Gold Awards for young people in Tower Hamlets

Twelve young people from Tower Hamlets mingled with members of the royal family at Buckingham Palace during the annual Duke of Edinburgh gold awards ceremony,  last week.

The event on 24 May was hosted by Prince Edward, trustee of the DofE awards, and he was joined by the Duke of Cambridge and his cousin, Princess Eugenie, to celebrate the achievements of 3,000 young people from across the country who received their awards during the special day.

The young residents, aged between 16 and 25, all achieved their DofE gold award by working in volunteering, physical activity, skills and expeditions.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:

“This has been a real record-breaking year for the Duke of Edinburgh awards here in the borough with 12 students achieving their Gold Award at Buckingham Palace.

“I am very proud of what these young people have accomplished. It takes real skill, determination and commitment to complete the programme and achieving the gold award is a fantastic feat.”

In Tower Hamlets, the DofE is delivered in over 30 centres such as schools and youth clubs. More young people than ever before have started their DofE programme and more young people than ever have achieved their Award.

Councillor Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Young People said:

“These young people should be incredibly proud of their achievements.  I would also like to thank our local community who deliver opportunities for young people to volunteer, to take part in sporting activities and to learn business and other skills.  That makes it possible for these outstanding students to be able to complete their award programmes.”

Last year nearly 900 people started a DofE programme in the borough with nearly 300 achieving a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.

The Duke of Edinburgh is a youth achievement award that helps to develop young people for life and work in the UK every year.  Since the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded in 1956, some six million people have taken part and more than 2.7 million awards have been handed out.

For more information about how to enrol for your DofE awards please email: urban.adventurebase@towerhamlets.

Fourth community-wide Big Clean Up set to take place

Tower Hamlets Council is running its fourth borough-wide Big Clean Up next week, as part of its ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ campaign.

With the good weather on its way, the fourth #TheBigCleanUp running from from Monday 4 – Friday 8 June promises to be bigger than ever before, spread across parks, estates and streets while working with a wide variety of partners.

A full list of locations is available online and is being publicised through social media.

In 2016, the Council collected 7,000 tonnes of litter and debris, and the Big Clean Up raises awareness and encourages everyone in the community to play their part in keeping the borough clean and green, and do their bit by not dropping litter and taking part in short clean-up activities

Mayor John Biggs said:

“While most people respect out streets the few who litter affect everyone and their rubbish can quickly become be a blight upon the neighbourhood.

Through enforcement work, along with education and community involvement such as the Big Clean Up, we are taking positive steps to make sure our borough looks its best and help to encourage a greater sense of pride in our area.”

Cllr David Edgar, Cabinet Member for Environment, added:

“We are committed to keeping our streets clean and free of litter through constant street cleaning work, and by cracking down on fly-tipping and littering offences.

“Big Clean Up events encourage everyone to play a small part in making a big difference and keeping our streets clean and we look forward to welcoming people.”

How to get involved:

If you’re keen to get involved, exercise your civic pride and show some love to your neighbourhood by keeping it clean, then take a look at our list of events for the week and let us know which one you would like to attend.

You can do this either by emailing

uk or tweet @TowerHamletsNow using the hashtag #TheBigCleanUp.

Equally, you can use Facebook (

towerhamletscouncil) or simply turn up on the day.

Locations of Big Clean Up activities can be found online at