The Journey of BDCA (so far!)...
In 1998, the members of Bonny Downs Baptist Church decided to launch a community development charity so they could better support their neighbours in need. The first project of the charity was to renovate a nearby derelict community centre which had stood empty for several years.
The vision was to create a building that would benefit local people from all walks of life and become a hub for local community projects. So the team of volunteers from Bonny Downs Church began fundraising, liaising with the council, recruiting other local residents and getting their hands dirty demolishing the old building. After many years of hard work, we reopened the centre, now called The Well, in 2001.
The building is now a well-used community hub which features a large multi-purpose hall, a children’s centre, garden, community café, offices, training rooms, paved patio area and a counselling room.
In 2002, BDCA also took over responsibility for a disused 9 acre space in the heart of our community called Flanders Playing Field. After years of neglect, the grass had grown to shoulder height in places and the old changing pavilion had been burnt down during an arson attack. Before it fell into disrepair, this field was once known as the 'Wembley' of school sports and several sporting stars were discovered there including the West Ham legend Bobby Moore. BDCA managed to secure over £1.3million funding and worked in partnership with Newham Council to transform the overgrown jungle into a high quality sports venue complete with a purpose-built indoor facility which we named The Bobby Moore Sports Pavilion. The renovation was completed in 2009 and local residents now have access to indoor changing rooms, multi-use games area, car park, club room, well-maintained football pitches and cricket nets.
BDCA then secured further funding from the Big Lottery Local Food Fund which enabled us to bring to life the north-west corner of Flanders Playing Field through the creation of a new eco-friendly community food growing garden in 2013.
From these renovated venues, BDCA deliver a growing range of specialist community support projects: Elders, Children & Families, Food, Sports, Youth and Poverty Response. These projects make a real and lasting difference to the lives of local residents from all walks of life. We also hire out our high quality community facilities at affordable rates so our venues provide a home for many local sports clubs, community groups, support services, faith groups and private functions.
We recently created a storyboard to help show the journey of our organisation so far. Click on the image to view the story...