Bromley By Bow Community Organisation (BBBCO) hosted a Community Cohesion day on Saturday 07 November 2009. The event, which was the first of its kind for the local residents of Bromley By Bow was held @ The grounds of Marner Primary School and was attended by around 500 people from the local community.
The fun packed event which was organised by hard working young volunteers and was attended by a host of prominent individuals including Councillor Sardar and the Tower Hamlets Young Mayor Uma Akther, which included fun activities such as Henna / face paint, Bouncy Castles, performances from local artists & various information stalls which included the infamous BBBCO Stall and of course free food.
BBBCO Chairperson Naz Hussain said
‘’ The aim of today which has been supported by the Coventry Cross Estate Group, Canary Wharf Group and Poplar Harca is to provide an event which is fun, informative and also promotes community cohesion and safety amongst local people and builds bridges between all local residents by addressing all their concerns including territorial disputes and antisocial behaviour. I am delighted by the fact that we had such a turnout despite the cold weather and this shows that the community wants to be a part of what we are trying to achieve. The young volunteers have worked so hard to put this event together including some very late nights and although organising this event was challenging, we all thoroughly enjoyed it and have also learned a few things in the process.
Today was really about trying to change the perceptions of members within the community that they are being ignored and let them know that BBBCO do in fact care about their thoughts and listen to their opinions and ideas. The feedback has been incredible and we look forward to launching fresh activities based on the ideas and suggestions which were collated throughout the day. Due to the success of today, the plan is to make this an annual event ’’
As the event drew closer the BBBCO Girls Group lead by Sultana, Shirin & Sharifa, who insisted that they don’t deserve most of the credit for the work leading upto the event and have acknowledged the fact that the BBBCO Youth Group provided the extra dimension and depth in getting the show on the road. Anyway they took the task of organising some of the resources needed for the event and this included the Marquee and putting in place the various stalls that will provide the fun filled activities as well information about BBBCO and what we provide for the community. Also a thanks to Olidur (Assistant Coach for the Under 14 team) & Shumon who also played there part in getting their hands dirty while holding the gate when the Marquee’s people constructed the 3 Marquees.
A small budget in marketing was also in place to get the local residents informed about the Event although we found that the “Word of Mouth” & “We need a 1 million people to join our BBBCO Facebook Group” helped us to get the young and old informed about the BBBCO Day.
Meanwhile Naz aka Headman spent the early hours of Saturday in helping with the banners and t-shirts for volunteers, some say his hard work and sweat can be seen on them, or was it the paint from his t shirt??… such was his dedication that he even forgot to make himself one. But disaster was averted when Ansar and Sule combined to put their artistic talents together and made one just before the opening of the event. Muman, who claimed that he got a B in GCSE Art helped with the banner along with Abul, Ali, Ansar, Sule & Kadir. The banner turned out to be an exquisite piece of art where the skyline of London was captured making BBBCO the main centre piece of the banner. Many have inquired about a public exhibition of the banner after the event but BBBCO will place it in Marner Centre.
As the Event was finally underway many performers took to the stage along with BBBCO announcements in the tightly managed schedule. Nazmul Hoque & Jahangir also get a special mention for the Poetry and Rap they shared with the community as the crowds gather round the stage while many stood still around the stalls, it was a performance that mesmerised the young and old in the event. Watch out for the video (credit to Amin) that is soon to be released about the BBBCO Day & for the pictures in the Youth Group Gallery taken by Kay and Halima. Residents that were also watching from the estate blocks were also taken back by the lyrical master Nazmul as they caused interference by chanting his name that echoed in the communal areas.
These residents also joined us later as the Hot Food Concession was out and as the queues built up in an orderly fashion. The free food (the real food and not the burgers sold by Subhan & Kadir, who did make contributions to BBBCO by the way) went down well even though you had to purchase a drink for 50p, which was fair to be honest given the current economic climate which the Young Major, Uma Akthar failed to address and how it affects the youth in Tower Hamlets along with the various ways they can tackle this. BBBCO will be planning a workshop in careers, training and skills for the Youth in Bromley By Bow so they can be well equipped in the whatever employment they go into.
It was a successful event and BBBCO will like to thank everyone that volunteered even though we might have not mentioned you by name and the people that attended the BBBCO Event. Also we have your feedback forms and we will be doing many statistical graphs and charts also not forgetting to action some of the finer points.