Hello Everyone – Not Sure how I Feel about Christmas….

I love Christmas and I already have my tree up, I have just tucked into my first advent calendar chocolate but I have a dread that I have never had before.  This will be my first Christmas without Dad and I am going to miss him a lot.

He was never the planner, Mum did it all but he was fun and funny and an integral part of my Christmas’s for as long as I can remember.  He got me my first Action Man, he helped me learn to ride a bike, he taught me how to ski and use my sledge and we played endless games of Frustration.  Some, of you might remember it and I really am going to miss him.

I know this is the case for many of us and I am not alone but I also wish Mum was not in a nursing home, I wish she did not have Dementia – as they say in the musical ‘Into the Woods’

‘I WISH’.  I was just on the phone with Mum to remind her that her Advent calendar was in her drawer (she had forgotten) and we chatted and she could not remember the name for snow.  Like you, let’s do our best, enjoy what we have and have a peaceful festive holiday.

Don’t forget Bereavement & Grief Group is Tuesday 5th December at 5pm and the Carers Centre 

This advice from Marie Curie might be useful:

The practical side of getting through Christmas without a loved one – from those who’ve done it.

Whether this is your first Christmas without your loved one, or they died some years ago, the festive period can be particularly difficult after bereavement. There will be an empty chair, and that grief is very real.

It’s hard enough to cope with the emotional trauma, let alone everything else that this time of year brings. Often, the practical preparations and decisions feel very hard for people who are grieving. How will you manage the cooking, the decorations, the shopping, the socialising and the expectations of others?

Remember, it’s important to take care of yourself. Following a death, it’s common to feel a sense of apathy towards things that used to bring joy. This might mean you feel differently about Christmas traditions, or find them a trigger for grief. It’s okay to do things differently – and to ask for help.

Here are some suggestions from my experience in supporting bereaved people at Christmas that may make things easier.

The lead up to Christmas

The anticipation of the first Christmas after a loved one has died can be very difficult. And feeling out of touch with rituals that you have always enjoyed can feel like a secondary loss as well. Grief can change the way life looks and feels. You are not being a ‘grinch’, you are coping with immense loss after a very difficult time. But I do find that most of the people I’ve supported say afterwards that the anticipation was actually far worse than the day itself.

No doubt there will be tears shed on Christmas day, but I think it’s important to talk about what you remember, especially with children, and do mum’s favourite things and visit her favourite places.

Christmas cards

Sending Christmas cards, particularly that first Christmas, can be very difficult. It can be very painful to leave your loved one’s name off the card, and equally painful to receive cards addressed just to you. In my experience, there’s no expectation from others that you need to send out cards if you don’t want to.

If you’re worried about this, consider asking another member of the family or a close friend to spread the word about your wishes, for example that you won’t be sending cards this year, and would prefer not to receive them. Chances are people will be pleased to have a chance to support you in the way you prefer at such a difficult time.


Sometimes it can be things which most represent the excitement and hope of Christmas that hit the hardest when someone we love has died. For some people, this is getting the Christmas decorations up. Particularly for your first Christmas without your loved one, you just might not be in the mood – and that’s okay.


Parties and family gatherings may feel too much when you’re just trying to get through each day, particularly if this is your first Christmas without your loved one.

Think through what expectations there are around your time and don’t be afraid to opt out of anything that you feel will be especially upsetting or tiring for you. People will understand that you have limited energy. Looking ahead can help avoid last-minute disappointment.

One lady I supported said how she found it very helpful to know in advance who was going to be present at planned events and what would be happening, so she could visualise it and prepare herself better. Even if you think it’s all okay, think about having plan Bs in case you just don’t feel like it on the day.

The day itself

Remember, it’s only you who can say what’s going to feel most ‘right’ to you on the day. You might prefer to be alone, to connect with a select few, or to talk to as many people as possible. There is no right or wrong. It’s also possible to appreciate those around you and still mourn all that you have lost.

You might prefer to keep the traditions as close to normal as you can, or to not celebrate at all – and that’s okay. People will understand and respect your wishes. It may help to prepare them in advance if you’re concerned about feeling pressure.

If you have people around you who normally rely on you making an effort, ask for help and share the work, or have a conversation with them about how you’re feeling so you can consider alternative options.

Just another day

It’s absolutely fine to opt out of celebrations if you don’t feel like it. You have permission to change your mind about plans, take breaks or leave early.

One gentleman I supported didn’t want any Christmases again without his wife. Despite having numerous invitations to spend the day – or just the meal – with others, he declined and decided to create a new routine for himself.

He wanted to spend the day alone, visiting the cemetery, playing favourite music, reminiscing on past Christmases with her. He saw Christmas Day as just another day in the calendar without her, and he wanted to spend it trying to find different things to do without her.

Keeping traditions going

Lots of people want to keep their Christmas traditions going as much as possible. But it’s worth thinking about the pressure that could put you under, and whether you could ask for more help.

I supported one lady in the run up to Christmas a few years ago who was facing the first Christmas without her mum. She’d never cooked a Christmas dinner before, but it became important to her to accomplish it this first Christmas after her mum had died – not only for herself but for her family.

After Christmas, when we met again, she reflected that the pressure had been awful! And as tasty as the meal was, it was never going to taste like her mum’s.

One lady I supported, whose husband had died, dreaded waking up in an empty house on Christmas morning, but didn’t want to be anywhere else. So, she arranged for her daughter to spend Christmas Eve night with her.

Whatever you decide to do, this may be a hard day, but remember that you have survived harder days, and you will get through this one too.

After Christmas

Many of us will have the big day itself as the focus for what we need to get through. But I find that people who are bereaved often find the first New Year without their loved one far harder than Christmas. Stepping into a new year without them, or feeling that you’re leaving them behind, can be really tough.

Acknowledging that this time of year can be hard, that you need to be kind to yourself, and that these feelings are to be expected and are totally normal can be a helpful part of prepping your first Christmas without someone.

My Dad

Can I just remind you that if you have not done the Annual Carers Survey please see link below and help us to help you for future services and what you need…

Disclaimer: The author is writing his personal thoughts on behalf of the Carers Centre Tower Hamlets and assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this blog. The information and thoughts contained in this blog is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness but is the intellectual property of the Carers Centre Tower Hamlets.


Your Voice Matters: Carers Annual Survey 2023


Your opinions, experiences, and feedback are at the heart of what we do, and we are eager to hear your thoughts on the services we provide. The Annual Survey is your platform to let us know how we can improve, what we are doing right, and where we can make positive changes. Your insights help shape the future of carer support in Tower Hamlets.


Click here for survey 

Best places to visit this Small Business Saturday

Small business owners in Tower Hamlets have shared their local recommendations for where to eat, drink, and shop ahead of the annual UK-wide grassroots event Small Business Saturday.

Tower Hamlets’ newest traders, graduates from Rebel Business School, will be at Roman Road Square, Globe Town, selling an array of unique products. The market will take place on 2 December from 11am-4pm.

Show your support >

The importance of a break

We know all too well how challenging a full-time caring role can be, so a few days away with a partner or a friend can work wonders. It may seem like a small thing but our experience shows us that it can make a huge difference. Read a book, go for a walk, or simply catch up on some sleep. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll return home with a whole new outlook on things, refreshed and rejuvenated.

How it works

There are hundreds of potential breaks away listed on Carefree’s Breaks Hub. After registering with us, unpaid carers can browse available options and submit a request for a specific hotel on specific dates. If available, a confirmation email will be sent to you and you’re all set to go!

If the break request is rejected, we’ll give you access again to the Breaks Hub and you can select a different option.

New hotels and dates are added all the time, so if you can’t quite find what you’re looking, check back in in a few weeks.

Our hotels donate 1-2 night breaks, plus breakfast where possible for a carer and their companion (adult or child). Twin or Double room.

We are currently seeking new partnerships for longer stays that will become available in due course.

There is no charge for the accommodation, but you are responsible for all other costs (transport, food, travel insurance etc.) and there’s a £25 admin fee to help with the cost of operating our charity.

The short breaks initiative is designed to give you some time away from your caring responsibilities. You are welcome to take a companion with you but not the person that you care for. If you want to travel alone, that’s fine too.

After you have selected a break of your choice and paid the admin fee we will do a final booking confirmation check with the hotel. Occasionally a hotel will reject a booking request. When this happens we will let you know, and then you will be able to request another break.

To qualify for a break you must be:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Full-time unpaid carer (30+ hours per week)

Please note: in order to take a break with us, carers must be able to arrange interim care and pay for extras (admin fee, transport, food, travel insurance etc.)

if you would like to be referred then get in contact with the centre team 

Come and see an exhibition on Carers of someone with Dementia – Wednesday 6th 11am to 3pm

The Carers Centre has been working with UCL on developing carer stories on what, how it is to care for someone with Dementia. We would like as many carers to come and visit the Carers Centre and check out the exhibition food and refreshments will be available and below is an example of the carer stories which a local east end artist has captured.

The Digital Voice Switchover is happening

The UK’s telephone network is changing. Between now and 2025, most telephone providers will be moving their customers from old analogue landlines over to new upgraded landline services using digital technology. The new network will provide a future proof, more reliable and dependable broadband service that will support the UK for decades to come.

This means services that rely on the old landline system such as home phones and healthcare devices will be switched over.

The BT Open Reach Bus which will be visiting Tower Hamlets to give more information about what this means for you. It will in Bethnal Green Professional Centre, 229 Bethnal Green Road, E2 6AB, on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 December from 9am to 4pm.

Find out more >

Community vaccination clinic for school-aged children

If your school-aged child has missed out on having one of their routine vaccinations, they can attend community clinics run by Vaccination UK to catch up. The clinics will be providing catch up vaccines for Flu, MMR, HPV and DTP, and MeningitisACWY.

The next clinic providing a gelatine-free version of the flu vaccine will take place at East London Mosque on Tuesday 5 December from 3pm to 6pm.

If you would like more information on childhood immunisations, visit the NHS website.

More info >

Come along to our December clothes and book swap

Help tackle clothes waste and pick up some pre-loved pieces or your new favourite read at a sustainable event on Saturday 2 December.

Join us and Friends of the Earth Hackney and Tower Hamlets for a clothes and book swap. The event will be held at St Anne’s Limehouse, Commercial Road, 5 Newell Street, E14 7HP. Items can be dropped off for the swap from 10.30am-11.30am, and the swap will start at 12noon until 1.30pm. We’ll also be on hand to talk about our Recycling Champions network, and to answer your questions about how recycling works in Tower Hamlets.

Grab a bargain >

Next Week’s Activities – check out https://ccth.org.uk/calendar/ 


Everything in our lives can affect our health, including our education, income, employment, housing, access to green spaces, sense of community, and much more. These wider factors are known as ‘health determinants’, and they impact our health in different ways. They also play a large role in shaping inequalities in people’s health.  

We want to make sure everyone in Tower Hamlets has the chance to have a healthy life. To do this, we need good quality research so that decision-makers at the council can implement services and policies that improve the lives of residents.

Through our HDRC, Tower Hamlets Council, local universities (Queen Marys, University of East London and London Metropolitan University)  with Tower Hamlets Council for Voluntary Services (THCVS) are working together to make it easier for the council to do and use research about health determinants to improve services for our communities. Most importantly, we want this work to be shaped by our residents.

For more information about the HDRC programme, please visit:

 What has been happening in the Tower Hamlets HDRC so far? 

Since the start of our programme in October 2022, we have been recruiting to our growing HDRC team, engaging with residents and local communities, building support among local politicians and fostering relationships with organisations across the borough.  

 The Public Involvement team is now looking to encourage more residents to get involved in the programme. We will do this through running a series of events with voluntary sector organisations, housing associations and in other settings.

 Meet the Public Involvement team: 

 Kolshuma Begum – THCVS  

Briana Applewhite – Queen Mary University of London

Catherine DeLacy – London Metropolitan University 

Zara Schneider – University of East London 

Isla Collee – Tower Hamlets Council


Supported by Sam Crosby and Alison Robert from THCVS. 

 What happens next? 

 The HDRC is now setting the first research priority for the programme so we can develop research proposals and seek funding opportunities.

 Partners across the collaboration have identified two clear themes: 

1.     Healthy homes

2.     Economic injustice and employment  


But we now need your support!

We’d like to invite you to help us decide which areas we should focus research on by telling us which factors  most affect your health and wellbeing.

We are planning an in-person event on the 4th December at the Greenhouse 244-254 Cambridge Heath Road London E2 9DA between 10-12pm.

We will be asking you to stay for about 30minutes so we can hear your views about what our first research priority should be.  You will have the opportunity to have a cup of tea or coffee and share your thoughts with the team and others. There will be a voucher to acknowledge your time in being involved.

 Other ways you can get involved with the collaboration

 We would like to ask you to let your family, friends and neighbours know about the HDRC by inviting them to sign up to this newsletter. 

 You can sign up here 


 We are looking for a wide range of residents to get involved to ensure that our HDRC is designed to support the needs and lived experiences of residents in Tower Hamlets.  

 We would also welcome your ideas on how we should involve communities in the future, especially communities that are seldom heard. 

Let us know at   communityinvolvement@thcvs.org.uk.

Identifying barriers for older adults (aged 65+) and people from diverse ethnic communities in accessing mental health services in Tower Hamlets 

Tower Hamlets has some of the highest levels of reported mental health illness in London, and with the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, more people are experiencing mental health problems.It is known that older adults aged 65 or older and people from diverse ethnic backgrounds are less likely to access mental health support services when needed. With this project, Healthwatch Tower Hamlets seeks to collect feedback to identify barriers that exist for these groups and how they can be overcome. 

 Our online survey can be accessed here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/THMENTALHEALTH/ or we can provide paper copies of the survey.This survey is for anyone living in Tower Hamlets who is aged 65 or older OR from an ethnic minority community (OR both).  

Tower Hamlets Over 50s Festive Tea Dance

Thu 14 Dec 23


Time 1.30 – 4.30pm
Fees Free but advance booking essential
Venue The Art Pavilion
Address Mile End Park, Clinton Road, E3 4QY
Tel 020 7364 3115

Tower Hamlets’ over 50s residents are invited to don their dancing shoes and quick-step into the spirit of the season with live music, dancing and refreshments.

Top London jazz and swing band The Sunshine Kings are back to provide live music and festive cheer with New Orleans, Dixieland, 20s, traditional and vintage style sounds with Tony Lane leading the dancing.

The choir of St Paul’s Way Secondary School will serenade the audience before the band starts. Light refreshments will be served.

Bookings open Thursday 30 November. Please call 020 7364 3115 or 020 7364 7900 from 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, or email festivalsandevents@towerhamlets.gov.uk.

Seats are allocated in advance and booking is essential due to limited numbers. Please book as a group if you w ant to sit with friends. Maximum 10 people per group.


Aldgate in Winter 2023

Aldgate in Winter festival returns for its seventh year!

Join us on Friday 8th December for a jam-packed evening of music, dance, light, and celebration.

This year will see the return of everyone’s favourites such as the lantern parade, live performances on The Aldgate Stage, The Community Feast, creative workshops and more. The Aldgate in Winter Festival remains one made for and by the community, and we at Aldgate Connect BID feel very privileged to have such an amazing and enthusiastic community around us to bring the festival back to life in 2023!


Aldgate in Winter 2023 – Aldgate BID (aldgateconnect.london)


LGBT+ experiences of Community Safety & Hate Crime

Are you LGBT+ and live, work, study or socialise in Tower Hamlets? Your feedback about your experiences are valuable to us. The survey is 10 questions and will take 2 mins to complete.

The purpose of this survey is to find out about LGBT+ people experiences of safety in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Please note: As we do not ask for your name, this survey is anonymous. The survey is aimed at those who live, work, study or socialise in the borough of Tower Hamlets. Please only complete this if this applies to you.

For more information or questions, please email lgbtforum@elop.org 

CLICK HERE to complete the survey

Mental health crisis support 24/7 via telephone 0800 073 0003 (all ages).

The Together Café for adults in Tower Hamlets who are at risk of developing a mental health crisis can drop into this service out of hours for professional support and group activities. Located at Osmani Trust, Osmani Centre 58 Underwood Road E1 5AW. Open Monday to Friday 5pm-9pm and Saturday to Sunday 12pm-9pm.

Safe Connections Hub: For people aged 18+ who are having thoughts of suicide. Self-referral by email safeconnections@mindthnr.org.uk or telephone 09:30-16:30 0300 561 0115. Flyer attached, which includes information about


Getting the right and timely 1:1 support for the person you look after should you experience an emergency and / or you need urgent time out from your caring role is very important.

You may be eligible for emergency care for the person you care for – this service is called the Emergency Carers Service.

Carers Centre, Tower Hamlets is pleased to be working in partnership with Excelcare Homecare, the company that delivers this valuable emergency service for carers, in Tower Hamlets.


The purpose of the Emergency Carers Service is to enable carers to attend appointments knowing that the person they care for is safe;  to support carers who are experiencing a crisis.

The agreed criteria for self-referrals is as below:

  • To allow a carer to attend medical appointments such as GP/Hospital.
  • In the case that a carer has been admitted to hospital without notice.
  • Sudden death of a carer.
  • Carer experiencing a breakdown in mental health.
  • There is a risk of harm to the carer/cared for person or a risk of domestic violence.
  • Breakdown in relationship between the carer/cared for person, including that the carer feels unable to fulfil their responsibilities in their carer role.
  • Carer experiencing an emotional breakdown.
  • Potential safeguarding risks/concerns.
  • Carer entering the criminal justice system.
  • The service can only be provided in the case that the carer/cared for is not already in receipt of services through Adult Social Care. However, carers who are in receipt of a carers relief service and are at risk of significant crisis, can be provided with an additional 12 hours of flexible carers relief as a top up.


Support the Emergency Carers Service can offer

  • The Emergency Carers Service is able to provide up to a maximum of 24 hours of support within a 12-week period. Where there is a longer-term need, or additional support is required within this period, this will be managed through a Carers Assessment and commissioned package of care. Excelcare Homecare and Carers Centre Tower Hamlets can you help if you need longer term care and support for the person you care for.


If a carer wants to self-refer to the Emergency Carers Service

  • Staff at the Carers Centre Tower Hamlets are here to help you if you need this service, do call us if you need assistance. However, all carers can call and self-refer too, over the phone, by calling 020 7780 9484 or by emailing referralsth@excelcareholdings.com


  • If you are making an urgent self-referral, to start on the same day, or outside of Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5pm, please ensure that you call and speak with a Care Coordinator at Excelcare Homecare, using the number above.


  • For emergency self-referrals, a minimum of 2 hours-notice is required. Emergency self-referrals can be made 7 days per week, please aim to contact our service by 7pm if required to start that evening.  If there is a very urgent self-referral that requires immediate start after 7pm, still refer this onto Excelcare Homecare for discussion and assistance.


  • For non-urgent self-referrals, please provide 24 hours’ notice where possible.


All Excelcare Homecare team members have a good level of spoken and written English and undergo a nationally recognised Care Certificate that includes important areas such as First Aid, Medication, Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults and Children, the Mental Capacity Act, Health and Safety, Fire Safety, and Infection Control. They also take part in a thorough induction which covers our policies, procedures, expectations, and period of shadowing an experienced carer.

To make sure a loved one is in good hands, Excelcare Homecare draws on a large number of care and support team members from different cultural backgrounds and then strives to match them appropriately with the people we care for. We also endeavour to keep carers as consistent as possible for families.   We have a number of care workers who speak Bengali and are able to offer culturally appropriate care.

Excelcare Homecare understand how important it is that their team members have the right skills, personality, and attitude – giving you peace of mind that your loved one is cared for as if they were a member of our own family.


You can find more information about Excelcare Homecare here:  www.excelcareholdings.com

Domestic Abuse & Violence Numbers

Refuge: 24 hours, 7 days a week – Tel: 0808 2000 247


Help for Households Gives clear information about the exceptional payments, energy support and existing support schemes available, so the public know what is available and where they can find help. The homepage brings together over 40 support schemes that the public may be able to access depending on eligibility. Additionally, a range of online tools will help citizens quickly and efficiently check the support they might be eligible for and how to access it.


This is the link  to find local councillors. You put you postcode in to find local councillor.  They can deal with any housing issue if the carer/cared for is council tenant. They can also help if the carer lives in privately rented property and issue is disrepair.




Food Banks Information

What you need to know

With the cost of living crisis affecting communities nationwide, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have shared information on accessing your local FOOD Stores and tips on managing your food bills.

Tower Hamlets FOOD Stores

A number of FOOD stores have been set up across the borough, supporting those who are finding it difficult to afford enough food for themselves or their families.

At these FOOD stores, you are able to pick up food valued at £25-£35 in exchange for a £3.50 membership fee. At the same time, support is provided in other areas that you might need help with. This includes help with issues around

  • housing
  • benefits access
  • employment and more.

To find out more or to become a member email thefoodstore@towerhamlets.gov.uk with your name, address, postcode, date of birth and contact number.


There are a number of food aid organisations available to help you in Tower Hamlets if you are struggling to get food for yourself or your family. Scroll down to see where your closest branch is located. Different food aid services will offer different support.


  • Open Access – A food bank that anyone can go to for food.
  • Limited Access/referral only – A Food bank that needs someone to refer you into the service. Please contact the organisation for more details.
  • School food provision – A food bank or food aid service that specifically works with students and parents who attend the school.
  • Hot meals service/Hostel – Provides hot meals or pre-made goods to residents.

Underwood Road Foodbank – (Open Access)

Opening times: Thursday and Friday, 9am – 3pm

St Anne’s Catholic Church, E1 5AW

Contact: 020 7247 7833 or email underwoodroad@rcdow.org.uk from Tuesday to Friday (9am – 3pm)

Ensign Youth Club – (Open Access)

Opening times: Friday 10am – 1pm

Wellclose Sq, E1 8HY

Contact: info@ensign.org.uk

Hague Primary School

Opening times: Monday – Friday 8.40am – 3.40pm

Hague primary school, E2 0BP and E1 5RE

For more information please ask at the school office.

Stewart Headlam Primary School

Opening times: Monday – Friday 8.40am – 3.40pm

Tapp St, London, E1 5RE

For more information please ask at the school office.

Wellington Primary School – Food bank (limited access/by referral only)

School food provision (Pupils and families only)

Opening times: Tuesday 2 – 3pm

Wellington Way, Bow, E3 4NE

Contact: admin@wellington.towerhamlets.sch.uk

St Elizabeth Pop Up Kitchen – School food provision (pupils and families only)

Opening times: 3.40 – 5pm

St Elizabeth Primary School, entrance on Waterloo Gardens, E2 9JY

For more information please visit St Elizabeth School website / Caritas Twitter page.

Bygrove School – School food provision (pupils and families only)

Opening times: Monday – Friday (Term Time Only)

Bygrove street, E14 6DN

For more information please visit the Bygrove School website.

Langdon Park School – School food provision (pupils and families only)

Opening times: Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm

Bright Street, London, E14 0RZ

For more information please ask at the school office.

Dorset Community Food Hub – (Open Access – Hot meals service)

Opening times: Thursday

Ground floor, former Dorset library, E2 8QX

For more information please visit the Dorset Community website.

Olga Primary School Foodbank – School food provision (pupils and families only)

Opening times: Friday 3.20 – 3.45pm

Olga Primary School, E3 5DN

Contact: 020 8981 7127

Edward Gibbons House – (Hostel)

Opening times: 24 hours

1 Parmiter St, E2 9NG

For more information please visit Providence Row website.

Globe Primary School – (Open Access)

Opening times: Friday 12 – 3.15pm

Globe Primary School, E2 0JH

For more information please visit Globe Primary School website.

Food for Aldgate – (Limited access/by referral only)

Opening times: Friday 1 – 3pm

Tonybee Hall, 28 Commercial Street, London, E1 6AB

Contact: Paul.wilson@eastendhomes.net or Twitter @FoodForAldgate.

Womens Inclusive Team – (Limited access/by referral only)

Opening times: Appointment provided after referral

Mayfield House 202 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LJ

Contact: 07415 372 664 or email shakilaa@wit.org.uk.

William Davis Food Bank – School food provision (pupils and families only)

Opening times: Friday 2 – 3pm

William Davis School, E2 6ET

Contact: 020 7739 1511

Bow Food Bank – (Open Access)

Opening times: Monday 8am – 12.30pm

Bromley by Bow Centre, St Leonard’s Street, E3 3BT

For more information please visit the Bow Food Bank website.

Bethnal Green Foodbank – (Open Access)

Opening times: Wednesday 2 – 7pm

Raines Foundations School, Approach road, E2 9LY

For more information please visit Bow Food Bank website.

Bow Muslim Cultural Centre – (Open Access)

Opening times: Friday 11am – 3pm

246 Bow Road London, E3 3AP

Contact: info@bowcentralmosque.co.uk

SACC Food Bank – (Limited access/by referral only)

Opening times: Thursday and Friday 10am – 3pm

St Anne’s Catholic Church, E1 5AW

Contact: braziliancp@rcdow.org.uk or 020 7247 7833.

Referrals can be discussed by email or contact number.

Launch of Somali National Helpline 0800 6102020

Better Safe Communities are pleased to inform you of the launch of the first historic Somali National Helpline, sponsored by the local businesses up and down the country and in regards to poor service provisions of UK public services for Somali communities nationally.

The Helpline was founded by Khadra Hersi, a student of London Met University. It is aimed at the Somali community, helping with language barriers, immigration, and mental health issues due to war in their country. The Somali National Helpline are a service that uses professionals to support people overcome issues they are facing. They exist to support individuals with language matters, mental health issues, and beneficiaries to solve their problems. They also provide translating and interpreting services. They are here to support and advocate for many problems faced within the Somali community such as young adults suffering from knife crime, and elderly people who feel isolated and lonely due to language barriers.

Why do you need a Lasting Power of Attorney? 

Does the person you look after making their own decisions but want help managing their money? Maybe they can make their own decisions now but want an arrangement in case they can’t in the future. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) your family may need to go to Court. This can cause lots of hassle, delay, and expense. 

There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney; finances & property matters and decisions about health and care. 

Why should you do it now? 

  • 1 in 3 of us will suffer dementia
  • Many of us will retain mental capacity, but will physically struggle to manage our affairs at some point in our life
  • Being married or asking your chosen person to act for you is not enough – you need to legally give them the power to help you
  • If you leave making your Power of Attorney until you need it, it will be too late.


Carers Centre Partners 

The Carers Centre Tower Hamlets is pleased to work in partnership with respected Law firms to provide carers with affordable support with LPA.  

 Jones Whyte are a Glasgow based multi award winning Solicitor firm and the reigning Law Firm of the Year 2021 

  • They prepare thousands of Powers of Attorney every year 
  • Have partnerships with many major national charities
  • They offer competitive Power of Attorney fees £349 + vat

Carers Centre staff can refer you, or you can contact them yourself on 0330 175 1234 or email appointments@joneswhyte.co.uk 

You can find our more about Jones Whyte here Power of Attorney – Solicitors Glasgow | Jones Whyte Law 


Duncan Lewis Solicitors – “We believe in access to justice for the most vulnerable in society and do everything we can to ensure legal advice and support is available for those who need it most”.  

Duncan Lewis Solicitors are a national firm with offices locally. 

  • They prepare thousands of Powers of Attorney every year
  • They are available for face-to-face appointments at their local office (1 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, Hackney, London, E8 2JS) or surgeries at the Carers Centre if requested 
  • They offer competitive Power of Attorney fees £350 + vat


Carers Centre staff can refer you, contact us on 0207 790 1765 or at enquiries@ccth.org.uk 

You can find out more about Duncan Lewis here https://www.duncanlewis.co.uk 

 Most solicitor firms support with LPA and carers are under no obligation to use either firm listed above and are free to seek support from any firm they choose. 


What is I do not want to pay for support with LPA? 

We also provide workshops and information for those who want to set up an LPA themselves, many people set up LPA without legal support. You can check our Calendar or give us a call for updates on our latest workshops. 

You can also see the information links below for information. 

Different ways to manage someone’s affairs  

Make, register or end LPA 

Call us on 0207 790 1765 or email enquiries@ccth.org.uk to find out more about LPA. 


A carers guide to home fire safety

A new video resource has been launched on the London Fire Brigade website to help carers learn how to keep people that receive care safe from fire.

Sadly, around one third of those here who die or are severely injured by fire are in receipt of some form of care or support. If you are a formal (domiciliary care worker, support worker or clinician) or informal carer (family member, friend or neighbour) and are caring for someone in their own home, this new resource will help you identify fire risks and show you what you can do to reduce them. There is also more information available on the website around fire safety and prevention.

Watch the video >


1) Plan Your Route

Make sure you plan your route ahead of time. If you are walking in an area you are not familiar with, this can help keep you from getting lost. You will be able to walk with confidence. If you do get lost, don’t wander aimlessly, find a gas station, supermarket, or fast-food restaurant where you can ask for directions.

2) Make Sure Someone Else Knows Your Plans

Don’t go out when it is dark without telling someone, even if you are just taking the dogs out for a walk around your neighbourhood or walking home from a friend’s house nearby. It may seem paranoid, but in fact, knowing someone knows where you are can be reassuring and help you feel safe. If you fall and hurt yourself or run into trouble, and someone knows where you are, they can send help if you don’t arrive at your destination on time.

3) Always Carry Your Phone with You

Always carry your phone, but not for music or to make social calls as your walk. Your phone can be a lifeline if you see something suspicious or worse if something happens to you. Download a safety app on your phone, so you’ll be able to discreetly alert the authorities if you feel threatened or see something suspicious.

4) Avoid Suspicious People and Areas

Areas that are dark, deserted, or out-of-the-way, such as an alley or a parking lot, can be riskier than a well-lit area full of people. Stick to busy, lighted paths, to minimize the risks. Also, walk mainly in familiar places where you are known. That way, if you feel like a suspicious person is following you, you can always duck into a store you know or knock on a neighbour’s door. Avoid empty streets and pathways with thick shrubbery.

5) Keep Your Hands Free

Except for a flashlight and one of the items discussed below, keep your hands free. If you are carrying anything, put it all in one bag or backpack. This will make it easier for you to react if you notice someone following you. In a dangerous situation, carrying too many bags can keep you from moving as quickly as you can if your hands are free or if you only have one bag.

6) Carry a Non-Violent Deterrent

In addition to a flashlight,  A whistle will help you alert others and call them to aid you if something is wrong. The loud noise may put off attackers, and they’ll move on to find someone else. Mace or pepper spray can give you enough time to evade a potential attacker, and in a pinch, a flashlight can be used as a weapon. Make sure you know how to use the mace or pepper spray to get its full effect.

7) Wear Reflective Clothing to Prevent Accidents

When it comes to personal safety, it’s not just about suspicious people. Areas with low visibility can be prone to accidents. Reflective clothing allows bikers and cars to see you as you walk along. A flashlight or headlight can also help drivers see you if there are dark stretches of road on your route.

8) Take a Self-Defence Class

When fighting off something as an assault, the element of surprise can work in your favour. If you regularly walk alone, take a self-defence class. You don’t have to become a black belt. In fact, it’s probably better to learn something like Krav Maga, which has been popular for self-defence. The idea is to disable your attacker enough for you to get to safety, and a class focused on self-defence will help give you those survival skills.

9) Remove Any Distractions

Keep your phone in your hand in case you need to hit the panic button on your safety app, but don’t let it distract you. When walking alone at night for exercise, music can be motivating and energizing but also distracting. You may not hear someone driving or walking up behind you. Avoid wearing headphones or talking on your phone as you walk.

10) Trust Your Gut

When walking alone at night, trust your gut. If you feel like an area or situation may be dangerous, don’t wait around to find out. Stop and scan your surroundings if you think someone is following you. If you are being followed, walk as quickly as you can to a well-lit public place. You can wait until you feel safe, or call a friend, a taxi, or an Uber to help you get safely get home at night.

Following these personal safety tips will help keep you stay safe when walking alone. Always be aware of where you are and alert to suspicious activity.


Get in touch

The Carers Centre
21 Brayford Square
London, E1 0SG

020 7790 1765


Opening hours

Monday - Friday – 9.30am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday – Closed

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