Bromley by Bow Centre welcomes Elly de Decker as new chief executive

Taking over from Rob Trimble’s 20-year tenure, de Decker plans to build upon the work of her predecessor, focussing on connectivity and fighting loneliness in the local community.

The Bromley by Bow Centre (BBBC) community charity will have a new Chief Executive in January 2023 as Rob Trimble steps down from the position after 20 years of service. Taking his place is 50-year-old Elly de Decker, who has been the charity’s executive director since October 2021. 

Rather than signalling a change of direction, De Decker said that she is looking forward to building on Trimble’s work during his 20-year tenure and the work of the Centre before him. 

Offering a wide variety of services and activities from health care support, to business advice and teaching new career skills, the Centre has remained committed to its work at the grassroots level while building an international reputation and inspiring community activists further afield. 

‘Heating vs. Eating’ is not a tagline: It’s a real choice that many people in our community are facing at the moment.

Elly de Decker

‘Bromley by Bow Centre is all about deep relationships and connections within teams and between the community, local organisations and stakeholders. We are a charity driven by people and that will always remain at the core of what we do,’ said de Decker 

‘I am keen to be more proactive in terms of engagement with the local community and sharing with people that we’re here and open to support them,’ she added.

Ambitious in its aims, de Decker said that the Centre’s vision from the start has been based around the mantra that ‘every community should have a Bromley by Bow Centre.’

When she starts her new role in January 2023, de Decker said she is driven to continue to provide tangible support to local people across the board, ‘whether that be with bills, jobs, foodbanks, mental health or English language skills. 

‘’Heating vs. Eating’ is not a tagline: It’s a real choice that many people in our community are facing at the moment.

‘For me, it’s very important that we offer holistic support in its entirety because every individual has complex needs, and human beings can’t be fit into a box,’ said de Decker. 

A core aspect of the Centre’s work that de Decker feels strongly about is providing a place where people can go to make connections. 

‘It is not always appreciated but loneliness is a real problem in our community, especially since the pandemic,’ she said: ‘People need a place where they can go and be themselves and meet others, so that’s what we need to provide.’ 

Bromley by Bow Centre will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in May 2024, kicking off a year-long campaign starting in May 2023. 

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