Tower Hamlets is a is a London Borough in East London that covers most of the city’s East End. The borough lies to the east of the City of London, and north of the River Thames. It contains some of the tallest buildings in London.
Tower Hamlets boasts a vibrant and diverse community. It has the largest Muslim community in Britain, with more than 40 mosques and Islamic Centres. It has the highest rate of poverty, child poverty, unemployment, and pay inequality of any London borough. In response to these social problems, a wealth of compassionate grass-roots groups and organisations committed to addressing these problems has been created.
Hope in the Heart CIC and SimpleGifts Centre for Social Action are working together to develop the Compassionate Tower Hamlets Community Initiative. Tower Hamlets was the first London borough to register with the Charter and we hope it will become a model of compassionate action for other boroughs to follow.
We invite and encourage other organisations in Tower Hamlets to register as Charter Partners and join us on this exciting flagship journey.
(Above photos, left to right: Mile End Park, East London Mosque (the biggest mosque in London), The Museum of London Docklands, Spitalfields Church)
In the autumn of 2011, in response to the riots and social unrest of the preceding summer, a small group of Unitarians committed to social outreach met together in London and started talking about what a consolidated UK-wide effort could look like. Having an under-used church building in East London with no active congregation potentially available, we discussed creating a centre for training that would include a "living lab" of on-the-ground programming to enrich the lives of local residents and give UK Unitarians a place to meet, volunteer and be inspired by. What came out of this was SimpleGifts: Unitarian Centre for Social Action.
With support from the LDPA (London District and Provincial Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches) and the Chalice Foundation (the board of trustees responsible for the Mansford Street building), we formed a small committee, chaired by Rev David Usher and run by Rev Rob Gregson and Ann Howell. We opened our doors in May 2012 and haven't looked back!