Monday 10th October (today) is World Mental Health Day, and with rising mental health issues nationally this year more charities and organisations are working together to raise awareness. This year the theme set by the Mental Health Foundation is psychological first aid, and they are encouraging ‘Tea & Talk’ events across the country to help raise awareness about the support that people can provide to those in distress. You can find out more about these events, and how to host your own by clicking HERE

Young Carers are young people aged 8-18 years who care for a relative.

They may live in a family where someone is affected by a long term illness, disability, mental health issue, alcohol or substance misuse or HIV. The Young Carers Service supports Young Carers in Barking & Dagenham and Thurrock. You can find out more about the work the Young Carers Service does here:

Aviva has recently launched its annual Aviva Community Fund. The competition which is open until 11 October 2016 encourages community groups, charities and the general public to submit ideas and plans for community projects that would truly make a difference to the local area. Entrants can submit plans big and small, requesting up to Up to £1,000, £5,000, £10,000 or £25,000 worth of funding to make the project a reality.

Barking and Dagenham is continuing its historic commitment to house building, with huge regeneration projects across the borough, all funded by the innovative Estates Renewal Programme. At the core of the programme are plans to modernise The Leys in Dagenham Village and Gascoigne Estate in Barking.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham responds to the initial boundary change proposals:


The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in August 2016 was 1,612. This represents a rate of 3.2% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 174th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.) The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.4%.

In the London borough of Barking and Dagenham there are over 40 surgeries that operate 5 days a week; alongside the availability of 3 advice surgeries for residents within the borough and in the neighbouring borough of Havering.

However, health care is becoming a growing issue across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge [BHR]. Local Labour MP Jon Cruddas has recently spoken out about the cuts and reduction of services locally, highlighting that it is “becoming ever more difficult for residents to access good quality health care” in the local area.

The Heathway Medical Centre located on Broad Street in Dagenham has unfortunately failed to meet targets following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission. The GP practice has been ranked as ‘inadequate’ failing to meet any targets.

The main areas that are looked at during the CQC inspections are; safety, care quality, effectiveness, whether they are responsive and how well-led the facility is. They also look in-depth at specific areas of service such as elderly care, mental health care, families etc.

The practice has now been placed in special measures.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and delivered locally by the Barking and Dagenham CVS and The Young Federation – Communities Can is an initiative that has been set up to provide support for community groups and organisations.

Want to develop your organisation and the impact it has on the wider community? If your organisation is based in Barking and Dagenham, has an income of lower than £10,000 per year, and has a proven track record in helping to make the borough a better place to live and work then this could be for you.

On Friday 8th July local councillors played the role of dragons in a 'Dragons Den' competition with a difference. Rather than judging business proposals from budding entrepreneurs, Barking and Dagenham councillors watched and listened to local young people pitching their ideas for community campaigns and volunteering projects.