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Tower Hamlets (Phase 1 - Completed)

The following Well London activities took place in the Limehouse target area.

Themed Projects

Be Creative, Be Well

  • SPLASH Arts: Building of a Zoetrope moveable sculpture with the community that journeyed from Westferry to Hind Grove.
  • City Gateway: Healthy living video diaries and film project.
  • Stitches in Time: 'Food in the docks' series of textile workshops.

You see it in bits and then when it is put together it's fantastic!

Project Participant


  • Food co-op
  • Buywell retail project
  • City Gateway community café

The vegetable soup was amazing and very filling - lovely flavour and chunky veg. Coffee was quality - the first one in Poplar like this. I must tell others.

Local resident and mother using Café Relax


  • Cook & Eat courses
  • Community Feasts were delivered in summer 2008 and April 2009.

I was impressed that many women were successfully informed about the event and the benefits of healthy eating. Events like this will allow progress for Bangladeshi women, make them more outgoing and have access to education. I learnt how easy it is to make your own pizza and understood healthy eating habits such as measuring your calorie intake.

Hindgrove resident

DIY Happiness

Eight DIY Happiness sessions took place for local women.

Mental Wellbeing impact assessment (MWIA)

A MWIA took place on an existing food coop.

Changing Minds

Mental health awareness sessions took place on a variety of subjects including:

  • Tackling Preconceived Idea
  • Coping with anxiety, depression, stigma.
  • What helps and hinders recovery.

Healthy Spaces

  • Bartlett Park Events
  • The Blooming Basement Garden at West India Buildings
  • Lansbury Gardeners

In September 2010, The Lansbury Gardeners were recognised for their work in the Well London category of the London Health Commission 2010 Awards Scheme for bringing together local people in a new green space.

Activate London

  • Keep fit sessions at Lansbury Lodge
  • Trampoline sessions at Limehouse Youth Club
  • Circuit classes at Lansbury lodge
  • Smoothie bike at the launch of Café Reflex

Heart of the Community Projects

Training communities

This project provided training for the following Well London groups:

  • WLDT members
  • Well London Activators
  • MWIA facilitators
  • Young Ambassador

Training Communities also offered Personal support packages (PSPs).  Examples of training people chose included the following:

  • A bullet point list will be here

  • A Young Ambassador was recruited in this area.

Related links

Participant Data

Total participants; 443

372 people reported an increase in healthier eating.
381 people reported increased access to affordable healthy food.
378 people reported an increase in levels of physical activity.
366 people reported that they felt more or much more positive.

City Gateway, Well London's delivery partner

City Gateway, a charity dedicated to engaging with and training local women and young people, has been Well London’s local delivery partner in Tower Hamlets, one of London’s most deprived boroughs.

The team has delivered activities and events from across the Well London spectrum: keep fit classes, healthy eating, walks around London and more. Davinia McFarlane is City Gateway’s volunteer co-ordinator, and it was her job to recruit and train local volunteers to outreach and promote the different Well London projects in the area.

Using local volunteers has been crucial to the project's success. Today, City Gateway's women's centre is buzzing with activity - a knitting group occupies one space, a keep-fit class another - and that, says Ms McFarlane, is down to her volunteers.

One of the team, Leila Islam, has been knocking on doors, talking to and informing her neighbours about the courses on offer.

"It has been a success," she says. "Lots of people came. Most people answered [their door] rudely, but I kept talking to them." I told them "if you come to our centre, you can benefit"; finally they realised we were really working for the community and they came along. I am always promoting Well London now it's my habit."

Using local volunteers as outreach workers is a brilliant idea, says Ms McFarlane. "Leila was amazing. She was confident going out into her community, which was great for me; sometimes it takes time to really get to know the community and to build relationships."

"Half of the ladies in here today can't speak English at all. The reason they are here is because of Leila and the other volunteers. We are also fortunate we have a base [the women's centre]. A lot of our Well London activities are going on here, everything is easy to access and I think that’s what has made it so successful here in Tower Hamlets."

But Well London's current funding support finishes in March. Time has run out, and that, says Ms McFarlane, is the most frustrating aspect of the work she has been doing.

"For me it's always been against the clock - we want to do more, to promote more. It has been tough."

"We want to be successful," adds Ms McFarlane. "But Well London finishes in March, and we need more outreach volunteers. We're trying to maintain things like the keep fit classes and the café as much as possible, and a lot of our volunteers are still promoting projects in different areas; we’ll always keep that theme of eating well and living well, though."

March 2011

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