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Library and Children's Centre events

Following the guidance from the government, we are suspending events/activities taking place at our libraries/children's centres until further notice. We will still be running the Community Food Club.

Libraries and Children's Centres offer so much more than books, study spaces, activities. We bring in many different services available in partnership with various partners. Libraries and Children's Centres offer regular activities for families, adults and children. During school holiday periods - we run special activities aimed at family and children.

Online events

Schedule of online activities for libraries, Children's centres and healthy lifestyles.

Online events 21 to 26 September Toggle accordion

DateActivityStart timeDescription
25 SeptemberHomes and Money Hub Helpline9amEmail homesandmoneyhub@lbbd.gov.uk or call on 020 8724 2115 or 020 8227 2927.
25 SeptemberHIIT class - 25 September10amOn Microsoft Teams
25 SeptemberCocoon Together via Zoom10amEmail EarlyYearsCocoon@gmail.com
25 SeptemberGetting started (Introduction to Microsoft Teams) - 25 September10amOn Microsoft Teams
25 SeptemberStory time - 25 September10.30amOn Microsoft Teams
25 SeptemberQuestion and answer session - 25 September10.30amOn Microsoft Teams
25 SeptemberTotal Body Workout - 25 September11.30amOn Microsoft Teams
25 SeptemberCommunity Food Club 12pmSue Bramley Children's Centre
25 SeptemberChair exercise - 25 September12.45pmOn Microsoft Teams
25 SeptemberBaby massage - 25 September (invite only)1pmEmail healthy.lifestyles@lbbd.gov.uk
25 SeptemberPen to Print - Readers afternoon2pmBooking required

Online events 28 to 30 September Toggle accordion

DateActivityStart timeDescription
28 SeptemberHomes and Money Hub Helpline9amEmail homesandmoneyhub@lbbd.gov.uk or call on 020 8724 2115 or 020 8227 2927.
28 SeptemberCocoon Together via Zoom10amEmail EarlyYearsCocoon@gmail.com
28 SeptemberLEAN Living - 28 September10amOn Microsoft Teams
28 SeptemberStory time - 28 September10.30amOn Microsoft Teams
28 SeptemberThe Hug Support Group via Zoom11amEmail thehugbarking@gmail.com
28 SeptemberCommunity Food Club11amWilliam Bellamy Children's Centre
29 SeptemberHomes and Money Hub Helpline9amEmail homesandmoneyhub@lbbd.gov.uk or call on 020 8724 2115 or 020 8227 2927.
29 SeptemberLEAN Living - 29 September10amOn Microsoft Teams
29 SeptemberLittle Rhyme Makers - 29 September10amOn Microsoft Teams
29 SeptemberCoffee morning - 29 September10.30amOn Microsoft Teams
29 SeptemberSupple Strength - 29 September11.30amOn Microsoft Teams
29 SeptemberCommunity Food Club12pmBarking Learning Centre
29 SeptemberKickboxing class - 29 September12.45pmOn Microsoft Teams
29 SeptemberStory time - 29 September1.30pmOn Microsoft Teams
30 SeptemberHomes and Money Hub Helpline9amEmail homesandmoneyhub@lbbd.gov.uk or call on 020 8724 2115 or 020 8227 2927.
30 SeptemberCocoon Together via Zoom10amEmail EarlyYearsCocoon@gmail.com
30 SeptemberVirtual cooking (Invite only) - 30 September10amEmail healthy.lifestyles@lbbd.gov.uk
30 SeptemberHENRY Starting Solids (Invite only) - 30 September11.15amEmail healthy.lifestyles@lbbd.gov.uk
30 SeptemberLook, Listen and Play - Play and Learn Workshop - 30 September1pmOn Microsoft Teams
30 SeptemberLEAN Living - 30 September 2pmOn Microsoft Teams

    Regular activities

    Schedule of activities in libraries and children's centres (PDF 274KB)

    Summer Reading Challenge 2020 - Let’s get silly!

    The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham are launching their Summer Reading Challenge and Reading Beez virtual meetings. We aim to engage your child with reading specific set books and discussing in small groups their thoughts. As with the Reading Beez programme, the aim will be for each child to develop their confidence with reading but have fun along the way.

    Register your child for Summer Reading Challenge

    As with all child related activities the need to protect individuals is extremely important, so there will be two adults in the meeting, and we may limit the meeting to 12 participants. This allows us to spend the time without any child missing out on the opportunity to join in and share their thoughts.

    We ask that you consider the guidelines before completing the registration form. We want all children to get the most out of this experience, so please ensure your child is fully aware of the expectations of behaviour and inclusion.

    Pen to Print Creative Writing Programme

    We’re passionate about helping people discover what their stories are through free competitions, events, classes and initiatives. See the Pen to Print website for events information.

    Reading and poetry groups

    If you enjoy a good read and a good chat about books and authors, there are several reading groups in the borough where you can do just that.

    • Audio book group at the Barking Learning Centre - first Wednesday of the month 10am to 12pm
    • Barking library reading group - first Monday of the month 6pm to 7pm
    • Dagenham Library reading group - fourth Thursday of the month 10.30am to 11.30am
    • Poetry group at the Barking Learning Centre - every other Wednesday 1pm to 3pm
    • Robert Jeyes Community Library reading club - fourth Monday of the month 7.30pm to 8.30pm
    • Valance Library reading club - first Saturday of the month 10.30am to 12pm

    New members are welcome, please come along.

    Reading and poetry websites

    Useful if you are looking for new books and authors to try, and to share your views about reading with others.

    • Book lore, see how your favourite books and authors are rated on this review site.
    • Fantastic Fiction, find everything fiction-related.
    • Gnooks, an interactive site which allows you to search by your favourite authors to find similar books.
    • Which Book, find books to suit your mood using this fun site. Search by setting, character or plot. Includes large print and audio titles.

    If you enjoy poetry you might find these websites useful.

    • Poetry Archive, the world’s premiere online collection of poets reading their work. Listen free to the voices of current poets and poets from the past.
    • The Poetry Library, the most comprehensive and accessible collection of poetry since 1912 in Britain.
    • Poetry Magazines, collected by the Poetry Library.
    • Poetry Society, founded in 1909, its mission is to advance the study, use and enjoyment of poetry.
    • Young Poets Network, for young people up to 25, with a special focus on 13 to 19 year-olds, with information on writing and enjoying poetry.

    Reading Beez for children

    We are launching the Summer Reading Challenge and Reading Beez virtual meetings. We aim to engage your child with reading specific set books and discussing in small groups their thoughts. As with the Reading Beez programme, the aim will be for each child to develop their confidence with reading but have fun along the way.

    Register your child for Reading Beez

    As with all child related activities the need to protect individuals is extremely important, so there will be two adults in the meeting, and we may limit the meeting to 12 participants. This allows us to spend the time without any child missing out on the opportunity to join in and share their thoughts.

    We ask that you consider the guidelines before completing the registration form. We want all children to get the most out of this experience, so please ensure your child is fully aware of the expectations of behaviour and inclusion.

    Free computer training

    Our libraries run free IT and basic computer training sessions that are open to all. You can learn how to set up an email address, use the internet and how to set up and use MyAccount.

    LocationDayTime
    Barking Learning CentreMonday10am to 12 pm
    Thames View LibraryMonday10am to 12pm
    Dagenham LibraryTuesday10am to 12 pm
    Robert Jeyes LibraryWednesday10am to 12pm
    Dagenham LibraryThursday10am to 12pm
    Barking Learning CentreThursday7pm to 8pm
    Barking Learning CentreSunday12pm to 1pm

    Community learning and jobs

    It is our aim to support as many residents as possible although if we feel the resident would benefit from alternative support we would refer on to other services within the borough.

    Free drop in session.

    Adults 16 plus.

    Session may include topics stated below:

    • 121 Information, advice and guidance sessions
    • Support in removing employment barriers
    • CV Writing
    • Application support
    • Personal Statement writing
    • Mock interview practice
    • Job Search Support
    • Back to Work Calculations
    • Confidence Building
    • Employability Skills workshops
    • A dedicated employer engagement team
    • Specialist Apprenticeship / Construction Brokers
    • Volunteering opportunities
    • Online training – e.g. Food Hygiene Level 2 / CSCS
    • Potential support with Interview clothing / travel expenses (dependant on individual circumstances)
    • Job fairs / events
    • ‘in work’ support

    Can sign in 15 minutes before the session starts.

    If you are more than 15 minutes late for the session you may be refused entry.

    For any queries, please contact:

    Barking Job Shop: 020 8724 8870

    Dagenham Job Shop: 020 8724 8877

    The Adult College Job Shop: 020 8227 2809

    Sensory room

    Come and enjoy our sensory equipment with your child.

    A sensory room is a specially designed room which combines a range of stimuli to help children develop and engage their senses. These can include lights, colours, sounds, sensory soft play objects all within a safe environment that allows children using it to explore and interact.

    Booking required - please call centre to book a time slot.
    No food or drink allowed in the sensory room

    Children must be accompanied by a parent or carer
    (up to 8 year for children with additional needs)

    Opening hours

    Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm

    Marks Gate Children's Centre - 020 8724 1983
    Marks Gate Community Centre, Rose Lane, Marks Gate RM6 5NJ

    Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm
    Sue Bramley Children's Centre - 020 8724 1983
    Bastable Avenue, Barking IG11 0LG

    Holiday activities

    We offer a number of holiday activities for both adults and children. This section will be updated with holiday activities during holidays and festive periods - school half terms, Christmas holidays, Easter holidays, Summer holidays.

    Room hire

    We have modern, comfortably appointed and well-equipped seminar rooms that are perfect for the most sophisticated presentation. There are variety of spaces available including large community meeting rooms, small meeting rooms for hire - suitable meetings and conference.

    If you wish to hire a room and want to know about availability and fees, please contact us at:

    Barking Learning Centre: 020 8724 5135 or email blcroombookings@lbbd.gov.uk

    Dagenham Library: 020 8724 5135 or email dagenhamlibraryroombookings@lbbd.gov.uk

    Marks Gate Community Hall: 020 8270 6091 or email MarksGateChildrensCentre@lbbd.gov.uk

    Sue Bramley Youth Club and Community Centre: 020 8227 5042 or 07812 999620 or email philip.cobham@lbbd.gov.uk
    Chadwell Heath Community Centre: 020 8270 4305 or email chadwellheathcc@gmail.com

    Advice sessions

    We offer a range of advice sessions in partnership with various partners. Please see the details below.

    Homes and money hub

    The duty officer will undertake an initial assessment to identify the resident’s presenting needs and provide support on the day. If there are complex needs the duty officer will send the assessment to the case screener for allocation as a case. The most common presenting needs are usually a combination of:

    • rent arrears
    • Council Tax arrears
    • benefit issues
    • risk of eviction
    • homelessness
    • debt
    • financial instability
    • worklessness

    Please bring any relevant documents / letters along with you. It will help us to assess more effectively.

    Hub Volunteers at the Barking Learning Centre

    If there is support required with completion of forms with or without IT support to complete on line forms there are volunteers available who will support each resident.

    The Hub duty officer or Library staff are able to make an appointment. Please note - Hub Volunteers are not available at the Dagenham Library.

    For Adults 16+ Drop-In Session - First Come First Entry When you arrive at the library - please tell the staff that you would like to see the Homes and Money Hub duty officer. The Homes and Money Hub is available for a drop in service, no appointment necessary

    Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm at Barking Learning Centre and Dagenham Library.
    Last entry time 3.45pm (if you arrive after 3.45pm you may not be seen by the Hub duty officer)

    For any queries, please contact Homes and Money Hub Team:
    Email: HomesAndMoneyHub@lbbd.gov.uk.
    Barking Learning Centre - Hub phone number: 020 8724 2115.
    Dagenham Library - Hub phone number: 020 8227 2927.

    Citizens Advice

    We are not doing any drop ins at BLC at the moment due to COVID-19 but we are offering telephone advice and webchat. Our telephone number is 0300 3309 038 and we are available from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

    Citizens Advice provides information/advice on debt and money, welfare rights and benefits, housing and homelessness, employment, discrimination, family, legal and many other areas of advice.

    When you visit the Citizens Advice, it's important that the adviser you speak to has as much information about your case as possible. If you don't bring the necessary paperwork with you - you might have to come back another time. This means it could take you longer to get the help you need.

    For more information, please see the Citizens Advice website.

    Telephone advice line: 0300 330 9038.
    Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 4.30pm.

    Help to claim line: 0800 144 8444.
    Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm.

    Legal advice

    By appointment only

    Free legal advice service on homelessness, rent, mortgage, family law, etc, provided by Sternberg Reed Solicitors. Please bring all the relevant documents with you as appropriate.

    Adults 18 plus.
    By appointment only (15 minute slot).
    To make an appointment, please call the children's centre during the opening hours (9am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday)

    You can sign in 15 minutes before the session starts.
    If you are more than 15 minutes late for the session you may not be seen.

    For any queries, please contact the library or the children's centre from the details below:

    10am to 12.30pm, First Friday of the month.
    William Bellamy Children's Centre, Frizlands Lane, RM10 7HX, 020 8724 1983

    1pm to 3pm, Third Thursday of the month.
    Becontree Children's centre, Stevens Road, Dagenham RM8 2QR, 020 8724 1983

    1.30pm to 3.30pm, Second Thursday of the month.
    Marks Gate Children's Centre, Rose Lane, Marks Gate RM6 5NR, 020 8724 1983

    1pm to 3pm, Third Thursday of the month.
    Sue Bramley Children's Centre, Bastable Avenue, Barking IG11 0LG, 020 8724 1983

    Support and advice for Eastern Europeans

    East European Resource Centre (EERC) is a charity that supports Eastern Europeans in London since 1984. EERC works with Barking and Dagenham council to offer free support to Eastern Europeans in the borough.

    We offer free support and advice for Eastern Europeans:

    • Job seeking, if they’re unemployed or on low income (applying for jobs, CV writing, interview preparation, rights at work)
    • General advice and support with life in the UK (GP registration, NINO, navigating UK systems and accessing local services)
    • Applying for EU Settled Status (Brexit)
    • Welfare benefits support
    • Housing advice 

    For any queries, please contact the Library or the Children's Centre.

    Every Monday - 9.30am to 1.30pm.

    Barking Learning Centre,
    Barking Library,
    2 Town Square, Barking IG11 7NB

    Telephone: 020 8724 8725 / 020 8724 8722.