New local advice, and a simple message for abuse victims: you are not alone

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Victoria Park Easter weekend

Thank you for using Victoria Park responsibly this weekend

Victoria Park reopened on Saturday 11 April, with reduced hours and a range of new control measures to help ensure visitors observe government guidance and social distancing rules.

We want to say a big thank you to residents who used the park safely and responsibly this weekend. Despite the sunny weather, the vast majority of people followed the rules, which are in place to protect public health, and this was great to see. 

We also want to acknowledge our staff and volunteers who made the reopening of the park possible. They were on hand to patrol the park, speak with visitors and support them to navigate the new rules, and worked alongside our enforcement officers and police.

We know Victoria Park provides a vital space for exercise, which helps to support the mental health and wellbeing of our residents during this time, so we want to keep it open. 

But please remember, these are different times and we need to continue to use our parks in line with the rules at all times. We also urge all visitors to be respectful and kind to staff and volunteers, who are all working hard to keep you safe and keep the park open.

Failure to follow guidance or new control measures could result in fines or closure of the park. 

If you'd like to volunteer to help in Tower Hamlets, visit our website.

Victoria Park FAQs >

Domestic violence support

If you're in danger, please know that you're not alone

If you or someone you know is at risk of or suffering domestic abuse, help is still available.

We are committed to protecting the support we give to victims of domestic abuse in Tower Hamlets. We also want to reassure you that the government's household isolation guidance as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

Remember, in an emergency always call 999. If you’re in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to local police who will assist you without having to speak.

If you are concerned that a friend or neighbour is experiencing domestic abuse, always call 999 in an emergency, otherwise call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report it anonymously.

Get local support >

Food distribution hub

Mayor visits staff and volunteers who have delivered food to 1,730 vulnerable residents so far

Mayor John Biggs visited our food distribution hub over the weekend to thank staff and volunteers who are helping provide food to vulnerable residents with urgent needs.  

So far, the team has packed and delivered food to 1,730 residents across 801 households in Tower Hamlets.

The distribution hub has now been in operation for 13 days and delivers food to people who have used the council’s dedicated phoneline and online self-isolation form to request help during this difficult time. This may be because they have been identified by the NHS as being at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, or because they are vulnerable individuals and unable to access food while self-isolating.

The mayor also filmed a video from the hub to raise awareness of the help available and reassure the community we're here to support those who need it. 

How to request support >

Free meals

Hot meals for families with children - new locations available

A reminder that hot meals to take away are being offered in Tower Hamlets over the school holidays (until Friday 17 April) to help support families, many of whom usually rely on free school meals during term time. Meals are free for families with children that are struggling to afford or source food as a result of the current situation. 

There are now nine locations in Tower Hamlets providing this service, with each serving a maximum of 300 meals a day to ensure social distancing can be followed. 

Find out more >

Food delivery image

Looking for local deliveries?

If you're keen to get local produce delivered to your door, check out Dishpatch. It's an online directory that allows you to search for local independent food and drink suppliers that offer a delivery service. 

The site is easy to use. Simply enter your postcode and the type of produce you’re looking for and you'll see a list of retailers who operate in your area. 

Visit Dishpatch >

StreetLink image

Video message: supporting rough sleepers 

We have helped around 70 people sleeping rough in Tower Hamlets into safe accommodation in hostels and hotels in recent weeks.

Over the weekend, Mayor John Biggs joined one of our outreach teams as they worked to locate anyone still on the street and in need of help. During the visit, the team located a man who had remained on the street until now. Fortunately, the team was able to use the rapport they had built to persuade him to come in. He was taken to a nearby hotel (just in time for breakfast) where he will be safe.

We’ve found safe places to stay for most of our rough sleepers but our outreach work continues. Anyone urgently concerned about their housing situation can email or call 020 7364 7474.

If you are worried about someone sleeping rough, please contact StreetLink

Watch the video >

Advice for older residents

Wellbeing advice for older residents from Age UK

Age UK has published a host of resources specifically to support older people at this difficult time and to help ensure that physical isolation doesn't become social isolation.

This includes advice on staying connected and thinking creatively. For example, could some of your usual social activities move online or to phone calls? Can you ‘meet up’ with friends or family by arranging a video chat over a coffee or a meal?

Volunteering to support others, in a way that you're able to do so safely, can also help you to keep busy and make a valuable contribution at this time. Find out more about ways to help in Tower Hamlets on our website.

Please be assured that the council is committed to supporting residents at this time, especially those that may be vulnerable for a range of reasons. If you need support, you can contact us.

Read Age UK's advice >

Child's drawings


We're absolutely loving seeing messages and drawings of thanks and hope appearing across Tower Hamlets. The drawings pictured above were shared on Twitter by one of our residents - hats off to the incredible young artist (or artists) behind them!

If you're looking for an activity to keep your children busy this week, why not ask them to get creative through some drawing or painting?

You can then display their creations in your windows or share them on social media using #TowerHamletsTogether. We're all in this together and you never know whose day they may brighten.

More stay at home activities >

Support for local people

More local advice for residents and businesses

We are doing everything we can to help stop the virus spreading and make sure that residents across the borough, particularly those most vulnerable, are protected as much as possible.

A reminder that we have created a dedicated section on our website that brings together the latest advice for residents and businesses, and a host of useful resources, to help us all get through this difficult time together. 

Local coronavirus advice >

Coronavirus: useful links

Thank you for reading

We hope you have found this bulletin useful. Share this with your family and friends to ensure they have the latest advice on coronavirus. Anyone can subscribe using this link

Updates in other languages

If you know someone who would like to receive updates in Bengali, they can subscribe to 'Bengali newsletter' for news and advice in Bengali. 

The government is also publishing advice in a range of languages on its website.