By Community Correspondent Samia Ahmed

Current MP for Croydon North, Malcolm Wicks, addressed climate change in Bangladesh at the 25 year celebration of the Bangladeshi Welfare Association, Croydon. “I have been concerned by the threats posed by climate change or global warming. As you know this is a particularly serious issue for Bangladesh with serious risks of flooding if we are not able to constrain the climate’s temperature increases, I applaud BWAC initiative in building S Cyclone Shelters in the danger zone in Bangladesh.”

The 28th of February saw the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Bangladesh Welfare Association Croydon. The event held cultural singing and dancing as well as speeches from Malcolm Wicks MP, Richard Ottoway MP, Andrew Pelling MP and many other councillors. Life time members of the BWAC joined together to celebrate the Bangladeshi community in Croydon and dedicated volunteers were congratulated.

The BWAC have helps thousands of citizens in Croydon. Volunteering teachers educate children and adults in English, Maths, Sciences, Bengali language, Arabic, computer training and many more activities. The centre is also open to any ethnic minorities who may need help with financial situations, filling up forms, help for homeless people and other advice such as income support. One of the many successful campaigns the BWAC have carried out is the ‘Halal food for Muslim patients in Mayday Hospital’.

The challenge was taken twenty five years ago by several Bangladeshi volunteers. They wanted to create a welfare that would support the growing British Bangladeshi community in Croydon. When the welfare was first created its office was in the front room of a volunteer’s house. After funding and donations from the Bangladeshi community, the office moved on to a restaurant situated in Croydon, and finally, since then, the association has managed to build its own centre in Thornton Heath, off Bensham Lane.

Throughout the 25 years the association has managed to gain support and funding from several reputable sources such as the National Lottery, TSB Bank and the BBC. Bangladesh Welfare Association Croydon’s input in the Bangladeshi community is vast; their support also goes beyond the UK as they help rebuild houses destroyed in Bangladesh due to severe flooding.