Many thanks to the generous sponsors of the Community Fun Day on 22nd September

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Annual General Meeting   arrow

BATCA’s AGM on 7th March 2017 was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of 2016, especially the annual multifaith Peace Ceremony in September and the Community Heroes celebration in November. Further highlights were the launch of BATCA’s website and BATCA’s 10th birthday celebrations.
New officers were elected as shown below. Warm thanks were expressed to the retiring chair, Fred Ahmed, founder of BATCA. Plans were made for a full programme for 2017. See the chairman’s report and AGM minutes.

Balham and Tooting Community Association – Annual General Meeting
Chairman’s Report for 2017

Date: Tuesday 7th March 2017
Start: 7pm
Venue: St Augustine’s Church Hall, Broadwater Road, SW17 0EF

This has been an excellent year for BATCA with our 10th birthday celebrations as the high point.

We’ve run excellent events, which as always have attracted an enthusiastic following.

We’ve raised our game by setting up a website and working out a clear strategy to achieve our goals.

We’ve attracted some new people with tip top skills and a fresh take on things.

We need to build on all these in the year ahead.

Our events in 2016 were the multifaith Peace Ceremony at Tooting Broadway on 22nd September and the Community Awards celebration evening on 24th November.

As always the Peace Ceremony was a moving occasion when leaders of five faiths (Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim and Sikh) prayed for peace. Our local political leaders came and spoke of Tooting’s special spirit (our MP, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, our borough Mayor, Conservative spokesman Dan Watkins and councillors). The young took part, with inspiring speeches made by girls from Al Risalah secondary school. The Peace Ceremony takes place in public so it makes a real impact on the gathered crowd.

The Community Awards at Jasmin’s were a great occasion. Those given awards were real heroes. They were from all backgrounds and all walks of life and show the outstanding service people give right across the community. Over 200 people were there to celebrate with them, again from all faiths and cultures. Our local VIPs again gave us great support. John Bird (now Lord Bird), founder of the Big Issue, gave a barnstorming talk that no-one will ever forget! Several pledges were made of financial support for BATCA, which is a great boost. It was a great opportunity too to celebrate 10 years of BATCA with cheers and a cake.

BATCA has come a long way in 2016. We’re now more visible to the public. We now have a website, which has already proved its worth – for example being able to make nominations online for the Community Awards helped boost the number of nominations a lot. We’ve reviewed our goals and clarified our strategy. Becoming better known and helping organisations link with each other will be important aims. Making connections and sharing together is at the heart of community. From its start BATCA’s majored on creating relationships between different groups and communities, and we want to move to a new level.

I’m pleased to say that BATCA has improved its financial position this year, and we’re now keeping our heads above water. However we can never be complacent and need to keep fundraising to keep our events programme going.

Many thanks are due to those who’ve supported BATCA’s work this year: the event organisers (Rev Andrew Davey for the Peace Ceremony and Kate Allan and Ali Jaffri for the Community Awards) and their many helpers; Ali Jaffri for his work on the website; Suky Karim who prepared the accounts; our local leaders, including our MP, Rosena Allin-Khan, the Mayor of Wandsworth, Dan Watkins and councillors, who have come to our events and given us stalwart support; the police, local business and other supportive bodies; Wandsworth Council for the generous grant towards the Community Awards; and many, many others who’ve put in time and effort.

The BATCA team works hard to achieve BATCA objectives but collectively we can make it even better as this year has shown. We look forward to another great year ahead.

Fred Ahmed

7th March 2017