50 Years, 50 Faces: Darragh
“My name’s Darragh and I’m the Marketing and Communications Manager at local charity Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA).
I grew up in Northern Ireland and left after university, arriving in Newham in 2004. I worked in the City in Financial Services for many years, but left in 2017 to get more involved in working and volunteering in my local community.
I became aware of the Renewal Programme as soon as I got involved in local community work. They’re such a longstanding and well-known part of the Newham charity landscape, I started to hear a lot of good things about them from many different people.
I love the Renewal Programme’s values – and in particular how they highlight the concept and importance of respect for all in our community; collaboration is probably the value I’ve personally seen most in action because the Renewal Programme has been such a great partner for us at BDCA – we’ve worked together on a number of issues and projects, especially in the last few years.
This kind of collaboration is great for us as charities – it helps us to learn from each other and to do better. But more importantly it’s good for our community because, by working together, we can have a greater impact for our neighbours.
For example, at the height of the pandemic we co-ordinated together on our Food Bank and emergency response work in different ways. More recently, we have established a great new Youth project together.
Given the catastrophic cuts to Youth Services over the last decade along with the frightening rise of youth crime in Newham, I think our Youth project is one of the most important aspects of our partnership together which could make a real long-term difference for our community. It’s been wonderful to see the activities and groups grow since we launched a year ago and it gives me hope for the future!
I always find the team members I come across at the Renewal Programme to be knowledgeable and approachable. And they have a great CEO too of course – I know this because Peter used to lead BDCA!
In short, the Renewal Programme is a fantastic support for our community and a great partner for us as a Newham charity.”