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Four Barking and Dagenham charities receive donation from housing developer Countryside

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 June 2020

Future Youth Zone is one of the Barking and Dagenham charities who have benefited from part of a £23,000 donation made by housing developer Countryside. Picture: Jimmy Hill

Future Youth Zone is one of the Barking and Dagenham charities who have benefited from part of a £23,000 donation made by housing developer Countryside. Picture: Jimmy Hill

Jimmy Lee Photography

Four charities have shared a combined £23,000 donation from developer Countryside.

Steve Dixon and volunteers from the Sycamore TrustSteve Dixon and volunteers from the Sycamore Trust

The firm’s regeneration schemes in Barking, Beam Park and Becontree Heath are set to create almost 4,000 new homes.

It has donated funds to Future Youth Zone, Sycamore Trust, The Pennu Charity and the Becontree community supermarket from its Countryside Communities Fund, which has contributed more than £500,000 nationwide since launching last month.

The donations are made to charities that have done key work to support people affected by Covid-19.

Future Youth Zone, for young people aged eight to 19 (and up to 25 for those with disabilities), has received £10,000.

This is to help it continue virtually supporting the younsters. Chief executive Gavin Evans said that these “innovative ways of working” would “not be possible without the incredible generosity of our supporters”.

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Sycamore Trust has received £6,804 as part of an existing partnership.

The trust works with those on the autistic spectrum in Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering. Steve Dixon says the donation will help fund important equipment and software upgrades.

This support is particularly vital, says Steve, given that “we expect fundraising will be very tough in the immediate future”.

The third beneficiary is The Pennu Charity, which received £5,000 to continue its work in promoting the wellbeing of the borough’s elderly population.

Lastly, the group is continuing its support of the Becontree community supermarket, through placing a Sainsbury’s food order worth £1,500 and buying a new freezer.

The community supermarket — based in the William Bellamy Children’s Centre — offers discounted produce alongside educational classes and activities.

Countryside helped kickstart this initiative, meaning the supermarket remains very close to its heart.

Robert Wilkinson, the managing director of Partnerships East London, said: “These funds will allow the charities to continue their support for those in need and the wider community at this challenging time. With two multi-year regeneration projects in progress, we are committed to Barking and Dagenham.”


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