Families Matter - July 2020

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Welcome to your monthly bitesize bulletin from the Parent and Family Support Service. Here you’ll find regular updates, information, advice, and support for all parents and carers in Tower Hamlets.

We understand the challenges of a busy family life and the additional pressures the long summer holiday can bring. This bulletin includes lots of information for keeping children safe and having fun.  

Don’t forget you can also join one of our networks or attend a virtual parenting session to meet other parents and carers, share your experiences and learn from each other. 

For more information about the service, visit our website.

If you like this e-bulletin please share on social media using the following share button, or you can click the hyperlink in the top right corner of this email:

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Just to let you know, you're receiving this because you have either opted in to get emails from the council relating to children and education, or you are one of the Parental Engagement Team's regular contacts.

If you know anyone who would like to sign up to this e-bulletin, please send them the following link. They will need to close the initial pop-up subscription box and complete the one on the main webpage. They will then need to choose Children and Education as their preferred topic:


Thanks for reading.

Dad with his child

Holiday Childcare Scheme fully booked

The Holiday Childcare Scheme is a popular provision and strives to support as many children and families as possible. Unfortunately, the scheme is now at full capacity and unable to take any further bookings.

If you require childcare this summer please contact your school before the end of term or contact the Family Information Service on 020 7364 6495 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) for information on alternative provision in Tower Hamlets.  

Child using Ipad

Keeping children safe when online this summer

With schools closing for summer and the changes to all our lives due to Covid-19, children and young people are likely to be spending more time at home and online.

The internet is a fantastic way for children and young people to stay in touch with their friends and keep busy during the school holidays, but there are risks. It’s important that we talk to our children about staying safe online, about social media, apps and other sites they may be using.

The Parental Engagement Team have produced some tips for keeping children safe when online this summer.

Top tips here >


Design your own banknote

Looking for creative things to do over the summer holiday? Get your drawing pencils ready and take part in the Bank of England museum's drawing competition for five to 11-year-olds.

Children are invited to design their own banknote that celebrates where they live for a chance to win a selection of goodies. Winning designs will be featured on the museum website and their Facebook page. The closing date is Friday 14 August.

Get drawing >

young person taking a picture

East Summer School for young creatives

The East Summer School provides free creative learning opportunities for young people aged 12 to 17 who live in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, or Waltham Forest.

The summer school is launching on Monday 27 July and for the first time all the classes and events will be online.

There will be one-off classes and week-long courses as well interactive webinars for young people interested in the creative, tech and design industries.

Find out more >

Young child looking outside the window

Back to school worries?

Are you worried about your child’s return to school? Do you think they have fallen behind with their learning? Are you anxious about their safety and want to know more about how they will be kept safe at school?

The Parental Engagement Team is offering parents ‘Back to School’ virtual meetings. These meetings can be provided one-to-one or in small groups and give parents a chance to connect with others as well as discuss any concerns they may have with an experienced practitioner.

To find out more and to book your place, email parentalengagement@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Colouring pencils

Design our new Children's Safeguarding Partnership logo

The Tower Hamlets Children’s Safeguarding Partnership need a new logo to represent working together and having children and young people at the centre of everything they do.

The Partnership are holding a special competition to find the best logo design created by a young designers aged six to 16.

Simply draw your design idea and send a picture to LSCB@towerhamlets.gov.uk by Friday 31 July.

The winner will receive a £40 book voucher.

Image of a Women

Violence Against Women and Girls service directory

The borough now has an online Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) service directory.

This details information on how to help and refer people experiencing abuse, as well as perpetrators of abuse, to local and national specialist support services.

Find out more > 


Let’s talk about racism

It can be hard to talk to children about racism. Some parents worry about exposing their children to issues like racism and discrimination at an early age. Others shy away from talking about something they themselves might not fully understand.

UNICEF have produced some advice for parents to start the conversation with their children, categorised into different age ranges.

Read more >

Adult classroom

The Somali Parents and Carers Network

The Parent and Family Support Service have been inviting Somali parents and carers to virtual meetings instead of the usual face-to-face meetings.

The network is a support group for Somali parents and a forum to share experiences relating to education, parenting and safeguarding.

To find out more or to join the Somali Parents and Carers Network, contact parenting@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 6811.

Children jumping

Summer activities 2020

Are you looking for fun things to do over the summer holidays? The Local Offer is here to help, with local information on upcoming events, activities and services, including any newly developed virtual offerings for children, young people and families. You should also look at the council’s Summer Events catalogue online.

Local Offer >

Family Information Service Logo

Advice and support for parents, carers and guardians

The following support is available from the Parent and Family Support Service throughout the summer:

  • Advice, guidance and practical support for parents, carers and guardians, including information about Free School Meals
  • Parenting advice and access to online parenting programmes
  • Information, advice and support for parents, carers and guardians of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • Information and advice for school transition and appeals
  • Childcare brokerage and summer activities for children, young people and families

For more information contact the Family Information Service on 020 7364 6495 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or email fis@towerhamlets.gov.uk.  


Tell us about the impact of Covid-19 on your family

University College London want to learn more about the impact of Covid-19 on families with young children.

If you live in Tower Hamlets and you are pregnant or have a child who is under-five (up to 59 months old) they would like to hear from you - participants will be rewarded with a £10 shopping voucher.

Survey results will support the council to shape its future service offering for families and young children.

Please make yourself heard.

Learn more >


Coronavirus updates and advice

The council is supporting the nation's efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, while running our most critical services and supporting our residents, including those that are vulnerable.  

We are regularly publishing advice for residents, local businesses and more at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/coronavirus 

We are also sharing updates with our subscribers in regular emails, and publishing stories on social media using #TowerHamletsTogether.

Sign up to our 'health and wellbeing - coronavirus' newsletter to get regular updates delivered to your inbox.

 Sign up for updates >

Stay at home

More on staying healthy, happy and entertained at home

In addition to the highlights featured here, the council has put together a whole host of resources to help families and individuals stay happy, healthy and entertained while they spend more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

From online Idea Store materials to educational activities, learning a new skill or hobby, taking a virtual museum or zoo tour, keeping fit or just having pure fun, we've got it all in one place.

More activities and resources >

Did you know that Tower Hamlets offers other email newsletters to keep you up to date on a variety of topics?

  See the list and sign up!