Rent deferral for commercial tenants and having a healthy Ramadan

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Ramadan Kareem

Have a safe and healthy Ramadan

Many of our residents will start observing Ramadan this week, but the coronavirus pandemic means that the holy month will be quite different this year.

While Ramadan is a time for togetherness and community, it's important that everyone continues to follow government advice to stay at home unless it's absolutely necessary. Mosques will remain closed until the restrictions are lifted, but you can still pray in congregation at home with those you live with.

We would urge anyone with an underlying health condition that makes them more vulnerable to coronavirus to speak to their GP to make sure it's safe to fast. If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, we would strongly advise you to consider breaking your fast to avoid dehydration.

Guidance and resources have been published by the Muslim Council of Britain, the East London Mosque and Open Ifta, which can offer support on how to engage with your community while staying at home during Ramadan. 

Technology will play a key role in overcoming the challenges of lockdown, with Ramadan prayers and the nightly recitation of the Qur'an moving online. You can also use video calling platforms such as Zoom to host Iftar parties. 

Find out more >

Shop window closed sign

Rent deferral scheme launched for commercial tenants

A new rent deferral scheme has been launched for the council's commercial tenants. We recognise that businesses are facing an unprecedented challenge and as a landlord, we want to be there to offer support. It is hoped the scheme will allow businesses to manage their cash flow, relieving stress at this time and making it easier to meet immediate financial commitments, such as paying staff and suppliers and meeting running costs. 

We have written to all tenants to provide details of the scheme but they are also available online. The application can be submitted through the council's website. 

Submit application >


Keep two metres apart

Stay safe while shopping for essentials 

A reminder to our residents to please stay safe while out shopping for essentials like food.

You should only be leaving your home as infrequently as possible and you must always follow social distancing guidance, including while queueing.

In the bigger supermarkets, there are queueing systems in place to help people stay a safe distance apart, but we are still seeing people far too close together when waiting outside of smaller shops.

For the safety of yourself and others, please try to visit shops at quieter times of day, stand two metres apart while queueing and keep your distance when you're walking through the aisles. Sticking to the rules could save lives. 

Help stop the spread >

Stay at home resources

Learning from home: summer term starts  

It may be the start of the summer term but for children this still means staying at home. To help, we've put together a bunch of helpful educational resources for parents and carers with school-aged children at home.

There's also information and advice you can use to help children and young people look after their mental health and wellbeing, at home workouts to keep them moving, and entertainment and leisure resources for after the school day.

At home resources >

Woman using laptop

Start thinking about your drinking

Have you found that you're drinking more than usual? While pubs and bars are closed cross the UK, research shows there has been a 291% increase in alcohol sales. Many people may be reaching for the bottle at home to help cope with anxiety, stress and isolation.

While alcohol may seem like a quick fix, increased drinking can lead to long-term health problems and even addiction.

If you're finding that one glass has turned into two during lockdown, why not take a couple of minutes to see how this may be affecting you. The DrinkCoach alcohol test is free, quick and confidential and can signpost to local support available in Tower Hamlets. 

Take the test >

Artwork displayed on Roman Road

#TowerHamletsTogether: incredible tribute spotted on Roman Road

We're seeing messages of thanks and hope appearing across Tower Hamlets. To brighten your Monday, we wanted to share this heartfelt and colourful tribute spotted on Roman Road. A huge thanks to those involved in creating it - we think it's brilliant.

The community spirit in Tower Hamlets has been second to none, reminding all of us we'll get through this hard time together. 

Have you or your children been getting creative through drawing or painting? If so, why not display your creations in your windows, front doors, walls or fences and share them on social media using #TowerHamletsTogether? We're encouraging the community to use the hashtag to share local stories of hope and positivity, as well as safety messages. 

#TowerHamletsTogether >

Support fund

Government pledges extra funding for councils

Councils across England will receive another £1.6 billion in government funding as we continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This will be vital to help us provide essential services and support our most vulnerable residents.

This follows last week's announcement that in Tower Hamlets, previous government funding of £10.5 million would be used to form a fund to deliver services protecting vulnerable children and adults, homeless people and families facing serious financial problems due to coronavirus.

The new fund adds to the significant range of assistance we are already providing so we can support our borough through this challenging period. 

More info >

A family console each other

Bereavement and funeral support for families

We have been working closely with local partners to ensure that families who lose a loved one due to COVID-19 are given the support they need at such a difficult time. We have updated our website to include practical information based on government guidance. 

A key part of this ensures that close family members can continue to attend funerals and that the funeral wishes of those who have passed away are provided for, where they can take place safely.

The update also includes details on the new teams supporting families, how to register a death in the borough, alongside bereavement and financial support available. 

Find out more >

Financial aid for businesses

Reminder: support for business ratepayers

Your business may be eligible for financial support from the government.

As of yesterday (19 April), we have delivered business rate relief worth £98,682,125 to 3,165 businesses as well as grants of £10,000 to 2,141 small businesses and grants of £25,000 to a further 1,030 businesses.

We are reaching out to another 2,599 businesses that have not yet provided us with their bank details in order to arrange the transfer of an additional £31,405,000 in grants.

These businesses need to provide their bank account details and upload a current copy of a bank statement to the council's secure 'MyAccount' portal. We still need to hear back from some businesses so that we can make the support payment.

Ratepayers should have received another reminder from us over the weekend. If you think this may apply to your business, please read more and take action as soon as possible. 

Get business support >

Poster about feeling worried

Be kind to yourself

If you are feeling anxious, worried or stressed about coronavirus, it's important that you are kind to yourself.

The NHS-approved digital mental wellbeing service, Good Thinking, promotes proactive self-care for the four most common mental health conditions: anxiety, low mood, sleeping difficulties and stress. It delivers a clinically validated self-assessment tool that provides recommendations that are personalised for you. 

Good Thinking has also put together a list of information to signpost people to help and advice. This includes specifically tailored advice for healthcare workers, children and young people, and parents and carers. 

Read more >

Appeal for carers

Reminder: paid roles for care workers

Do you want to be part of the community's fight against coronavirus? Our care providers are urgently looking for people to be part of the incredible teams providing care and support to some of our most vulnerable residents. 

Whether you already have experience in a caring role or are just passionate about helping those who need support, we need you!

To express your interest or find out more, call our care worker recruitment hotline on 020 7364 2280 or email

Coronavirus: useful links

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Updates in other languages

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