COVID-19 funding shortfall + Stars in Memory ✨ and your mental health

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Cost of covid-19 response

Council calls on government to cover costs of coronavirus 

In Tower Hamlets, we’re facing a funding shortfall of £35.72 million for April, May and June 2020 - equivalent to an additional £108 per resident - due to the increased cost of responding to COVID-19 combined with a corresponding loss of income.  

Additional spending has gone towards vital work such as adult social care, housing homeless people, providing food and protecting vulnerable residents and sourcing personal protective equipment. Loss of income has come from significant reductions in revenue from businesses and council tax as well as in areas where we usually collect fees and charges.

Just like businesses and households across the country, councils are not immune to the financial impact of the pandemic. We are calling on the government to deliver on its “whatever it takes” pledge to cover the cost of the response, which has highlighted the importance of well-funded local services for our residents - now and on the road ahead. 

Read more >

Stars in memory

Stars in memory of lost loved ones  

The care community has launched a campaign called Stars in Memory to remember those who have lost their lives during the pandemic and help bring people together.

Anyone who has experienced loss and bereavement due to coronavirus is encouraged to connect by making a star and placing it in their window or by posting a star on social media using #StarsInMemory.  

The stars can be any size and made out of any material, or you can use an online template from the National Care Forum. Russia Lane Day Centre in Bethnal Green has created a beautiful display, pictured above. 

We recognise that this is a difficult time and the pandemic is not over. Please remember, support is available for those who have lost a loved one.

Find support >

Summer reading challenge 2

Sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge

The Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge is coming to our Idea Stores very soon and this year's event is celebrating happiness, fun and laughter.

Join the team of seriously funny animals as they get up to all sorts of mischief and mayhem in some of the best books around. Children taking part can borrow books from our eLibrary for free. Sign up to the challenge and let the fun begin!

Or if stories suit your little ones better, just a reminder that our Idea Store staff are still providing Story Time online at 10.30am each day, Monday to Saturday.

Take the challenge >

Mental Health

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

If you are feeling anxious about the pandemic and how it is impacting you, your loved ones or your work, support is available.

Thrive LDN is running a series of NHS-led Coping Well During Covid webinars, which aim to help you look after your wellbeing and manage anxiety, low mood or sleeping difficulties. 

Or you can get support from Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies, which is another free service run by the NHS offering workshops, courses and group sessions. You can also discuss your difficulties confidentially on a phone or video call, and a qualified therapist will help you find a way forward whatever you're experiencing. 

Mental health support >

Discretionary Grants

Funding available for small businesses and charities

In response to the pandemic, the government announced support for small businesses through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund.

Although this brought relief for many, some businesses were excluded from these grants as they did not fall into certain categories and were not business ratepayers. 

A new Discretionary Grants Scheme has been launched to support small businesses, market traders and charities that could not apply for previous schemes. Applications can be made until Monday 6 July 2020.

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Pride 2020

Online Pride continues into July

Our Pride celebrations have gone online this year and we’ve been proud to partner with the East London Out Partnership (ELOP) to put on a variety of cultural and discussion events throughout June and July. We’re pleased to say that there's still two more events coming up and the first of those takes place tomorrow, so don’t delay in checking them out!

  • Wednesday 1 July, 7pm – Laugh and lounge: comedy night
  • Friday 10 July, 7.30pm – Virtual party featuring dance, live singing and a choir

Virtual Pride events > 

Thank you drawing Brick Lane area

Join the nation to come together and say thanks

We're taking part in a new national initiative called Together, which aims to bring people together and say a big thank you to everyone who is helping us through these difficult times.

There are lots of ways you can get involved throughout the week, with a particular focus on activity this weekend to coincide with the birthday of the NHS. 

If you haven't already, you can also check out our #TowerHamletsTogether video, which we're encouraging you to share on social media to help thank our wonderful community.

Find out more >

Support line hours changing

If you need help, our support line is still available

Please remember, the opening hours of our coronavirus support phoneline (020 7364 3030) changed on Saturday 20 June. 

The phoneline is now available Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm and is no longer open at weekends or in the evenings.

Get support >

Coronavirus: useful links

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