History of BCU Life Skills Centre

 Reverend Antony Dalling

Rev. Antony Dalling"

The Reverend Antony Dalling (Industrial Chaplain in Bexley) founded the Bexley Centre for the Unemployed in 1984. After observing people coming out of the Job Centre, Reverend Dalling identified the need for unemployed people to meet each other, share a coffee and gain the support they so obviously lacked. From this simple beginning, Reverend Dalling developed the organisation with benefits advice, courses, counselling/support group and a drop-in with low cost food.

As at that time, the Trinity Baptist Church was opposite the Job Centre space was provided there. For nearly 20 years, and operating five days a week, this was the home of Bexley Centre for the Unemployed. During this time the variety of services offered grew and changed, depending on the funding available, as well as the needs that were apparent. These have included, in recent years, a youth project and a LETS scheme (Local Exchange and Trading scheme). Neither of these projects continues now.

The Centre was operating five days a week but due to funding difficulties the service has been reduced to two days per week. We now offer counselling and a support group, courses in First Aid, Basic Food Hygiene and Self-Esteem/Confidence Building (when funding available), a drop-in with low cost food and a sign-posting service to specialist advisers.

As the Trinity Baptist Church was opposite the Job Centre space was provided there. This became the home of BCU for nearly 20 years. During this time the variety of services offered grew and changed, depending on what funding was available, as well as the needs which were apparent. These have included, in recent years, a youth project and a LETS scheme (Local Exchange and Trading scheme). Neither of these projects continue now.

In 1993, Bexley Centre for the Unemployed was registered as a charity. The charity number is 1082691.

On 3rd November 1999 Bexley Centre for the Unemployed became a company limited by guarantee, the company number is 3871023.

The last two years since our charity moved back to our original home at Trinity has been a time of consolidation and ensuring that we are functioning efficiently and effectively operationally on a day to day basis on Thursdays and Fridays each week from 9-1pm

In 2014 we celebrated 30 years since Bexley Centre for the Unemployed was formally set up and constituted in 1984. Now it is time to think about the future.

Forthcoming Events

Various free courses take place throughout the year and include Stress Awareness and Management; Basic Food Hygiene; First Aid (Paediatric and Emergency). These are run subject to funding.

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