Skills & Enterprise

Citizen Action Group

Lead Members


Thames Ward has a proportion of job seekers allowance claimants and DWP benefits claimants that is above the borough average. However, our work in the area has highlighted that it is also home to many exceptionally motivated and talented residents. The ward, like Barking and Dagenham as a whole, is particularly diverse in its ethnic make-up and with that diversity comes a range of talents and experiences which our Skills & Enterprise Citizen Action Group is passionate about nurturing.

Residents are conscious that as the ward grows so too will opportunities for employment and small business locally. However, without access to the necessary support and training many will have limited options.

Skills & Enterprise Citizen Action Group members are adamant that resident-led interventions are what the community needs to create long-term change and have begun to make some progress (see below).


Based on resident feedback, our Skills & Enterprise Citizen Action Group has identified three priorities for its strategic work:

  1. Offering residents valuable training in a range of skills in line with local need e.g. business development, entrepreneurship, English language, childcare, gardening, leadership, community organising.
  2. For residents, particularly young people, to be able to gain the experience necessary to pursue their chosen career by making connections with other skilled local residents with the ability to support via work experience, work related training, apprenticeships and job opportunities.
  3. Increasing the confidence among residents to believe in their own ability to tackle local problems.

Overall Objective

For Thames Ward to become a more confident and skilled community, supported by resident-led initiatives.

Skills & Enterprise Initiatives

ESOL for Parents

House of Hundred

Key Achievements

  • We have 21 sessions delivered as part of the ESOL for Parents pilot programme to 18 local residents from 12 different countries.
  • We held a Christmas Party at the end of the ESOL for Parents pilot programme attended by 13 local residents and their families from a variety of backgrounds who came together to celebrate their progress and share food from their respective countries with each other.
  • We have delivered x10 Online ESOL for Parents sessions during the Covid-19 global pandemic.
  • We have delivered x31 ESOL for Parents sessions in total between October 2019 and July 2020.
  • “I loved the teaching methods used during the course. I am more confident now when having a conversation with colleagues because my English has improved a lot. It wasn’t the case before the start of the course!” – Fareedha (originally from India).
  • “The course helped me to improve my reading and writing. I also loved the fact that it was on a Saturday! Pierre explained things really clearly!”- Cristina (originally from Romania).
  • “I liked the teaching methods and the fact that we learnt how to write a CV” – Zornitsa (originally from Bulgaria).
  • “Very friendly and helpful teacher. I learnt a lot and made a lot of progression. I can now support my children with their homework, which wasn’t the case before I started! Pierre explained each task thoroughly and made sure that the students understood what they were meant to do. The building was nice and the people were very friendly!” – Thu Thi (originally from Vietnam).
  • “Pierre was professional and I loved the teaching methods he used. The course helped to improve my English and I found it very interesting!” – Seynabou (originally from France).
  • We have delivered x56 Business workshops delivered in the local community by Siji as part of the @HouseofHundred initiative.

News & Events

Get involved!

If you live in Barking Riverside, Scrattons Farm or Thames View and want to get involved in resident-led activity with your neighbours then get in touch!

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