BD4 Community Trust exists to support and restore community throughout East Bowling in Bradford, one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK. Their main concern is older people and families with pre-school children.
BD4 Community Trust has grown from the outreach vision of St John’s Church, Bowling. Incorporated initially as a CIC in November 2008, BD4 CT has developed two thriving strands of community work, with a small staff team:
GEMS supports the physical and mental health of 50-60 older people to maintain their independence, with weekly sessions designed to address the impact of isolation.
BD4 Family has built a programme of activities that engages 100+ families facing challenges relating to poor health, education, isolation, poverty and parenting skills.
What was needed
They needed to build capacity for growth and sustainability, with stronger monitoring procedures, greater investment in volunteers, and more effective promotion of services.
Under Futurekraft’s guidance, a Lloyds Enable grant provided the opportunity to improve structures and systems. We conducted a Community Consultation – asking people what they needed or valued – to form the basis of a fresh Development Plan.
This highlighted that the organisation would be better served if volunteer co-ordination, communication, development and direction became the remit of one person – a BD4 CT Manager.
What we achieved
The co-ordinator of BD4 Family, was expanded to a full-time position as BD4 CT Manager. This role has brought a new dynamism and pace to the work of the trust. The two strands are now inextricably linked by the manager and collaborative work is growing in the form of inter-generational sessions contributing to community cohesion and well-being.
“We are on a great journey with the support and continual encouragement of Futurekraft. Their development workers have supported us to bring the bigger vision of BD4 CT to reality. They enable us, as an organisation, to focus on the face to face needs of our community, rather than funding.”Mel, BD4 CT Manager
Sessions for primary aged children have been introduced after they were identified as a need in the consultation. BD4 CT’s monitoring and evaluation procedures have been strengthened.
BD4 CT have also addressed sustainability by partnering to form two separate Community Interest Companies to establish a Community Nursery and a Community Café, delivering their services in both locations.