Monday, 14 December 2020

Tower Hamlets - ANYONE can now get COVID-19 tested including those without symptoms

On Sunday Tower Hamlets Council announced that ANYONE in the borough is now able to get tested for COVID-19 including those without symptoms. This follows a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases locally.

This is literally a walk in the park, as the Walk-in Test Centre is situated at Mile End Park's Art Pavilion (just behind the Grove Road Texaco Garage).

On Sunday afternoon there were some 400 tests available in the next couple of days at this local centre.

To book a test visit: When you arrive on the website, select... 1️⃣ No - not an essential worker 2️⃣ No symptoms 3️⃣ No - not part of a trial 4️⃣ My council has asked me

It takes around 5 minutes to fill out the online form and I found it easiest to do on a smartphone (less questions it seemed).

I know it may seem pointless to get tested if you don't have symptoms, but it isn't. Around 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic but these folk can still pass the virus on to. So the more testing we do the more we can break the chain of transmission.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park Needs Our Help

Many of you will be familiar with Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (THCP) in Southern Grove. Only moments away from the hustle and bustle, pollution, greyness and concrete of the Mile End Road; this gem offers peace, tranquillity and a remarkable natural environment. 

The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (FoTHCP) who run the Park only receives 25% of its funding from Tower Hamlets Council, the rest comes from fundraising, events, and corporate volunteers. The effect of the COVID-19 outbreak has had a massive impact on FoTHCP as they have had to cancel events and their volunteer program which in total amounts to a loss of around £40,000 in income. 

FoTHCP's income enables them to care and protect the Park and the other green spaces they work in across Tower Hamlets. It ensures they can pay their three full-time members of staff, provide tools and equipment to volunteers and ensures they have resources to deliver events to the community. Right now, access to green space is even more important for both our physical and mental wellbeing.

Ken Greenway, the THCP Manager, and his team have had a substantial impact on Mile End Park too and have been instrumental in increasing the biodiversity in our park by training our rangers particularly in woodland management.  They have also led events in Mile End Park such as wildflower courses, bat walks and the Nature and Us project. 

To find out more about their appeal take a look at their dedicated survival appeal page which includes a short 1 minute video from Ken

Ways you can help

Donate to the appeal - please go to

Look out for the park - If you visit the Park during lockdown whilst the staff are absent, please take all litter home and make sure dog mess is binned. The Park is looking wonderful at the moment with masses of flowers and the birdsong is tremendous (especially without those fuel-guzzling big metal birds flying overhead).

Share the campaign with your family, friends and neighbours. 

Locked In But Not Locked Out - The FoTHCP have started a series of online talks on Zoom (which is really easy to do). Last night Michelle shocked and amazed us in equal measure with tales of Hyenas and what goes down in their dens. The talks are free, but donations are very welcome.

Join the FoTHCP - Whether as an individual, joint or concessionary; membership is a great way to support them.

If you shop on Amazon (and lots of that is going on at the moment!) then if you go via and choose the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery as your chosen charity then Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Forthcoming Friends Committee Meeting - Your thoughts on the Park

Things have been a bit quiet from us of late, but as the days have started to get longer and with the approach of Spring we have started to venture out and start thinking about what 2020 holds in store for the park.

In 2019 we were delighted when seven gorgeous cygnets hatched on the Art Pavilion pond and quite emotional to see all of them survive the summer and leave to make their own way in the world. Thanks to all those who kept an eye on the little beauties and especially to the PArks Team who adjusted how the Park is managed to give the cygnets a helping hand.

We managed to plant thousands of snowdrops and bluebells; we had a great Dog Show and Community Fair in July; and we raised around £10,000 via donations at the Mile End Co-op which we will put to good use in keeping with our core aims.

What would you like us to do more (or less of!) in 2020 and beyond? As a committee we are meeting up next Sunday to plan this year's events and activities. In mid-March we will be having a formal meeting with those who run the park to discuss what works well and what could perhaps be improved.

Please do let us know your ideas and thoughts on the Park by emailing them to

We are also looking for new committee members and if you are interested then please get in touch. We only hold meetings for an hour or so 3-4 times a year.

We'll be in touch again shortly after the committee meeting with an update