The BEC Collective is a streamlined Barking studio space that is designed to meet the needs of creative businesses. This initiative has very quickly become a centre that is helping to motivate, nurture, inspire and encourage collaboration between artists and creative people.

Dowan Ahmet


Dowan has been making videos professionally for almost two decades!

Along with his team and a bunch of very talented freelancers, Dowan has completed well over 1000 video projects which range from ’Short form’ 20 sec to 5min videos, to longer pieces for local authorities, charities, small and medium sized businesses and some TV work. 

Although most of their video projects are filmed in and around London, Dowan and his team have also made videos in many places upon and down the UK, as well as Cyprus, France and Nigeria. The travel, meeting new people and learning new things, is why his passion for video making has not faded even after two decades. He sees himself as a story teller and every video he makes tells a different story; whether that’s a 3 minute corporate video or 90 minute feature.

Jimmy Lee


Jimmy is an ex builder, self-taught photographer born and bred in Barking and Dagenham.

Jimmy doesn’t feel it is always necessary to have studied at university to succeed in what you love doing, if you have the drive and resilience to keep pushing forward. He started out as a street photographer, walking around the streets of London capturing the everyday goings on learning as he went and researching 24/7 on what he needed to know to improve. 

Jimmy is now running his own successful photography business and photograph many different subjects from festivals/events, headshots, studio work with models and families to construction sites from start to finish.

He loves the diversity of his work and meeting some great people along the way. It is very rare that any two days are the same!

He would love to do more documentary work and Jimmy considers the year he spent documenting a care home to be some of his best work so far. Photography to Jimmy is a passion. On days off he will often be back out on the streets with his camera catching moments.

He gets great satisfaction from passing on images to a client or friend and getting such great feedback. To capture a moment in time that often cannot be repeated is what Jimmy loves to do. 

Ashley O’Garro

Music Maestro

Ash was raised in Barking and is still a proud resident. She’s a DJ, music producer, radio host, label manager and event promoter who has released music on numerous record labels such as The Pop Manifesto (USA), Merge Layers (Italy), RKS (LDN) and Super Kitchen (Bristol). Having DJ'd for over 10 years, her DJ CV includes radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Rinse FM, Radar Radio and more. 

As a keen follower of the UK music scene and being from the 'Grime Kid' generation, Ash has been producing music for artists since she was at school. She started her record label a few years ago as a platform to release her own material and she has now begun expanding her portfolio into other creative areas such as creative advertising and podcasts/streaming.

Ash is passionate about music and radio because she simply loves it! The whole process from start to finish, whether it be a song or a radio show. She enjoys seeing and being involved with people expressing their creativity. Growing up, music was always on Ash’s mind, as it allowed her friends and her to express themselves, which probably helped keep them out of trouble! There aren't many places that are the equivalent of the youth clubs we had back then, so Ash is also keen to provide a haven where young people can express themselves and have fun.

Joelle Mae David


Joelle Mae David, a local resident, founded the World Cinema Film Festival in Barking and Dagenham last year. Using her own experiences of the film industry, she wanted to help more people from different backgrounds connect with industry professionals and break into film.

As a filmmaker, she created Bluebird Pictures, a production company that not only creates independent film projects but also teaches young people different elements of filmmaking.

Joelle is passionate about being filmmaking, because she believes it is an art form that is universal and can bring people together, and to tell stories that otherwise would not be heard.

Click here to view BEC Workspaces

For more information about joining the Collective, contact Karen West-Whylie on T: 020 8227 3030 or email

Community Development winner 2017

Business person of the Year

Karen West-Whylie

Corporate Social Responsibility – Winner

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