Mayor and MPs release important message + shielding updates, half-term events and more

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Screenshot of video message from mayor and MPs

Mayor and local MPs release important video message

Mayor John Biggs has joined Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow and Apsana Begum, MP for Poplar and Limehouse to deliver a message to the community of Tower Hamlets.

The video follows London’s classification as a high risk area under the government’s Covid-19 local alert system. Together, they've urged people to follow the rules and play their part in keeping themselves, their families and their communities safe.

With cases of Covid-19 increasing rapidly in London, their plea is as important as ever.

Watch the video >

Shielding update

High alert rules and updates for those who were shielding 

Based on infection and risk, London is now at a high alert level and has tier 2 restrictions in place, which mean households cannot mix indoors. This includes that you can't visit other homes or mix with other households in places like restaurants, bars or cafés. You should also minimise journeys and work from home if you can.

For residents that were shielding:

People with serious underlying health conditions who are most at risk of severe illness from Covid-19 were previously told by the government to self-isolate. However, the shielding programme was paused and those people are not currently advised to shield. We have updated our local advice for people who were shielding and steps they can follow to take extra precautions.

Shielding advice >

Hands face space - protect yourself from coronavirus

Remember the basics to help tackle Covid-19

In addition to the measures that come with being in a high risk area, we must continue to take every step we can to stay safe:

  • Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, then use hand sanitiser. 
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other enclosed areas, or anywhere it is difficult to socially distance. 
  • Keep a safe distance from other people outside your household (two metres where possible). 
  • Book a free test if you’re experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 and stay at home until you get your result.  
  • Stay at home if you test positive for 10 days from when symptoms started. This includes while symptomatic and waiting to arrange a test. 
  • Self-isolate if you’re identified as a close or recent contact of someone who has tested positive through NHS Test and Trace. 

NHS advice >


How to have a safe and fun Halloween

Due to the pandemic, Halloween as we know it will look a little different. Many of our popular half-term ‘Halloweek’ events will not be able to run this year, but there's still plenty of ways you can mark the day safely. 

We're inviting children and families to come along to Victoria Park (in line with social distancing rules) for a self-led sticker trail to learn about some of the trees in the park. The autumnal walk will take up to 90 minutes (but can be shortened or broken into sections to do on other days).

We've also put together a quick guide of alternative activities so you can still celebrate in a safe and spooky way. Whatever you choose to do, please make sure you follow the rules to help keep Tower Hamlets safe.

See activities >


Half-term Alexander McQueen arts performance 

Next week, A Team Arts will be running a unique socially distanced performance project from its base at the Brady Centre in Whitechapel.

Working in a large theatre space, students will join skilled facilitators and environmental scientists from Queen Mary University London to develop a short creative response to Covid-19 and its effects on the global environment.

Writing and performance developed throughout the course will be reimagined in a unique catwalk collection developed by designers at world leading fashion house, Alexander McQueen.

The free course is for 14-19-year olds and runs from 26 - 30 October, 1.30pm - 3.30pm each day at the Brady Arts and Community Centre.

Pre-registration by email is essential. Attendees will need to follow strict Covid-19 protection measures. 

Register by email >

Op c

Latest Operation Continuum sees 14 people arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs

Police in Tower Hamlets carried out a series of dawn raids this week to crackdown on the supply of drugs, violence and associated criminal and anti-social behaviour. The operation saw 20 search warrants executed simultaneously at addresses across the borough and in east London. Along with 14 arrests, officers seized around £6,000 in cash and 200 wraps of suspected Class A drugs.

The activity is the latest under Operation Continuum: an intelligence-led, phased operation established in response to ongoing reports of drug dealing, drug use and associated criminal behaviour in Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

Read more >

Women's group

Have your say on women's reproductive health services

Local organisation Tower Hamlets Women's Health Group wants to hear from women and their experiences to help shape local reproductive services. The one year pilot project aims to engage with women between the ages of 14-44 on what they need and want from health services across the borough.

The short survey will only take about 10 minutes to complete. Responses are anonymous as no information or contact details are collected. 

Take survey >

BHM events

Festivals, film, music and more during Black History Month 

Our rich Black History Month programme of events continues this week and next with a fantastic array of activities to get immersed in.

Join Numbi Arts from 7pm - 9pm this Saturday 24 October for Afkaaga Hooyo waa Dahab! Your Mother Tongue is Gold! - a family friendly live streamed feast that celebrates the Somali culture with a stellar line up of poets, musicians, DJs and visual artists.

On Tuesday 27 October, Genesis Cinema in Mile End will show Moolade as part of its mini season to explore black female stories and see the world Through Her Eyes. There are a limited number of free tickets for Tower Hamlets residents to attend the screening.

A host of mini cultural festivals, films, music, drama, discussions, our popular Photo-Open exhibition and more will run until 31 October.

What's on >


One year until ULEZ expansion

This weekend marks one year until the Ultra Low Emission Zone expands to cover Tower Hamlets and help Londoners breathe cleaner air.

Four out of five cars already meet the ULEZ emissions standards but owners of older vehicles need to take action or face charges when it is introduced next October. We encourage you to check if your vehicle meets the standard.

Check your vehicle >

BAME survey

Give your views on health inequalities

Health inequalities are being discussed by the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission at 11am on Tuesday 3 November. Commissioners want to know how a number of issues, such as racial bias, can impact on access to healthcare and even affect  residents' health.

Your views and personal experiences are important and will help inform the commission’s work. Please complete the survey by 3 November if you can (although it will remain open until later this year). Details on how you can follow the commission meeting live will be published nearer the time.

Have your say >


Covid-19 Volunteer Hub gets extra year's funding

The Covid-19 Volunteer Hub played a key role in the community response to the pandemic, enabling volunteers to help residents who were socially isolated by providing extra resource for our voluntary and community sector.

As cases of the virus continue to rise in Tower Hamlets, we recognise there is an urgent need to continue supporting the hub and have allocated funding to keep this essential resource going for another year.

So far, more than 2,300 people have signed up as volunteers to help their fellow residents. From delivering personal protective equipment to carers' homes to donning an apron in a community kitchen, these local volunteers and grassroots organisations have been vital in helping to protect some of our most vulnerable residents.

Our investment will allow their incredible work to continue throughout our borough’s recovery.

Become a volunteer >

And don't forget...

We're asking readers of Our East End to give us their feedback. Please spare a few minutes to complete our short reader survey

All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Amazon voucher.

Our East End

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