Council support for Dementia Action Week


council is uniting with Alzheimer’s Society Tower Hamlets to raise awareness and help make an impact during Dementia Action Week from 21-27 May.

Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem solving or language. It is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.

At 5.25 per cent, prevalence of dementia amongst people aged 65 and over in Tower Hamlets is significantly higher than in other parts of London and England (4.49 and 4.33 per cent respectively)

Alzheimer’s Society encourages organisations and individuals to play a part in creating a dementia-friendly UK by taking simple actions such as

finding out more about how dementia affects a person – and then, armed with this understanding, doing small everyday things that help.

The council with a range of partners including the Alzheimer’s Society, is taking steps towards making Tower Hamlets a Dementia Friendly Borough and as part of this work, a programme of training to enable council officers and elected members to become Dementia Friends has begun.

The council also offers advice, information and equipment to help safeguard people with dementia living in their own homes.

Mayor John Biggs said: “Supporting and enabling people to live well with dementia is important for the council. We want to help people with dementia to feel included in our community and able to live the lives they want. That is why we are working towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Borough and supporting Dementia Action Week.”

Alzheimer’s Society Tower Hamlets will be holding drop in sessions to raise awareness with the public and professionals during Dementia Action Week.

The charity will also be holding Dementia Friends sessions and is calling on everyone to unite and take actions, big or small, to improve the everyday lives of people affected by the disease.

Activities will take place on:

  • Monday, 21 May at the Robinson Centre, Mile End Hospital, Bancroft Road.
  • Tuesday 22 May at Poplar Baths, East India Dock Road and also at Royal London Hospital Whitechapel.
  • Thursday 24 May, the charity will bring the public together at the Aquatic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford for a mass singing for the brain session from 2-4pm.

Singing can improve brain activity, wellbeing and mood, and the charity hopes to start and set a world for the largest singing for the brain session ever. There will also be dancing and afternoon tea.

For further information or to sign up, email, call 8121 5626 or visit

Chinese Embassy comes to Tower Hamlets



Mayor John Biggs has met with the Chinese Ambassador at a special ceremony to mark the fact that the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China will be moving to Tower Hamlets.

The Embassy will be situated on the site of the former Royal Mint at Tower Hill in a location overlooking the iconic Tower of London. It has been purchased by the Chinese Government and after an extensive refurbishment, the diplomatic mission of the People’s Republic of China, one of the biggest in the world, will operate on the site.

Mayor John Biggs said:

“I am pleased that the Chinese Embassy has chosen to make their new home in the historic Royal Mint building. The fact they are moving to Tower Hamlets is a vote of confidence in the Borough, and reflects the fact we are an open and dynamic place to live and work. I was delighted to attend the ceremony to announce this and look forward to working closely with the Embassy when it opens its doors”

Chinese Ambassador His Excellency Ambassador Liu Xiaoming  said: “An embassy is the face of a country. Our current premises in Portland Place has gone through many renovations in order to meet the growing needs of our diplomatic mission. However, the new era is calling for a new premises consistent with China’s current role and influence in the world.

I am confident that after the renovation, the new premises of the Chinese Embassy will become a new landmark in London and a new face of China in the new era. I hope our two countries will work together to write a new chapter for China-UK “Golden Era” and make new contribution to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

I wish to thank London Borough of Tower Hamlets for your support in planning.”

Background on the Royal Mint

Completed in 1810, the building that housed the Royal Mint started producing coins and military medals by 1812. The new mint, with its ‘stupendous and beautiful machinery’, stood in sharp contrast to the old.

The main building, designed by James Johnson and completed by Robert Smirke, achieved a ‘modest grandeur’ and continued its task of producing coins until the Royal Mint moved to South Wales in the late 1960s ahead of decimalisation in 1968.

After an extensive refurbishment, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China will relocate to the former Royal Mint site at Tower Hill in Tower Hamlets

Heaps of holiday fun for residents of all ages


Free activities include outdoor cinema, live music, BMX track sessions, fishing, canoeing and hanging basket workshops

Residents of all ages will be spoilt for choice about what to do and where to go this Spring Bank Holiday and throughout half term, as the council and leisure partners host a heap of entertaining events and activities from community festivals to arts and crafts and active sporting sessions from Monday 28 May to Friday June 1.

The council supports residents to access a range of cultural, community and leisure activities throughout the year.

Mayor John Biggs said: “Every day, thousands of people come to see major attractions in our borough, including our multiple award winning Victoria Park. Our jam-packed Spring holiday and half term programme offers you a chance to gather your friends and family together and join in the free fun.”

Kick-starting the bank holiday week, is In The Neighbourhood a four-day programme of free activities in Victoria Park from Monday 28– Thursday 31 May.

In The Neighbourhood is part of a dedicated drive by the council and festival organisers All Points East, to provide free cultural and leisure activities for local residents and the wider community and to support local businesses.

The majority of activities have been sourced from amazing organisations based in Tower Hamlets.

There will be outdoor cinema, live music and entertainment, street food, pop up bars, theatre, arts, sports and wellbeing and children’s activities.

The first day of In The Neighbourhood is titled All Points Equal, a day dedicated to celebrating the 100 years of votes for (some) women, and 90 years of equal voting rights for women and men.

Go to for further details.

Elsewhere in Victoria Park, sports enthusiasts and those willing to try something new can visit the borough’s much loved open space for a bowls taster day on Tuesday 29 May from 11am-2pm.

Budding anglers are invited to a fishing taster day on Wednesday May 30 from 11am -3pm or why not grab an oar and have a go at canoeing on Thursday 31 May from 12 noon until 3pm.

There will be a children’s chess taster day on Friday June 1 from 11am to 2pm. Beginners and more experienced players can pick up tips from professionals. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cllr Amina Ali, Cabinet Member, for Culture, Arts and Brexit said: “This extensive programme of free community events gives residents plenty to choose from. In the Neighbourhood and council events across the borough ensure that residents of all ages can take part.”

Mile End Park Leisure Centre will host a holiday club for 5 to 16 year olds, every day from May 28 until June 1, with trampolining, football, swimming, tennis, arts and crafts and much more. For further information visit or email

Free cycling courses, BMX track sessions and canoeing are some of the activities planned to keep children over the age of five active this half term holiday. Run by Tower Hamlets Sports Development in partnership with Urban Adventure Base, and Access Sport, sessions will take place at Mile End Park’s Urban Adventure Base and Mile End Stadium. Sessions must be booked in advance and priority will be given to Tower Hamlets residents. Contact

Join our community park rangers at Mile End Park Play Pavilion, where they will help you create your very own window box or hanging basket at aworkshop on Wednesday 30 May from 12noon – 3pm. Admire your work and take it home with you afterwards. Booking is required. Email or call 020 7364 5227

Get crafting at King Edward Memorial Park, the riverside venue will hold afternoon of arts and crafts on Friday 1 June, from 1-3pm. For more information contact

The fun is not limited to the outdoors. Idea Stores in Whitechapel and Watney Market will hold events ranging from story picnics to thrifty upcycling sessions to the opportunity to create your very own Giant Peach air balloon. For times and dates of all the activities visit or

Tower Hamlets to launch third Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) in Poplar

Tower Hamlets council will launch its third Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP), to tackle underage drinking and anti-social behaviour, in Poplar later this month.

CAPs are partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers. These organisations work together to empower communities to tackle the issue by reducing the sale of alcohol to young people, advise them on the dangers of drinking and provide alcohol-free activities with local youth services and charities.

The Poplar CAP follows a resident survey which highlighted concerns regarding alcohol related crime and lack of facilities. It is led by Tower Hamlets council who are partnering with a wide range of stakeholders including Poplar Harca Housing Association, the Spotlight Youth Centre, St Paul’s Way School, Langdon Park School, the Rapid Response Team and Compass, the young people’s substance misuse service.

The CAP will work with retailers to offer guidance and training to combat underage sales of alcohol and proxy purchase, where adults buy alcohol on behalf of young people. It will also work with schools and youth services to engage with young people and encourage them to attend youth centres.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said:

“There is a growing concern about the levels and impact of underage drinking. We are using innovative ways to tackle this such as Community Alcohol Partnerships. We want this to involve residents and young people across our community and work in partnership to engage with retailers as well as educating and where necessary enforcing.”

Quote from Cllr Asma Begum, Deputy Mayor for Community Safety and Equalities said:

“Drinking alcohol at a young age brings serious risks to children’s health and development and puts them in danger of both physical and social harm. They are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else, fail to reach their potential at school and engage in anti-social behaviour. As a Council are committed to making a positive difference to their lives and to our local community.”

About the launch

The launch of the Poplar CAP will take place at 4pm on 25 May at Poplar Union, 2 Cotall St, Poplar, London E14 6TL.  You are very welcome to send a reporter or photographer to the event.

For further information contact: Vincent Fajilagmago on 07791 637990.

About Community Alcohol Partnerships

  1. Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) schemes are set up to tackle underage drinking and the resulting harm to local communities. All schemes are managed and delivered locally via partnerships between local authorities, police, retailers, schools and neighbourhood groups and health providers, offering a flexible model tailored to fit the needs of each community. All schemes incorporate a mixture of education, enforcement, community engagement and the provision of diversionary activities for young people. For more information, see our website at
  2. CAPs across the UK have enjoyed considerable success tackling underage drinking with a mix of education, enforcement, community engagement and the provision of diversionary activities for young people. CAP Director Kate Winstanley said: “‘I am delighted at the launch of a CAP in Poplar.  Community Alcohol Partnerships are a tried and tested way of driving down underage drinking and creating better, safer and friendlier neighbourhoods.”
  3. In 2017, Tower Hamlets’ CAP in Mile End, and its work led by Licensing Office Vincent Fajilagmago, received a national award for tackling underage drinking in Mile End. The Mile End CAP took several steps including checks on retailers, gathering evidence of anti-social behaviour and working with local schools and youth centres to increase alcohol awareness and organise youth activities. As a result, alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour by young people dropped by 62%.