Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis the council, community and voluntary sector across Barking and Dagenham have stepped up in extraordinary ways to support residents. BD CAN Plus, the Barking and Dagenham Citizens Alliance Network model has been at the forefront of mobilising support for thousands of local people. 

Jon Cruddas MP has commended the fast and efficient establishment of BD CAN Plus saying: “I hear stories every day of the work being undertaken by residents, the council and voluntary sector – it is truly remarkable! The various elements of the crisis network have helped thousands of our most vulnerable residents in one shape or form. If there is a positive to take from this situation it is that community spirit is still alive and well in Barking and Dagenham.”

The crisis network established by the council is called BD CAN Plus and comprises three main elements; Community Solutions – the council’s integrated holistic support hub, BD CAN – a collective of organisations and residents providing social support for the most vulnerable in our community, and the voluntary and faith sectors.

In the short-term BD CAN is providing practical support; delivering food parcels, doing shopping, dropping off prescriptions to assist local pharmacies, etc. but the hope is that the new network will evolve into a longer-term platform for community mobilisation.

Jon Cruddas MP has long promoted a community-based politics and has developed his own volunteer network since 2012. The network was set up to provide eyes and ears in the community – an early warning system to deal with concerns before they become problems.

Several of Jon’s volunteers have also stepped up in the crisis to do their bit for neighbours and key workers. One such volunteer is Joyce Bassett from Dagenham, who provides support in Jon’s office and has spent her time in lockdown sewing scrubs for local hospitals to help with NHS PPE provision.

Jon added: “there are a number of reasons why the BD CAN Plus project has been such a success, but there are two stand out reasons for me. Firstly, the strong direction and efficiency of the council, and secondly, the historic community spirit of our residents – coming together in times of need. Joyce is an excellent example of this, and I am very proud of all my volunteers.”

Jon wants to hear from his constituents about what they have been doing to support the community during lockdown. If you have been involved in one of the projects mentioned above such as BD CAN or through a voluntary organisation then let us know by emailing: jon@jon-cruddas-mp.net 

If you need support or would like to volunteer you can find more details on BD CAN here: https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/let-us-know-if-you-need-help-or-support