Markets reopening success, time to reflect, special events and lots of ongoing support

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Tower Hamlets bannerColumbia road market

A welcome return for our markets 

We have some of the best known markets in the country, including the much loved Columbia Road flower market, whose return this weekend signalled the green shoots of an economic and social recovery underway across our borough.

Feedback so far has been positive, so we're grateful to residents, customers and traders alike for their support. A big thank you to council staff too, who have supported the safe and responsible reopening of our markets in recent weeks. 

Many more of our shops, pubs and restaurants are also beginning to bloom. You may have noticed that, just like our markets, they have introduced new measures designed to manage capacity, support social distancing and limit the spread of Covid-19.

Even with life beginning to return to our streets, residents and visitors alike are still relying on our green spaces for recreation – an update on play and gym equipment follows.

Unfortunately, an increase in activity in our parks has led to an increase in littering. We are doing everything we can to boost collection but we all need to play our part. If you can’t put your litter in a bin, please take it home with you. If you're picnicking, or meeting friends for a drink, take a bag with you to gather your rubbish before disposing of it responsibly.

Thank you for your continuing support and remember to try and shop local when you can and wash your hands regularly to protect yourself, and others. 

Do not use playgrounds

Vital safety checks before playgrounds can reopen

Many of you are asking "Why can I go to the pub but not use a playground?" We're aware of the government instruction to open playgrounds, and outdoor gyms — we're working on making this a reality by early August, if not sooner.

Our play and gym equipment requires annual safety inspections by an independent company, in addition to being checked because it has not been used for a few months now. The inspectors are juggling a backlog of work as a result of the virus so are due to be with us late July. In the meantime, please don’t enter playgrounds or use outdoor gym equipment as it may not be safe – we will update you once works are complete. Thank you for your patience.

Read more >

Memorial event

East London Srebrenica memorial event 

This week marks 25 years since the genocide in Srebrenica where more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were murdered..

To mark the occasion we invite you to join the East London Srebrenica memorial event on Thursday 9 July, 7pm - 8.30pm.

The event is being held in partnership with Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest and all are welcome to join. You can hear from survivors of the massacre, what can be done more widely to continue to challenge hate and extremism and ask questions of councillors from east London.

Register to join >

Pride 2020

Virtual Pride closing party – celebrate in style

If you have enjoyed our earlier events, or missed out so far, don't miss your last chance to participate in Pride 2020. 

Our virtual Pride celebrations conclude this Friday with a special party featuring a combination of live performances and DJs for you to sing and dance along to from the comfort of your own home. Tune in from 7.30pm on Friday 10 July.

Book your place >

Summer reading challenge 2

Take the Summer Reading Challenge!

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

Join the Silly Squad 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 daily, Monday to Saturday.

Take the challenge>

Shielding advice

Reminder on latest shielding guidance

The government announced new guidance for people who are shielding, which came into effect on Monday 6 July.

The changes include being able to spend time with up to six people outside of your household and being able to form a ‘support bubble’ if you live alone or are a single parent. Within your support bubble, you can meet indoors as well as outdoors, be less than two metres apart and stay overnight.

If the infection rate ('R' number) continues to fall, it is possible that shielding will be paused at the end of July. As shielding is lifted, it’s vital that you continue to follow strict social distancing to protect yourself from Covid-19.

Find out more >

public spaces review

A few more days to have your say

You have until this Sunday 12 July to contribute to our conversation about how issues of race and equality are represented in the borough’s public spaces.

Tell us about the monuments, plaques, buildings, roads, or other representations of history in Tower Hamlets, that you feel should be reviewed. We also want to hear about issues or individuals that you feel are under-represented.

Your suggestions will be reviewed with a range of possible outcomes, including relocation, the addition of explanatory information at an existing site, renaming, or removal. In some cases, it may be decided that no action is necessary at all. You know your community best and it is important that your voices are heard. 

Have your say >


Registration now open for Summer Holiday Childcare Scheme

Registration for the Holiday Childcare Scheme is now open on a 'first come, first served' basis. The scheme runs over Summer from Monday 27 July to Friday 21 August.

The Ofsted registered childcare scheme is open for all children aged three to 13-years-old including children of key workers, vulnerable children and children with SEND referred through short breaks. 

Learn more and register >

Domestic abuse support

Support for domestic abuse victims

We recognise that leaving an abusive partner or family member is incredibly hard and that’s why we want to reassure residents that local and national support services are still available for domestic abuse victims and their children. It’s important to remember that during lockdown you do not need to stay at home if you need to escape abuse.

Domestic abuse can include psychological, physical, sexual, emotional, and honour based abuse. If you are experiencing any type of domestic abuse or know someone who is, please talk to someone to get specialist support and advice.

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

To get help and advice, call the 24-hour free National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Get support >

Further education funding support

Could you get further education funding support?

Are you starting a new education or training course in September but struggling to find funding? The Tower Hamlets and Canary Wharf Further Education Trust provides grants of up to £6,000 to support those in the greatest need.

Find out more about the scheme and if you could benefit from the support available.

Find out more >

Test and Trace

Stay up to date on Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace is a national programme to make sure that anyone who develops Covid-19 symptoms can be tested quickly. It also helps trace recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and if necessary, notify them so that they can stay at home (self-isolate) and help stop the spread of the virus.

It is an essential feature of efforts to keep Tower Hamlets safe and continuing to drive down the rates of infection and transmission. Make sure that you, your family and your friends have the correct information on how it works.

Test and Trace > 

Coronavirus: useful links

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