Tower Hamlets Council News


Help carers to stay healthy and connected

Thousands of carers, who provide unpaid support to a family member or friend, are being encouraged to stay healthy and connected themselves, as the nation marks Carers’ Week from 11-17 June.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help, as they grow older.

About 19,356 people in Tower Hamlets provide some form of unpaid care. And 3,326 of these are young carers under the age of 25.

Although caring can be rewarding, the impact of caring on health and well-being cannot be underestimated. This year, Carers’ Week is themed on building communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with health and wellbeing needs of their own.

Individuals and organisations in Tower Hamlets are being encouraged to support the borough’s carers and help them stay healthy and connected.

The council works in partnership with organisations including Carers’ Centre Tower Hamlets, to offer support such as information and advice, respite care, retreats, counselling, and massages to help carers in their role and support carers to maintain good emotional and physical health.

We also worked with local carers, professionals in health and social care, voluntary and community groups to establish a Carers Dignity Charter and refresh and update the Tower Hamlets Carers Strategy.

The strategy sets out how we aim to:

* Identify and support more carers

* Support working carers and ensure that young carers get the help and guidance they need to fulfil their potential in education and to have the same opportunities as other young people

* Provide more opportunities for carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities

Support carers to maintain good emotional and physical health

* Ensure that children and adults services work together better supporting young carers as they move from one service to the other.

Mayor John Biggs said: “Carers in Tower Hamlets make a valuable contribution to community and family life by looking after those who are ill, frail, or disabled.”

“We recognise that carers have their own needs and it is important that carers are supported to take care of their own health and well-being.  We are committed to giving carers of all ages the support they need to maintain good health, emotionally and physically with services that understand their particular needs.”

Carers’ Centre Tower Hamlets, which, promotes carers’ issues; campaigns for better rights and recognition for carers; and identifies new carers will give all carers across the borough an opportunity to celebrate. The centre will hold a special week of activities after Ramadan, from July 2-5. Activities will include pamper days, information days, outings and an Eid party.

Alzheimer’s Society Tower Hamlets will hold an event from 11am-2pm on Tuesday 26 June, to celebrate carers of people with dementia.

The free event hosted in association with leisure centre organisation Better, will feature singing, dancing, presentations, information and advice and refreshments.

It will take place at Poplar Baths Leisure Centre, 107 East India Dock Road, E14 0ED.

If you are a carer and think you may need support or advice, there are a range of services that can help.  A good place to start is the Tower Hamlets Carers’ Centre.  Call 7790 1765 or visit For more details about the Carers’ Dignity Charter and Carers’ Strategy, visit

Make a difference in your community with the Great Get Together


The upcoming Great Get Together (TGGT) weekend from 22-24 June is a great opportunity to get your neighbours, friends, family, community groups or colleagues together and share a meal or a cup of tea.

TGGT is inspired by former MP Jo Cox who was killed on 16 June 2016. She was passionate about tackling loneliness and said ‘young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate.’ Jo used her platform to raise the profile of the hidden crisis of loneliness and TGGT is a celebration in honour of her, bringing communities together to celebrate what unites us all.

Tower Hamlets Council is encouraging residents to take part in the national campaign as an opportunity to involve those who might be vulnerable, lonely or isolated.

The council is offering 30 FREE party packs with essential items such as paper plates, cups, plastic cutlery, table cloths and napkins for residents and community groups that hold events. Hosts will need to register with TGGT and then apply for a party pack by Wednesday 13 June with items distributed on a first-come first-served basis.

Mayor John Biggs said: “Whether it’s having a cup of tea with your neighbour or hosting a picnic in a park, we are encouraging residents to come together with their local communities.

“TGGT is a great opportunity to reduce isolation in our communities and celebrate the differences that unite us all.”

TGGT is about making a difference in your local community and former Tower Hamlets’ resident Emdad Rahman is doing just that. Emdad is a council welfare advisor who has been volunteering for over 30 years.

From community gardening to refugee resources to running a soup kitchen, father of three Emdad even squeezes in time to volunteer over his lunch hour.

Emdad said: “I love volunteering because I’m making a difference, feel inspired and the feel good factor cannot be beaten.

I have volunteered from a very young age and enjoy participating and contributing to diverse causes.

To get involved, I started looking on noticeboards, newsletters and eventually the internet and volunteer fayres.

I am an avid park run enthusiast, volunteer for the Whitechapel Mission and have been running the British 10k for 11 years.

I coach youngsters, manage the Stepney FC veterans team and also run an over 50’s team. I am a football poet and deliver free writing workshops.

I am a Dementia Friends champion and have trained thousands of people with the programme. I carry out voluntary elderly befriending roles, community gardening and homeless soup runs.

I regularly volunteer with Sister Christine Frost from Neighbours in Poplar and we take aid to Calais for refugees and those in need. We do a lot of community collaborative work together.

I also helped start a homeless soup kitchen which has two stations in Whitechapel and Stratford City.

We began the soup kitchen with a few friends putting in a fiver. We strongly felt that something needed to be done about our homeless situation and the government was not doing enough. We feed anywhere between 20-100 people during a shift. These are often very vulnerable people of all faiths and races.
Thanks to social media, the response to the soup kitchen has been immense. Donations in cash, food and volunteers are always welcome – people can contact me directly.”

There are all sorts of things, big or small, that you can do in your community to make someone feel less lonely and isolated and make them feel part of the community.

If you want to donate or volunteer, contact Emdad on Twitter @emdad07 or email

For other local volunteering options in Tower Hamlets visit:

You can also follow Emdad on his blog

For more information on TGGT visit: or find a local event near you.

For more information contact Anna Wilson, communications adviser,, 0207 364 6288.