Sunday, 29 January 2023


Nominations  for Women’s Empowerment Awards 2023

Less than two weeks left to nominate for Women’s Empowerment Awards 2023

Local people are being urged to put forward nominations for this year’s Women’s Empowerment Awards, with the deadline for nominations looming.

The annual event, which takes place in March to mark the end of Women’s Empowerment Month, celebrates the diverse achievements of women who live and work in Barking and Dagenham.

This year’s event features nine different categories, seven of which are open for public nominations, including Educator of the Year Award, Female Volunteer of the Year Award, and Businesswoman of the Year Award.

This year marks the eighth time the awards will have been hosted.

This year marks the eighth time the Awards will have been hosted.

The deadline for nominations is Tuesday 31 January 2023. 

For more details and to nominate click here.

Friday, 27 January 2023


At Castle Point Resource Centre

Castle Point opens its warm welcoming space every Mondays 4pm - 7.30pm (food served at 5.30pm). 

The space is open for everyone and all facilities are free

  • Come in, enjoy a hot meal, coffee or tea and be warm 
  • Bring a book or a craft, read a paper or magazine, do a jigsaw or just relax
  • Children can do their homework, play board games 

Where: 163 Bennett's Castle Ln, Dagenham RM8 3YJ 

For more information you can call: 020 8227 1927 

Thursday, 26 January 2023


Woodward Library the future Community Arts & Culture Centre

Barking and Dagenham Council has been awarded a capital grant from Arts Council England to redevelop the old library on Woodward Road, Becontree Estate into a new community arts and culture centre. It will build on the legacy of the Arts and Culture Hub at Valence Library, which was a base for Becontree Forever and Becontree Broadcasting Station through the centenary. 

Local residents are being invited to join a series of FREE Woodward Field Trips to amazing creative community spaces across the borough and London. These spaces will inspire and help to build a vision for the new Woodward Arts & Culture Centre.

They are also seeking residents interested in participating in the project who live or work on Woodward Road, Gale Street or near Becontree Station in the RM9 postcode. If you have stories of the surrounding community, or would like to have a photographic portrait taken, Woodward Arts & Culture Centre would like to hear from you- please express your interest here

The first field trip will be to the incredible community centre Old Manor Park Library in Manor Park on Sunday 12th February, 1-4pm.

To book a visit click here 


Keeping Warm, Barking and Dagenham

The rise in cost - of - living disproportionately affect residents in Barking and Dagenham as many do not have the financial resilience needed to get through this winter.

So, keeping warm, with utility bills at an eye-watering high, is an impossibility for many over the coming months, with harsh choices to make regarding heating or eating. To address this in a small way, we want to spread the word about warm spaces to residents as the weather gets colder.

Warm Space

Warm Space providers offer a safe, and welcoming environment; see opening times below, that include evenings and weekends.   Anyone can pop in and sit, and if not interested in books, can access the public-use computers or any other activities, events, and sessions. Staff and volunteers are always happy to promote what’s on in the library to get people involved. In addition, and alongside our community partners, we have organised some dedicated spaces across the borough where residents can come along to a comfortable space at certain times, have a hot drink and a chat, and if they want to, take part in activities and pastimes. No referrals, just pop in during the open times.

You can visit the  warm community space page to find out more

Wednesday, 25 January 2023


Becontree Broadcasting Station - Intro to Podcast/Radio workshop

BBS Community Radio are delivering FREE workshops, open to residents, on Tuesday 31st January, 6.30-8.30pm at Valence Library Community Hub

Intro to Podcast/Radio workshop includes the following topics:

  • setting up recording equipment (microphones, mixing desk).
  • writing a short script with cues.
  • recording a conversational podcast / radio show with everyone trying out different production roles.
  • explaining different types of online distribution for your show.

 To register please email or call 07378346832 for more info. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

 Kamati ya Bunge Yapongeza Mageuzi Wizara ya Utamaduni

Na Shamimu Nyaki - WUSM

Kamati ya Kudumu ya Bunge ya Huduma na Maendeleo ya Jamii imeipongeza Wizara ya Utamaduni, Sanaa na Michezo kwa kufanya mageuzi yenye tija katika wizara hiyo.


Pongezi hizo zimetolewa na Wajumbe wa Kamati hiyo wakati wakitoa maoni, ushauri na mapendekezo mbalimbali, baada ya kupokea Taarifa hiyo iliyowasiliswa na Naibu Waziri wa Wizara hiyo Mhe. Pauline Gekul, Januari 24, 2023 Dodoma.


Akizungumza baada ya kupokea taarifa hiyo, Mwenyekiti wa Kamati hiyo Mhe. Stanslaus Nyongo amesema wizara hiyo imeendelea kufanya maboresho mbalimbali ambayo yanasaidia wadau wake kujiajiri,  kupata kipato na zaidi kuchangamsha nchi kupitia sekta zake.


"Naipongeza sana wizara kama wajumbe walivyotangulia kusema, wizara hii sasa imepunguza maswali kutoka kwa wabunge, imekua wizara yenye tija kwa nchi, tunaona mafanikio katika sekta zake, michezo inafanya vizuri na  inatangaza nchi, sanaa inazalisha matajiri wa umri mdogo na fursa nyingi zinaendelea kupatikana kupitia wizara hii" amesema Mhe. Nyongo.


Awali, Naibu Waziri Mhe.Gekul akiwasilisha taarifa hiyo ameeleza kuwa, katika kipindi cha Julai hadi Desemba 2022, wizara imetekeleza mambo mengi ikiwemo kuratibu Siku ya Kiswahili Duniani, Mashindano ya Urembo na Utanashati kwa Viziwi, kuratibu ushiriki wa Timu za Taifa katika Mashindano mbalimbali ikiwemo Fainali za Kombe la Dunia za mpira wa Miguu Kwa Walemavu na Wanawake chini ya Miaka 17.


Mafanikio mengine aliyoyataja Naibu Waziri ni kutoa tuzo za filamu, kutoa tuzo za Uni Awards, kuratibu Mashindano ya Taifa Cup, na kushiriki tuzo za Black Entertainment Television ( BET) huko Los Angeles Marekani mwaka 2022.


Rodding Rubbish 

The inspiring Roding Rubbish community group do incredible work clearing litter and rubbish to make our borough cleaner and safer

Team up with friendly locals and make a difference to your local environment at their first clean-up event of 2023 

Where: Ripple Greenway, Renwick Rd, Barking
When: Sun 29 January
Time: 10am to 1pm

For more information and how to sign up to the event click here 

Wednesday, 16 November 2022



COP27: “We cannot compromise with catastrophe, so we must compromise with each other” - Commonwealth Secretary-General

16 November 2022

For Immediate Release

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, has urged countries attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh to progress talks towards a meaningful outcome by the end of the week.

As the final days of negotiations approach for the annual summit, attended by more than 35,000 delegates from almost 200 nations, the Secretary-General called for actions that will close the gaps on emissions, finance and justice, while taking into account the needs of vulnerable countries.  

In her statement to the conference plenary, the Secretary-General Scotland emphasised:

“As climate change advances, we have lost momentum. The gap on emissions, finance and justice has widened, while the window for action continues to narrow. 

“It is our duty to close that gap – and this process is our only chance.  Because we cannot compromise with catastrophe, so we must compromise with each other.”

She highlighted the series of climate disasters that have affected millions of people across the Commonwealth in recent months. In Pakistan, devastating floods have claimed more than 1,700 lives and affected 33 million people since June. Similarly in Nigeria, more than 600 people have died and 1.3 million displaced, due to the worst floods seen in the country in more than a decade.

The Secretary-General continued:

“Vulnerable states face being consumed by the waves or drowned by debt. The unthinkable has become typical…

“We must reject the violence of inaction against those who need us to succeed, now and for generations to come, and commit ourselves to action on land, ocean, energy, finance and resilience.”

The Commonwealth comprises 56 member countries brought together by shared values and principles, including 33 small states, 25 of which are small island developing states.

In 1989, Commonwealth Heads of Government met in Langkawi, Malaysia, and raised the alarm on the “permanent and irreversible damage” to the environment, demanding a “co-ordinated global effort” to address the challenge.

Since then, the Commonwealth has championed global advocacy around climate change and ocean action. This year, Secretary-General Scotland is heading a delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat to COP27, with the aim of amplifying the concerns of member countries, advocating for small and other vulnerable states, supporting partnerships and raising awareness about the various Commonwealth programmes offered to support members.

This includes initiatives such as the Commonwealth Living Lands Charter, the Commonwealth Blue Charter, the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub and the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Agenda.


Download the Secretary-General's full statement or watch the video

For Commonwealth events at COP27, follow #CommonwealthForClimate, or visit


Notes to Editors

  • The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal sovereign states. Our combined population is 2.5 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under.
  • The Commonwealth spans the globe and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-three of our members are small states, many of which are island nations.
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights. Our work helps to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt and inequality.
  • Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022


Friday, 21 October 2022



Togo’s flag raised at Marlborough House to mark admission into the Commonwealth

20 October 2022

The flag of Togo was raised for the first time at the Commonwealth Headquarters in London, formally marking the country’s entry into the 56-member association.

Togo became the 56th member of the Commonwealth on 25 June 2022 following approval from Commonwealth leaders during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

As the tradition goes, a special flag-raising ceremony was held today in the presence of the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, Dr Arjoon Suddhoo, and the President of the Togolese Republic, H.E. Faure Gnassingbé. They were joined by guests including high commissioners, senior government officials, the Togolese diaspora, and the media.

Togo Family Photo

In remarks welcoming Togo to the association, the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General said:

“Togo’s journey into the Commonwealth has been a long time in the making. We walked the journey for many years, as the Commonwealth provided guidance to Togo’s efforts and commitments to embody the values of the Commonwealth Charter.

“Togo has shown commitment to meeting institutional and governance reforms. The Government of Togo has demonstrated clear action in developing its economy and infrastructure; in providing a conducive business climate and stability to attract tourism and investment.

“Today, we welcome [Togo] into our family home, where we work every day to deepen our bonds and abilities to conquer the challenges we face – together. Welcome to a special group of nations which are committed to doing their best to uphold shared values and to help one another.  

“Long live Togo and Long Live the Commonwealth!”

President Faure Gnassingbé
 Gnassingbé on his part said:

“It is my great pleasure to address this honourable audience on this highly symbolic occasion and to express the joy and pride of the people of Togo as we gather here today to raise our flag among those of the great Commonwealth of Nations family.

“As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, I would like to solemnly ask each one of you to bear witness to Togo’s renewed pledge to the values of peace, democracy, and development, which are the core values of the family we are joining.

“Our stepping into the Commonwealth family is an incredible booster towards progressing together and leaving no one behind.

“It is my wish that the new dawn we are setting today will unveil an era of fruitful cooperation, economic growth, sustainable development as well as social and cultural fulfilment for all of us.”

The flag of Togo was then ceremoniously raised on the roof of Marlborough House to the tune of Togo’s national anthem with guests looking on in awe.

By joining the Commonwealth, Togo’s Embassy in London now officially becomes a High Commission. To mark the occasion, a plaque commemorating the move was unveiled.

As an institution uniting 2.5 billion people from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific, the Commonwealth is unique. Membership to the Commonwealth means joining a community of mutually supportive independent and sovereign states, aided by more than 80 accredited organisations such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Commonwealth Education Trust, that bring their expertise and the strength of their networks to support all our member countries in their development and aspirational goals.

Members can also access a variety of training and technical assistance resources and benefit from more than 50 strategic partnerships with renowned organisations such as the United Nations, the African Development Bank, and the World Trade Organization, to create the conditions for people across the Commonwealth to flourish.

Togo will now also be able to take part in major Commonwealth summits and ministerials which bring together government leaders, from developed and developing nations, to help amplify collective action on global challenges.


Monday, 17 October 2022



Commonwealth Central Banks Governors explore effective strategies for tackling inflation

11 October 2022

At their annual meeting held today in Washington DC, Commonwealth Central Bank Governors came together to discuss strategies to best work together to tackle inflation at a time when the global economy is facing excessive inflationary pressures driven by geopolitical tensions, coupled with the disruption in supply chain.

Top of the agenda was the discussion around high global inflation and the cost-of-living crisis which is affecting the lives of millions across the Commonwealth and beyond.


Chaired by Mr Abdur Rouf Talukder, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, and on the theme of Tackling Inflationary Pressures on Multiple Fronts’, this was the first in-person meeting of Commonwealth Central Bank Governors since 2019.

In his opening remarks, Mr Talukder said:

“Central banks, particularly, the Commonwealth central banks have a crucial role in tackling inflation.  Clear communication together with close collaboration between monetary and fiscal policy authorities remains vital to tackle inflation from both monetary and fiscal fronts. As inflation soars to new heights, Central banks across the globe have been quick to act by raising interest rates from January to date, but it is important to highlight the associated costs that can arise from tightening monetary policy, which include, but are not limited to unemployment, slow economic growth or even recession. Therefore, we need to tread cautiously to minimize the costs of monetary tightening as best we can.”

The meeting covered topics such as monetary policy tools to tackle inflation, the impact of rising interest rates on capital flows, and a presentation from the Reserve Bank of India on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) - a digital innovation developed in India which enables real-time instant payments through smartphones from one bank to another.

The Governors shared their respective experiences and acknowledged an urgent need to manage inflation expectations.  They opined that inflation has been largely driven by the supply-side as opposed to demand side, thus posing a challenge for central banks.  The Governors acknowledged that in Commonwealth countries, predominantly, inflation has been driven by rising import prices of fuel and food prices. And while inflation has reached record high levels in most Commonwealth countries, for some countries, exchange rate appreciation has helped reduce the inflationary pressures caused by global supply shocks and geopolitical tensions, leaving room to keep monetary policy relaxed.

The Central Bankers mentioned that they will continue implementing monetary tightening to try and contain demand while also working to tackle supply side challenges. The governors further reiterated that it is imperative to ensure that monetary policy is accompanied by complementary fiscal policy that does not exacerbate demand side pressures.  The Governors also considered the impact of rising interest rates and noted that rising interest rates could potentially result in capital outflows and consequent currency depreciation for countries with weak macroeconomic fundamentals.

The meeting also featured a briefing from the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Economic Policy and Small States (EPSS) team on the recommendations of their recent report ‘Commonwealth Countries: Driving FinTech Innovation', and the outcomes of yesterday’s event on ‘Using FinTech for Finclusion: Who to target and what mechanisms are needed’.




Notes to Editors

  • The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal sovereign states. Our combined population is 2.5 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under.
  • The Commonwealth spans the globe and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-two of our members are small states, many of which are island nations.
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights. Our work helps to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt and inequality.
  • Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.
  • The Commonwealth admitted Gabon and Togo as its 55th and 56th members respectively at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2022. Prior to this, Rwanda was the last country to join in 2009.