Bilston Community Association (BCA) is made up of affiliated members from Bilston and the neighbourhood areas. At present we have 32 such members who pursue their activities in the Centre. Looking back it was not what it is now when we set out all those years ago. We did not have the Centre and we had to depend on other Centres such as Bilston College and Bilston Enterprise and others even to hold a Committee meeting. Until 1980 we only had 5 affiliated groups. We have always felt that to progress and achieve something worthwhile for not only our members but for the neighbourhood we needed to acquire a building. Various local institutions like Town Hall and Alhambra Cinema were phasing out of use or too expensive. The members were always on the lookout for a building
Bilston Health Clinic built new premises, and the old building was surplus to requirements. The committee took the opportunity to acquire the building through the WMB Council and were successful in their endeavour. The Education Department, which was responsible for community centres in Wolverhampton, bought the building. An agreement was made that the BCA would manage the building and be responsible for the upkeep of the premises. Office staff were provided to train the volunteers in the day-to-day running of the Centre. Activities and membership grew dramatically almost five-fold.
A new constitution was discussed and approved. Charity registration was achieved and wider publicity was pursued . The facilities were being widely used and were becoming more popular. The membership increased and requests from the public at large to use the facilities were also very demanding. Volunteers were taking extra work in their stride with a view to make BCA more progressive. The volunteers excellent work was being noted Borough wide. BCA affiliated to Wolverhampton Federation of Community Organisations (WFCO) , Local Federation of Community Organisation and Community Matters ( a UK Umbrella Organisation), the Citizens Advice Bureau, Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and the local police consultative committee.
BCA had sent their representatives to
the Community Matters national conference since 1990. Their secretary
was selected to facilitate one of their workshops in Budapest (Hungary)
in 1992. European multi-cultural conferences hosted by WMBC council in
1993 elected the BCA secretary to be co-chairman . The Centre hosted
two workshops for this conference. In 1998 the Association voted, after
a keen debate, to support the Hon Sec as our representative at the
International Conference of Community Associations in Jerusalem. This
demonstrates the importance members give to the international
perspective of their work in Bilston.