A Bullseye for Barking & Dagenham

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Community Steering Group did in their second workshop on 15th December 2021.

In the second Community Steering Group workshop we were introduced to a decision-making tool called The Bullseye, and we explored the groups’ hopes for the future impact of the Community Endowment Fund.

The second workshop was led by Chris Wood from the Curiosity Society. Chris spent time describing other social investments to help us to understand the potential, and some of the pitfalls, of making investments. 

We then refreshed our memories of the priorities we’d identified using the LBBD Borough Manifesto as a starting point.

The Bullseye: defining our priorities

Gold and black business hosting cloud solutions logo (300 x 300 px)

In breakout groups, we built on these priorities and discussed what they might mean for an investment. Each group came up with a ‘bullseye statement’ which set out our top priorities for investment. The Bullseye is a visual model that we use to set out priorities to help with decision-making. 

The statements we came up with were: 

  • Build bridges across the community
  • Investments that impact local people in Barking & Dagenham that tackle climate change (more widely)
  • Respond to immediate education needs but with an eye to the long-term systemic transformation of local education 
  • Nurturing local investment – providing further support to ensure they are successful (and therefor sustainable)
  • Shareholders don’t benefit – asset lock
  • The unexpected – not just what has been done in the past
  • Shake up the system to ensure decision making involves Local people are involved in local decisions
  • Benefiting those most in need that comes back to BD in the long term – tackling digital exclusion to ensure young people have access


These statements will guide us through the next steps of the decision-making process. 

Messages from the future

Finally, Lara from the Curiosity Society asked the group to imagine they’d received a message from someone 20 years from now, who has benefitted from the decisions we are starting to make today. You read three of those messages below. 

Dear Pauline, This message is to simply say thank you. I am greatly appreciative of all the work you have done where my business is concerned. Your help has been substantial both financially and emotionally. I must admit, before I received this funding, I was in a very dark place. I had been made redundant and didn’t know whether or not I should take the risk in following my dreams or put it behind once again. I’m so glad I chose the former, and your help and belief in me has made this happen. There have been a few ups and downs as business demands however, I have achieved so much, and if not for CSG, I wouldn’t be where I am today. You took me from a small idea to now a prosperous business, thriving in the community and giving back. I feel fortunate as you have also afforded me the opportunity to help significantly within my community, which is something I have always wanted to do. The funding specifically helped with sustainability and securing equipment and premises where my business can continue to support others. The strategy of pouring into the borough not just financially, but where resources are concerned has not only assisted me majorly, but has improved the whole borough in general. There is a real sense of community spirit here. Lack of funding and opportunities in the past have pushed people away, but now, people are genuinely committed and want to build long-lasting foundations where they grew up. Its so important for a lot of us to never forget where we come from and because of the CSG, the borough has come such a long way; so much so, we have even been able to provide opportunities for the youth. This means crime has reduced, affordable housing and better jobs with adequate training for skills and so on. The impact from your decisions all those years ago has really made a difference and honestly, I cannot thank you enough as you have truly changed my life for the better as well as others.
A postcard from the future

Click on the images below to read postcards from the future

What next for the CSG?

The next CSG members workshop takes place on 27th January.

Workshop 3 is all about sourcing deals. The group will learn what is meant by sourcing deals, the difference between investing upstream and downstream, and how to source deals. We’ll also hear from Daniel Wilson Dodd, an experienced social investor and former Deputy Chief Executive of Big Issue Invest who will share his experience. 

If you would like to find out more about the CSG or the Community Endowment Fund you can contact Cameron Bray at hello@bdgiving.org.uk or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop with all of our work in the borough

Find out more about the CSG members here.

Read about workshop 1 here.

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