families
Every Thursday morning from 9.30am to 1.30pm, our Family Hub welcomes families on low incomes at The Well Community Centre.
Our friendly team offers information on things like immigration, finances, form filling, volunteering and jobs, plus food and baby milk support.
There’s a space to play with your under-5s and build friendships with others in your community. We have a clothes bank with good quality second-hand uniform and children’s clothing available. We also offer craft and cooking sessions designed and led by parents.
Everyone is welcome. You can just drop in on the day, and do not need to book in advance.
We provide local children and young people who are at risk of hunger with a package of support, including greater access to healthy food, safe places to play, donated clothes/equipment/ toys and educational support. Please email us for more info.
Jasmin’s story: “I’m much less fearful now!”
Jasmin first came to our debt surgery for a free face-to-face assessment before lockdown because her family was struggling to make ends meet. When her husband was furloughed in April and their income reduced further, they became extremely stressed and couldn’t see a way out.
Our trained advisors went through their finances with them in detail and agreed a targeted plan of action for the short and long-term. We helped them claim Universal Credit, secure reduced rate Council Tax, negotiate an affordable debt repayment plan and set a new affordable household budget.
Jasmin says: “Your support has stopped us from going under and drowning in debt. I’m much less fearful now, knowing there is a plan in place to give us freedom from money worries!”