“Working together to change lives and transform our community”
“A thriving community where everyone feels connected, valued and fulfilled.”
“Working to break down barriers, bring people together and build people up”.
Everyone is a valuable member of our community and we are shaped to care for and support each other, celebrating diversity, challenging prejudice, breaking down barriers, building bridges and widening horizons.
We affirm the goodness and beauty we see in individuals and creation. We encourage an attitude of thankfulness and celebration – even in the midst of life’s disappointments and challenges. We view the glass as half full, not half empty and the world as a place of possibility. Every cloud has a silver lining and we seek to make and recall good memories together.
Our role is to work WITH others, encouraging everyone to be the best they can be in body, mind and spirit, developing their own unique gifts and seizing opportunities. We don’t do things for people that they can do for themselves or impose our views or agendas on others. We support people to overcome barriers which prevent them from fulfilling their immense potential towards greater resilience both individually and collectively.
Our Strategic Objectives:
In order to work towards our vision and mission, the following strategic objectives will underpin our work over the next 3 – 5 years:
To help people to connect so that we reduce isolation and have a more integrated community.
To support people to be physically active, so that we have a healthier community.
To help people to take time to reflect in our busy society, so that we can improve our mental health and wellbeing.
To provide opportunities to keep on learning so that we have a knowledgeable and skilled community.
To provide people with opportunities to give of their time and or money so that we can inspire local action and increase capacity to effect positive change.
To help more people to celebrate so that we encourage an attitude of thankfulness and celebration – even in the midst of life’s disappointments and challenges.
To provide support for people in times of difficulty so that we are able to develop a more resilient community.
Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA) exists to serve our whole community. Inclusion is the first of our organisation’s three core values and is very important to us. One of our key strengths is that we are embedded in the diverse community we serve and our teams and services support local people regardless of their background, and of all faiths and none.
BDCA was founded by members of Bonny Downs Baptist Church in 1998 who, inspired by their faith, sought to tackle the poverty, loneliness and injustices in their neighbourhood. Our Christian heritage is something we are proud of and we equally celebrate the fact that BDCA has flourished into a much larger organisation of over 200 change makers who represent our multicultural community and who share with our founders their universal desire to serve. Our staff and volunteers represent a wide range of beliefs and we empower everyone to play their part in transforming our community for the common good.
Today, we continue to work in close partnership with the congregation of Bonny Downs Baptist Church, who meet in our community centre for their worship services and partner with us on projects that address shared aims. BDCA also hosts Friday prayers and Arabic tuition classes for the Muslim community, while we organise four interfaith garden parties each year, so that neighbours can celebrate together, share food and learn about the festivals of Easter, Eid, Diwali and Christmas.
These relationships benefit BDCA and the local community in many ways. For instance, with the church’s support we are combating hunger at our foodbank and we offer pastoral care and prayer support for any interested team member, while our popular interfaith events have been successful in helping neighbours to break down barriers and build new friendships.
BDCA has grown from a small, family-run company into a larger, more diverse organisation of over 200 community change makers.
More than 20 years ago, BDCA was born out of a small church congregation consisting of several committed local families. Many of their members were so dedicated to the cause that they gave up their secure jobs in order to give more of their time and skills throughout the working week. Without their sacrifice and service, we would not have built the charity that now supports so many Newham neighbours in need. Our roots remain our inspiration and we are proud that several members of these original founding families are still working and volunteering at BDCA today.
Over time, more and more people have joined the organisation, brought their talents to serve the local community and helped to further develop our mission and vision. As our local area has changed, so has BDCA, developing into a charity that represents the full diversity of our multicultural community.
Today, we see our organisation as an extended family with deep local roots and wide-open arms. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, our commitment to transparency and the strength of our governance and our external ‘Trusted Charity’ quality assurance mark highlights the robust Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies we have in place. We ensure everyone is treated fairly, all roles and opportunities for progression are offered on merit, and no-one is ever supervised or interviewed by a relative.