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Newham charity offers update on covid-19 response after joint appeal smashes £10k target

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:29 20 April 2020

Volunteers Bhati Navsaria and Maureen Kinsey busy cooking takeaway meals. Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association

Volunteers Bhati Navsaria and Maureen Kinsey busy cooking takeaway meals. Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association

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Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA) are one of five Newham charities involved in a joint covid-19 effort which launched just under four weeks ago.

Chelle Coulton, Chief Executive of Bonny Downs Community Association. Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association.Chelle Coulton, Chief Executive of Bonny Downs Community Association. Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association.

BDCA — who work to change the lives of local people by addressing the root causes of poverty — have been busy with this group campaign and individual initiatives.

Now almost a month on from the joint campaign launch, charity CEO Chelle Coulton explains how they’re getting on: “This pandemic is testing Newham’s resilience in ways we have not seen in living memory.

“Yet we’ve always known what a fantastically supportive community we have here; that’s been proven yet again by the tremendous outpouring of goodwill and positive collaboration we’ve seen over the past weeks.”

The success of the joint appeal makes for encouraging reading, alongside BDCA’s individual work.

Newham residents exceeded the £10,000 joint appeal target by raising £11,691 in 12 days, with the proceeds used to help over 600 families.

On an individual level, BDCA has provided food and essentials to approximately 800 people in Newham since launching their own emergency response four weeks ago.

The charity estimate that around 200 people need their support each week, including children, who accounted for 30% of last week’s 193 service users.

BDCA have been inundated with grateful messages as they work to combat all the elements of covid-19.

Newham resident Dee and her two sons have been unable to get food and essentials because they are self-isolating.

She said: “I have tried for two weeks to secure online deliveries but I gave up. I am an ex-nurse reduced to this. Thank you again for the generosity.”

Janet is a 66-year-old widow who has been shielded due to underlying health conditions.

BDCA have arranged regular phone calls with a trained volunteer befriender, who Janet describes as “a great match”:

“It’s just like speaking to one of my own. She asked me which team I supported. I said West Ham, and she said she did too!”

Chelle is proud of the charity’s work, though she warns that “there’s still a huge need out there”.

She pleads for continued support, inviting people to donate securely if they can.


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