Barnet African Caribbean Association Ltd. (BACA) was formed in 1997 to support older people from the Caribbean and African communities by providing day services.
The service has evolved since its inceptions to become an inclusive community resource that welcomes all older people regardless of race, gender or religion, from inside and outside of the borough.
BACA staff and volunteers provide a high quality-service. Members benefit from a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and new members are always welcome.
Our mission is to promote the care, general well-being and rehabilitation of older people, including those with physical or mental disabilities, in a friendly, stimulating, caring, support, and informal, yet exciting environment.
- Hot meals
- Stroke Support with a Massage Therapist
- Respite for Carers
- Health monitoring by the Outreach Nurse
- Regular eye checks
- Seminars on health and wellbeing
- Seminars on home security
- Day trips and outings
- Transport to and from the centre
- Entertainmetn by wayof singers, dancers and visits from young performers.
- Exercise sessions
Gloria, a longstanding BACA service users testifies to the support that she has received at BACA:
"I have been with BACA for so many years I cannot count. For the past 4 years I have been encouraged to write and recite my poetry at the various BACA events. At first I was very nervous but the love and support of all here at the centre made me feel that I had a real talent. I was also referred by BACA to perform 2 of my poems at the Barnet Silver Week event 2017.
For the past 12 years I have been trying to write a book, it has been a very long and at times disheartening journey. However finally last year it was completed and by the grace of God, published. Again I was encouraged to read a short passage from my book to all at BACA and talk about my experience of which we at BACA had all shared.
It was a hearfelt time and again the support of all at BACA was humbling. At the tender age of 78 years it is wonderful to experience a true sense of achievement. Thank you all at BACA and all who support this service."
Gloria’s Novel - Rhythm Played in a Fire by Gloria Times was published by Hansib Publications in 2018.
Fast forward to March 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. BACA service users are amongst the most vulnerable to Covid-19 who are currently required to shield themselves and remain indoors. African and/or Caribbean communities are a disproportionately older British population, many of whom are diabetics, who account for 25% of all COVID-19 fatalities. African and/or Caribbean communities themselves are overly represented amongst the COVID-19 incidences and deaths.
Many BACA service users rely on our support because they live alone and have very limited resources. They also live in areas with high levels of deprivation. Many BACA service users were already socially isolated before the pandemic and only able to travel to the day centre using transport provided by BACA. Our service users are now isolated from not just BACA services, but also their families and friends, and feel less supported. They are also unable to access a number of BACA services including health checks.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, BACA is having to provide its services remotely. The funding raised will enable BACA to continue to support its service users during the COVID-19 pandemic including shopping, delivering cooked meals, collecting prescriptions, befriending and welfare checks. BACA will also be able to further develop new ways of working. The funding will enable BACA to purchase tablets for service users to participate in supervisor-led chair-based online exercises, access GP telemedicine services and maintain contact with friends and family.
The funding will also cover the costs of training and ongoing support for the tablets, including how to use the internet safely and allow BACA to continue to work with partner agencies, including Age UK Barnet, the Stroke Association, Cherry Lodge Cancer Care and Barnet Council, to support as many people as possible.