Ramadan Mubarak, food for thousands, rent relief for community groups

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Ramadan Mubarak

Mayor John Biggs and Imam Mohammed Mahmoud from the East London Mosque have sent well wishes to all those in our community observing the holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting and abstinence for Muslims.

We know that due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ramadan at home will be very different this year. Mosques remain closed and it is important for everyone to keep following the government guidance to remain at home unless there is an essential reason to leave the house.

Anyone with an underlying health condition should speak to their GP before they fast. The Muslim Council of Britain and the NHS have further information and advice on their websites.

Watch the Ramadan message >


Health survey

Share your experience about health services

NHS and social care staff are doing everything they can to keep us well during this crisis but there might be things that can be improved.

What is affecting care for you and your loved ones? Healthwatch Tower Hamlets wants to hear your experiences and views and will share with those who can do something about it. Over 200 people have already taken part. Please help make services better in your community by completing the survey.

Have your say >

Central Foundation

A school in Bow makes face masks and visors to support local NHS staff

A big well done to Central Foundation Girls’ School teachers and staff for doing their bit to help frontline workers tackling coronavirus. The school’s art and design team has started designing and manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for the NHS.

The team kick started production by successfully making 75 visors and 50 fabric face masks in just one day this week. They've now reached a grand total of 200 items in just three days with the first batch set to go to local nurses.

For more on how the Tower Hamlets community is working together to get through the pandemic, check out the hashtag #TowerHamletsTogether on Twitter.

Read more >

Interfaith statement

A united message of support

We work closely with the Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum and other local partners who are supporting families that have lost a loved one. The current but necessary social distancing restrictions place an added burden on what is already a painful time for local families. The Inter Faith Forum has released a community message, supported by the council and Mayor John Biggs, to demonstrate how families will continue to be supported to carry out the wishes of loved ones who have passed away.

A message to our community >


Watch your speed on the roads

With more people rightly staying at home, most roads are empty. Unfortunately, the police have reported that some drivers are seeing that as an excuse for unacceptable speeding, including someone driving at 97 mph in a 40 mph zone.

No-one should be travelling on the roads unless they are a critical worker or are making an essential journey. Breaking the speed limit is dangerous at any time but during a time of national emergency, the emergency services need to be focusing on the coronavirus, not car accidents.

Police officers are undertaking enforcement activity at locations across Tower Hamlets and they have our full support.

Drive safely >

Food package

Emergency food parcels delivered

We have been working to help the borough’s most vulnerable residents including providing food to those who have been advised not to leave their homes because of pre-existing health conditions.

More than 5,000 residents across 2,065 households have received a delivery from our emergency food distribution centre.

The hub was set up at the beginning of April and is the centre of our operation to deliver essential food parcels to households across the borough. 

The hub is run by council staff who have been redeployed from other roles. They work alongside volunteers who have packed 12,000 tins of soup and pints of milk, 3,000 eggs and over 10,000 staples including bread, cereal, pasta and rice.

We have also been supporting local foodbanks that are helping people who have lost their income.

Find out more >

Victoria Park control measures

New measures for visiting Victoria Park 

Over 120 of our parks and green spaces are still open for residents to enjoy a walk or another form of once daily exercise. We are expecting more warm weather this weekend but we can't let that get in the way of following social distancing rules. Remember to stay local and to avoid making any non-essential journeys.

If you plan to visit Victoria Park this weekend, please make sure to check the new opening hours before you go and to read the control measures put in place for everyone's safety and to help ensure that additional pressures are not placed on the NHS or other frontline workers.

Victoria Park FAQs >

Remembering Brick Lane victims

Celebrating unity as we remember bombing victims

Today we are remembering the victims of three horrific nail bomb attacks that took place in 1999 in Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho. It’s also a day we celebrate unity. Watch our messages from Mayor John Biggs and Cllr Asma Begum, reaffirming that Tower Hamlets is a #NoPlaceForHate borough.

Find out more >

Rent relief

Rent relief gives a financial boost to community organisations

The council is providing almost £100,000 in rent relief to 24 community organisations facing uncertainty during this difficult time.

The organisations – which all provide services to local residents using properties leased by the council – have been identified as needing additional financial support. They will not have to pay any rent in April, May or June.

It will mean that paying rent is not an immediate concern and the groups can focus on what they do best which is supporting our community.

Read more >

Housing block

Housing providers pledge to be there during tough times

Housing associations from across Tower Hamlets have come together to renew their commitment to residents with a united pledge to do the following:

  • To keep critical services going during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • To look after the welfare of our most vulnerable residents.
  • To offer support and advice if you fall behind with your rent or service charge
  • To keep estates clean – including sanitising and wiping down touch points.
  • To keep you informed when things change.

Read the pledge >


Making your £15 free school meals voucher go further

Celebrity chef and campaigner, Jamie Oliver, has teamed up with children’s food and health charity Bite Back 2030 to support families who are receiving the government’s new £15 free school meals voucher. Together, they have developed the #BiteBackLunchList, a simple shopping list and some easy meal ideas to help budgets to go further.

Read more >

Coronavirus: useful links

Thank you for reading

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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.