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Loving our neighbours during the coronavirus pandemic

What can we do?

For updates on church meetings, in person and online, see What's On.

For our daily video messages that we shared through the first lockdown, please see our Video messages page (or go straight to Erik Pattison's YouTube playlists).

On Sundays we are still meeting in person, in small numbers (no booking required), with the usual precautions as in other public places. We also have meetings online for the benefit of people who are "shielding" or prefer not to travel. 

Even during lockdowns, we recognise that we still have obligations to our families and to our neighbours. We hope that the suggestions below will be helpful.

 

Staying in touch during isolation

Here is a BBC guide on making video calls to your family.

The Childhood Bereavement Network has advice on staying connected when someone is seriously ill, and on supporting children and young people who are bereaved during this outbreak. 

  

If you need help

You can register yourself or register another person as needing help e.g. with deliveries of food, using this Government form.

Tower Hamlets Council has a dedicated phone number to support the most vulnerable people: 020 7364 3030. This phone line should be open as follows: Monday – Friday (8am – 8pm), Saturday (10am – 5pm) and Sunday (10am – 4pm). For more info click here

If you live near the Lighthouse building, contact us, so we can either help you directly or pass on your details to other local volunteers.

Poplar HARCA has a telephone advice line. They can give you information on local services and make referrals: 020 7005 7608

Neighbours in Poplar can help with shopping, delivering meals, or just a friendly phone call.  Ring 020 7987 0257.

As we go into another phase of lockdown in January 2021, new free 24-hour crisis lines are open to support people with their mental health. In Tower Hamlets, call 0800 073 0003. In Newham, call 0800 073 0066.

If you are in an abusive relationship at home, you can access support from Solace by calling 020 3795 5064 or by emailing towerhamlets@solacewomensaid.org Other help is available – this GOV.UK page suggests several places where you can find support.

Beware of scams! See Action Fraud's advice page.

You can also join a local support group – see below.  Rather than tell everyone, you can send a message to the administrators if you need help yourself. 

 

Mutual aid networks

There is a Facebook group for Tower Hamlets Covid19 Community Support. If you are in need yourself, do not send your details in messages to the whole group, but contact the administrators directly.

From that group you can join a more local WhatsApp group. If you're not on Facebook, contact Neville Reid so that with permission we can put you in touch with the relevant group.

If you live elsewhere, start from Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK.

 

Starting at home

If you live in a ​block of flats, talk to the caretakers or concierges about who needs help – some will be aware of residents in need.

Newsagents, corner shops and postal workers often know who is unwell or having trouble.

If there is a communal noticeboard where you live, place a simple note offering help. Even if someone is stuck indoors it will be seen by friends, relatives or neighbours.

Some people are even putting notes though their neighbours' doors (like this}. If you are planning to do this this, first think carefully about whether you want to publish your contact details.

 

Other charities

If you are in Poplar, you can volunteer with Neighbours In Poplar.

Your local branch of Age UK will probably be able to suggest people in need of your help: Age UK

Food banks need support more than ever – volunteering, donating food or money:

Bow Food Bank

First Love Foundation (Poplar)

Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets can match your availability for other opportunities, whether you can offer regular time or one-off help, going out or working from home.

 

Links with more info

Tower Hamlets Council (our local authority)

Poplar HARCA (social housing landlord for many homes near the church building)

• NHS 

• UK Government