East Ham charity launches research project to shape future services, support Newham Covid-19 recovery

A portrait shot of Bonny Downs Community Association's Voices for Change consultation co-ordinator Steve Bynon

Voices for Change project consultation co-ordinator Steve Bynon encouraged people to get involved whatever their background or experience. - Credit: Bonny Downs Community Association

A charity has launched a research project aiming to shape its future services and support Newham’s recovery from the pandemic. 

Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA) in East Ham will engage with people through a series of online and in-person activities and conversations as part of the Voices for Change project. 

It will help capture their stories and experiences from the pandemic, share their hopes and priorities for the future and plan activities and services that respond to their needs.  

Consultation co-ordinator Steve Bynon, who is jointly leading the project with its activities co-ordinator Tonte Lawson, 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 again the amazing sense of community and wealth of great ideas that we have.

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“Everyone has their own story of how the pandemic has affected their life.” 

BDCA invites people of all ages and backgrounds who live or work in the borough to get involved by completing a short online questionnaire on its website.  

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The charity is also inviting people to take part in an in-depth interview online or by phone, with a reward offered to thank participants; join a focus group online or in-person, subject to government restrictions; and share their story in more detail online. 

People can choose to take part in one or more of these activities. 

All activities will be in English and information collected will be kept strictly confidential. 

When the research is complete, BDCA will share a summary report of the findings with the community and partner organisations.

BDCA chief executive Chelle Coulton said: “Voices for Change will capitalise on our borough’s great community spirit, helping residents to reconnect with each other through positive health-boosting activities and empowering them to build a brighter future together."

Funding for the project was provided by Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. 

Visit bonnydowns.org/voicesforchange for more information about how to get involved and to fill out the questionnaire, which should take about 10 minutes.

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