I am learning circus tricks!

March 1st, 2024

Hello Everyone – I am learning circus tricks …

I really feel that I am a qualified juggler these days hence, my quip about learning circus tricks.  I have heard it often at the Carers Centre that carers feel like they are spinning plates and they are rushing from one task to another.  Well I completely get it and it is exhausting …

I am working as we know and that’s how you know and I love my job, I am the Lasting Power of Attorney for Mum (that is a role that I am constantly learning), I am selling my Mums home which is proving interesting (so watch this space), I am a supportive brother which has its ups and downs but ultimately it is a lovely role, I am an uncle which is becoming more and more as my family grows (so, financially that has impact), I am the proud Dad to three little fur babies and that is my solace, respite and passion and of course I am a husband to the Ginger (some of you will laugh at that).

I have to say it is a lot and some of it, I wish I could change such as having my dad around, My Mum not suffering from Dementia, the local authority being more sensitive and patient but my you just have to get on with it and that is the task of a carer.

So, these got me thinking about you and the stories I have heard over the years of carers looking after more than one person, carers sandwiched between their parents and children, carers doing it alone and the ups and downs you have all faced and one thing that we all have in common is the need for friendship,  peer support, learning and most importantly respite, fun and laughter.

Here comes the sales pitch – why not check out March’s calendar and see if there is an activity, group or fun event that you can join and take sometime for you  https://ccth.org.uk/calendar/

I hope you all have a restful weekend and don’t get wet as I am off tomorrow the nursing home to see Mum and as you know it will be 50/50 if it is a peaceful or not so peaceful visit.

Shared Reading then followed by Ramble for Health – Monday 4th March from 11.15am to 2pm 

Shared reading is a popular group where carers are read a story and they then have the chance to debate the characters, storylines and how the story makes them feel.  So, come along and have a little mental respite.

The Creative Writing group which follows, allows carers to write their own short story, each session has a different theme and you are able to explore your creative side.

Carers Consultation – Wednesday 6th March 2pm to 3.30pm – Hybrid

This time we are consulting on two areas of service delivery – Benefit support and I am sure a lot of you have had support over the years and Hospital support, you may have had support or you might need support in the future so, either come in person or join online

Topic: Carer Consultation
Time: Mar 6, 2024 13:30 Universal Time UTC

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 733 941 7664

Arts, Crafts & Conversation – Thursday 7th March from 11am to 1pm

Fabric Pouch/Coin Purse Workshop

Participants will create a small fabric pouch or coin purse, incorporating traditional Bengali motifs. This project introduces basic sewing and fabric decoration in a culturally engaging way. and this is open to all carers.

Carers Beathing Space Tuesday Drop In’s 

Just want to encourage continued better attendance and really appreciate the uptake lately from carers and please continue to attend and enjoy.

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

Coping with Cancer, Creatively

Join us for an informal and playful zine workshop that delves into the unique experiences of caring for someone with a cancer diagnosis. Whether you’re a partner, friend, or parent, this workshop invites you to explore the challenges and joys of caregiving.

Led by zine expert Tam Hart, this workshop will provide a space to discuss the issues faced by queer individuals in the role of caregiver and how zines can serve as a creative tool for expression and navigation. We’ll examine existing resources available for people with cancer and their caregivers, while also brainstorming and creating new resources tailored to our own experiences and needs.

This workshop is part of our Who is a Queer Carer programme has been devised in partnership with OutPatients, a charity set-up to amplify LGBTQ+ voices in cancer care.

Tam Hart (she/they) is a visual anthropologist based in London. Their research explores visual and material narratives within mental health structures, focusing on practices of peer support. In their workshops, they use creative methods to examine visual caretaking – the crafting of self-published material to document and care for community members.

Their research centres on psychiatric archives and queer zine-making. They have written for various publications such as Frieze, Spike Magazine, Gruppe and Sleek Magazine. They are currently a contributing editor for the LGBTQI+ artist support network and curatorial platform Queerdirect.

The Lineup

We strive to provide a physical environment that is accessible to all visitors. This includes:

  • Offering ground-level, step-free access to our spaces.
  • Offering elevator access to our project space located on the first floor.
  • Providing accessible restrooms for all genders on every floor of our venues.
  • Providing folding chairs or other forms of seating at every venue.
  • Welcoming assistive animal at our spaces and events.
  • Designating drop-off zones and parking spots within the Design District for visitors with disabilities on Phoenix Avenue which is 160 meters away.Contact ola@queercircle.org for any additional access needs

Coping with Cancer, Creatively Tickets | 09 Mar @ QUEERCIRCLE, London | FREE | OutSavvy

Carers UK logo

Share your views on developing a new National Carers Strategy

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Carers has today launched a survey regarding its long-standing call for the UK Government to develop a new National Carers Strategy.

We would be delighted if you would please respond to the survey.  It should only take 5-10 minutes of your time.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY which will close for responses on 7 March 2024.

The survey is open to current and former unpaid carers as well as to organisations who support them,  including local and national carers’ organisations, other VCSE organisations, academics, employers, local government stakeholders, NHS England, and social care providers.

The findings of the work will be published at the end of the exercise by the APPG on Carers and will be widely shared with unpaid carers and other relevant stakeholders.

Celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day

Women’s History Month, in March, and International Women’s Day, on 8 March, aim to show the contribution women have had to society and culture. There are a number of events taking place in Tower Hamlets to mark the occasion, including:

Celebrate >

Tower Hamlets in Bloom 2024 – competition now open 

Spring is around the corner, and we are looking for entries to our annual Tower Hamlets in Bloom competition.

The contest is all about making the borough a greener, cleaner, brighter and better place to live and is part of the nationwide ‘In Bloom’ scheme. There are categories for private gardens or balconies, schools, community gardens, allotments best business, wildlife friendly garden and many more.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 19 May.

Enter the competition >

Carers have asked to bring this to your attention – check out details below 

Afribeana Fest returns to Roman Road this Saturday

Visit Roman Road on 2 March for the monthly market and mini food festival, Afribeana. The festival celebrates the best of Caribbean and African businesses and will showcase a selection of delicious food vendors, jewellery, clothing, art, beauty products and more.

You can find the traders at Roman Road Square Market, in Bethnal Green, E2 0RN, from 12noon to 5pm.

More info >

Free food waste reduction workshop on March 7

Come along for a free workshop where we will teach you how to make recipes that reduce food waste without sacrificing taste. We will also share easy tips on minimising waste. In this workshop, we will make croutons and panzanella with stale bread, make salads with leftover rice, pasta, potatoes and pulses, and turn apples into scrap apple vinegar.

The event will be held at Limborough Hub 25a, Limborough House, Masjid Lane, E14 7AW on March 7 from 11am-1pm. To book your place, please email.

Get involved >

The Modern Cockney Festival was conceived and run by Cockney Cultures, a grassroots community partnership between the Bengali East End Heritage Society and Grow Social Capital.

The Bengali East End Heritage Society began in 2016 with an aim to highlight, retain, and restore the Bengali community’s cultural and heritage assets within the East End of London.

Grow Social Capital is a social enterprise working to address the challenge of changing levels in society of social capital- our collective ability to help each other.

The partnership Cockney Cultures is a non-party political, pioneering living heritage and cultural identity project, based on inclusive values.

It works to prompt conversations and celebrations among people who identify as ‘Cockney’ or identify with the values of Cockney and other ‘traditional’ and ‘working-class’ cultures.

In 2022, Cockney Cultures launched ‘Cockney Conversations Month’ providing a range of online events to celebrate and promote Cockney culture. Inspired by the success and positive feedback, a year later, in March 2023, the idea grew into the first Modern Cockney Festival featuring live online and offline events.

Also in March 2023, Cockney Cultures successfully petitioned Tower Hamlets Council to recognise Cockney as a community language – believed to be the first-ever formal recognition of Cockney as a culture in its 660 year-plus history.

To inform the Council how it could introduce Cockney as a community language, Cockney Cultures co-produced a report with the University of Warwick, ‘‘A Cockney Blueprint for Tower Hamlets’ to empower communities, challenge stereotypes, and address social division across London.{Link to Our research]

For this year, the Modern Cockney Festival creates a platform for celebrating and promoting a positive sense of ‘who we are’ to break down barriers, build social capital through increased interaction, and share commonality across the multidimensional ‘Cockneydom’- from inner London and throughout the global Cockney Diaspora.

Do join in.

Our Story – Modern Cockney Festival


Another way to have a good 2024 – have a little respite for a little cost…..

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 £33 admin fee to help with the cost of operating our charity.  This payment is for one break per year.

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 

Good mental health and wellbeing starts with you

Everyday Londoners are doing what they can to support themselves and others with good mental health – whether checking in with a mate at the school gates, inviting a neighbour over for a cup of tea and a chat, or bonding with a customer at the barber shop.


But conversations around mental health are difficult. The Mayor of London has launched a campaign in support of Londoners who champion positive mental health – in their families, places of work or their communities.

By signing up Londoners will get access to training opportunities, tools and other offers straight to their inbox to help them navigate these conversations with confidence and compassion.

Mental health and wellbeing support in London | London City Hall

ELFT, along with North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) and partners across NEL, are working together to ensure that service users experiencing mental health crises can access support via NHS 111, a freephone number that provides urgent health advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to people of all ages.

 From 2 April 2024, people living in the London Boroughs of the City of London, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering, and Barking and Dagenham will be able to call 111 and select option 2, putting them through to a fully trained and qualified mental health professional team based in ELFT’s crisis hub in Tower Hamlets.

 The team has a wide range of skills, including on-the-phone brief psychological support and has access to key services and organisations that can offer mental health support to people in their time of need.

 Existing local crisis lines in each borough will still be running. This service will run alongside existing provision.

 If service users are known to ELFT or NELFT services, they should continue to contact their service in the ways they had been doing so previously during working hours. Those wishing to contact a mental health professional outside of hours – or those who aren’t previously known to services – should contact 111 and select option 2.

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.