Health & Wellbeing

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Residents Finalise Community Fire Safety Action Plan

Residents have been working with each other and local organisations such as the British Red Cross and TWCP to educate themselves on fire safety, compile information packs and undertake risk assessments among other actions. 

After months of outreach events, community days and two workshops – including advice and information from Fire Safety Consultants, UCL Bartletts School of Planning, Just Space, and a showcasing of local talent, the resident committee has begun finalising key actions. 

Residents of the Thames Ward and Barking Riverside area met last week to discuss the finalisation of their community fire safety action plan and its submission to the major stakeholders in the area: the Council, Barking Riverside Limited, the London Fire Brigade, the Greater London Assembly and the Mayor. Following the Barking Fire of 2019, residents have expressed the need to work with local organisations to address ongoing concerns to avert a future disaster.

Local poet Romeo Murisa, the Rainbow Collective and local residents will be producing a film to convey the key areas of concern that residents would like to work with major stakeholders to address such as remediation of flammable materials, extra fire safety equipment and improved transparency and information sharing between residents, builders and developers. 

The Healthy Thames Project: Shaping Health Services

Thames Ward is going through immense change right now as you may have noticed around you. The way health services run is also changing in a way you can’t see yet, but you can be a part of shaping it.

The Healthy Thames Project is one way you can be involved, through a collaboration between:

  • Thames Ward Community Project
  • Barking Riverside Limited
  • The council – LBBD
  • CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group – part of the NHS)
There are plans for a new Wellbeing Hub to be built in Riverside. It will form part of the New Integrated Health Service. But what does that mean? Instead of calling a GP receptionist, and waiting ages to get an appointment, you can speak to a link worker who can make direct referrals to various departments which may be able to help you with all sorts of treatment and support. At the Hub there will be so much more choice in the care you receive. You could even be the person running health and wellbeing activities!

We want local people to:

  • Be part of decision making on health services
  • Be able to run health and wellbeing activities

So, how can you get involved and what can you do now before the Hub is built?

Join the Healthy Thames Working Group

The Healthy Thames Working Group is a forum. A chance to speak on the topics that affect health services in your area. We want local people to be in a position to attend health board meetings and be part of decision making. This might mean that we need to create training, shadowing and mentoring opportunities and new local networks. This will help people feel more comfortable and knowledgeable to have a say at meetings where decisions are made around health services in the area.

You can be a part of the Healthy Thames Working Group!

We meet 4 times a year in person at the Sue Bramley Centre. We take part in workshops, hear from local people and health workers and get to know each other over food from local caterers. If you want to join the next Healthy Thames Event, or join the Working Group, send an email to

Healthy Thames Working Group: Shaping Delivery

What if you could get healthy in your local area with a neighbour? Someone trained and qualified, knowledgeable about Thames ward, and more importantly a familiar face.

The first meeting of the Healthy Thames Working Group took place recently, to get people who live and work in the area to meet and workshop ideas. This was to think about how to get local people delivering on health services and being a part of decision making. It might sound like a lot in one meeting, but this is just the start of an initiative that Barking Riverside, LBBD and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group have teamed up on with TWCP. The idea is to change the way people receive support in health and wellbeing, putting local resident’s ideas and efforts at the heart of it, to try and re-design a service with residents of Thames Ward.

People met at The Sue Bramley Centre on Friday 17th September and shared ideas around ‘What could delivery look like?’, ‘What’s needed to make this happen?’ and ‘How will you know progress is being made?’ This was to get people thinking outside of the box about how we get help from GPs, local services and organisations, so that there are more options of support for residents. There were great ideas that came out of the discussion. There was the idea of a time bank so people could help each other by offering their skills to support neighbours. There was talk of a small fund that paid for venue hire, or equipment that could be booked and shared, or professional coaches to come to the area to run sessions. We also heard from people about the gaps in knowledge, for example, some attendees asked for training in fundraising, safeguarding, and support with DBS checks.

It was really great to meet so many new people, and hear from residents who have lived in Thames for a while. It was also a chance for people working in the area to hear from residents, and for all to be a part of the discussion in an informal way. We ended the evening with some delicious food from a local caterer, which replenished everyone after all of the brainstorming.

The next get together is in December, and it would be great to have you there to share your views on health! Get in touch with you’d like to know more and attend the next one.

We also have some training coming up on Tuesday 26th October, sign up here for an ‘Intro to Public Health’ with Ope from CU London!

Rahela Begum

Health Outreach Worker

The New Model of Care: Wellbeing Navigators Programme

Thames Ward Community Project, and the Public Health and Community Solutions departments within the Council have partnered up to launch the Wellbeing Navigators Programme. The pilot programme hopes to reduce the pressure on the statutory health system (GP surgery, hospitals etc) through early intervention – by getting people active with a healthy social life. We also hope to strengthen the voluntary sector by providing additional sign ups to sports and wellness groups. Thirdly, we aim for the programme to build community. In post-industrial Barking and Dagenham, for a broad range of socio-economic reasons, community, compared to the 1950s and 1960 isn’t what it was. Social prescribing and the New Model of Care is meant to revert to that social cohesion by giving people a reason to meet and improve their health and wellbeing collectively.
The idea was first tested in Torbay before lockdown, and the link to Simon Sherbersky’s talk illustrates the concept well.

For me the importance is that it gives power back to the community and voluntary sector to improve their own community. It's a healthier and more natural way of improving physical health and mental health, that is more congruent with our innate gregarious human nature as well.

How to get involved?

If you are looking at investing some of your time to support others in their wellbeing journey and to get into a health care career, then this role could be for you! 

We are looking for friendly and caring individuals to invest some time in supporting residents of our Thames Ward. You should be confident, enthusiastic, non-judgemental, and capable of interacting with people. The role will help engage with those who are facing challenges in the community and connect them to others and services who are qualified to offer support or advice.

The role is only open to Thames Ward residents due to the community-based nature of the role. We will provide necessary training and a single point of contact for support throughout this role.

If you think you are perfect for this role or want to find out more, please contact: or 

Sue Bramley Summer Camp a HIT with young people!

60+ young people attended the ‘Food, Fitness, and FUN’ Summer Camp at the Sue Bramley Centre, making it a great success! Children travelled in from across the borough and also from Newham, and Havering boroughs to attend the sessions.

Delivered by Thames Ward Community Project, alongside Mums On A Mission, Creative Wellness and Riverside Muslim Group, the programme provided enjoyable activities and nutritious meals for primary and secondary school aged children who were eligible for benefits-related free school meals. 

The opportunity was provided as part of the government’s expanded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme being delivered across Barking and Dagenham. The camp at the Sue Bramley Centre offered a range of activities including fitness, arts & crafts, cooking, and workshops about leading a healthy lifestyle. Tennis and cricket sessions also took place as part of the programme in Castle Green leisure centre.

The feedback from the sessions were overwhelmingly positive with young people choosing a ‘smiley face’ to describe how they felt about the programme and some saying they ‘loved it’, ‘it was amazing’, and ‘it was fun!’

I've never eaten all these fruits before and now I like them.

I love the arts class!

HAF was a great success and a good opportunity for kids to learn, play and enjoy! They cooked, tried new healthy recipes, and explored their creativity by doing different arts and crafts.

Creative Wellness Girls' Football

Also over the summer, Creative Wellness in partnership with Muslimah Sports Association, delivered football sessions led by a qualified coach, for young girls in Thames Ward. Girls of all abilities between the ages of 8 to 16 years old took part, and commented about how important it was to have the ‘girls only’ football sessions. 14 young girls attended regularly and were gifted t-shirts from Mercurial Sports who played a key role in organising the sessions.

Food, Fitness, and FUN Summer Camp at the Sue Bramley Centre

You can now enrol your child in a free holiday clubs programme over the summer at the Sue Bramley Centre. Delivered by Thames Ward Community Project, alongside Mums On A Mission, Creative Wellness and Riverside Muslim Group, the scheme provides enjoyable activities and nutritious meals for primary and secondary school aged children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. 

This opportunity is provided as part of the government’s expanded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme being delivered across Barking and Dagenham, which also covers the Easter and Christmas holidays in 2021.

Children will be able to access the sessions throughout the summer holidays, including specific provisions available for children with SEND or additional needs, at no cost to you. The camp at the Sue Bramley Centre offers a range of activities including fitness, arts & crafts, cooking, tennis, cricket and learning about leading a healthy lifestyle. Participants will receive a free lunch each day. Tennis will be 10am to 12pm and Cricket will be 1pm to 3pm at Castle Green Leisure Centre on Tuesdays.


  • Monday 16 to Thursday 19 August 2021
  • Monday 23 to Thursday 26 August 2021

Time: 10am to 2pm  

Age Group: 5 to 17 years 

Where: Sue Bramley Centre, Bastable Ave, Barking IG11 0LH


Food, Fitness & FUN Summer Camp @ Sue Bramley

16 to 19 August

5 to years

Food, Fitness & FUN Summer Camp @ Sue Bramley

16 to 19 August

8 to 12 years

Food, Fitness & FUN Summer Camp @ Sue Bramley

23 to 26 August

5 to 7 years

Food, Fitness & FUN Summer Camp @ Sue Bramley

23 to 26 August

8 to 12 years

To book Fitness (Week 16 – 20 Aug, page 9)
Book here for 5 to 7 year olds
Book here for 8 to 17 year olds 
To book Cooking (Week 16 – 20 Aug, page 9)
Book here for 5 to 7 year olds
Book here for 8 to 17 year olds 
To book Fitness (Week 23 – 27 Aug, page 11)
Book here for 5 to 7 year olds
Book here for 8 to 17 year olds 
To book Cooking (Week 23 – 27 Aug, page 11)
Book here for 5 to 7 year olds
Book here for 8 to 17 year olds 
If you have any issues regarding booking please email:
To find out if your child is eligible for a place this summer, and how to book a place, please visit Free summer activities | LBBD and scroll down to Food, Fitness & FUN Summer Camp at Sue Bramley Centre.

In addition to this programme, families who are eligible for Universal Credit may be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs. Please visit Help With Childcare Costs ( to find out more. 

Barking and Dagenham is working with local schools, voluntary and community organisations, and childcare providers to provide the HAF programme. The free places are funded by the Department for Education. Visit the government website for more information on the national programme.

‘Getting Active After Lockdown’ Activities A Hit With Riverside Students

“Getting Active After Lockdown” activities have been a great hit with Riverside students. A consistent turn out of students attended weekly sessions on various activities that promoted their health and wellbeing. The Young Citizen Action Group (YCAG) had recently received funding from London Sport to have some youth activities delivered to young people over 7 weeks.

The Activities

YCAG decided on the following community activities, which took place at Riverside School:

  • BDYD (Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance) – Dance classes for Years 7 – 9
  • Creative Wellness – Cooking & Healthy Eating Workshops for Year 7 students
  • RDF – Basketball & Boxing Clubs for Years 7 – 9
  • Surya Wellbeing – Yoga and Mindfulness for all years

The Impact

It has been another successful achievement by the young people from YCAG to deliver these activities for their peers. Having designed an online survey to understand their peers experiences of lockdown, the YCAG narrowed down a list of activities that students wanted to get involved in. Community organisations then took part in interviews led by the YCAG to confirm the offers available. Community groups offered praise to the young people involved:

“It was great to be part of YCAG Dragon’s Den, and brilliant to see young people being put at the head of the table. Those involved were strong minded and came out with amazing and important questions.”

Kayden, Dance Instructor at BDYD, former Riverside School student

“I was very impressed with the young people’s resourcefulness. Not only did they survey the needs and preferences of the other students, but also asked pertinent questions to establish whether an activity would be beneficial to them. Very professional throughout the process!”

Nikhil, Surya Wellbeing

“It was very good to see young people on a board, working together to provide enrichment opportunities for their peers, schools and community. Everyone was very welcoming and polite and asked good questions. A great example that when young people come together they can design purposeful and impactful projects.”

Lamar, Right Development Foundation

Students have since taken part in all the activities with such enthusiasm and shown a willingness to learn new skills. Many of them having never undertaken boxing classes or had the opportunity to cook various cuisines voiced their appreciation that the activities were on offer, and asked how they could continue developing their new skills.

The last session with year 7 was all about what they like to cook: chicken strip burgers, pizza, pancakes, and milkshakes but introducing a healthier, economic way to make things at home rather than takeaways. We had fun delivering the sessions and glad our sessions have increased their confidence, knowledge, and interest in healthy cooking!

Sports for Development support via BS4C Covid Response Fund

TWCP have recently been awarded £5,000 from the Covid Response Fund from the Barking Sports for Change Coalition (part of the Model City London initiative supported by the GLA, Laureus Sport and the Nike Foundation) to help support local groups we are working with to achieve their Sports for Development goals. As part of its initial BS4C grant TWCP enabled a number of local groups to engage in introductory workshops with Jason McKoy, a Sports Consultant and founder of Mercurial Sports, who helped introduce the concept of sports for development and offer some constructive ideas on how to incorporate this approach into the work they are doing in the community. 
Receiving this Covid response fund allows TWCP to fund a more sustained piece of engagement between Jason and two of the most active groups he engaged with earlier on in the process, Mum’s on a Mission and Creative Wellness (led by local residents Vanessa Raimundo and Khushnood Ahmed respectively). Each organisation has shown real dedication both to the community in which they live and serve as well as to the principles of Sports for Development and their desire to continue to improve their practice and strengthen their organisations to help better support the people of Thames Ward and the wider Barking and Dagenham area and over the coming months Jason will spend more time supporting and guiding each organisation on how to embed Sports for Development principles into their everyday practice. 

Sports for Development is an overused and sometimes misunderstood concept. It is the difference between sport for sporting outcomes such as fitness, competition or enjoyment, for example. Or using the sporting activity not only for these points, but to actively and in a clear and structured way, help develop other aspects of the participants taking part. This can be from raising awareness on a topic to improving training and employment opportunities. One of the biggest challenges for new and developing projects is knowing how to capture and demonstrate the impact of the work being done with the participants taking part. Supporting TWCP and the projects that are developing in the area, will ensure that these projects make the most of the great work they are doing, and can demonstrate this to wider stakeholders. This can help open other avenues to them including funding which can of course help with sustainability. Helping projects understand just how impactful their work is, is something often overlooked and taken for granted. There are so many ‘Sport for Development’ projects that on closer scrutiny are actually just doing ‘sport’, with little actual ‘Development’ work at all.

Photo credit: Mums on a Mission

Hikmah Social – Building Brotherhood Through Football

It’s hard to meet with the founders of Hikmah Social and not leave feeling energised by their drive to serve the community and genuinely transform the lives of the people they’ve come into contact with. Their tenacity is infectious and rouses up local people to bond over their love for football and to build deep-lasting friendships that nurture growth and success.

Football has always been a way to bring people together, no matter your background or current circumstances, everyone can enjoy it.

Humility has been a common thread in their story. Hikmah Social was born out of the four friends; Abu Jahaid, Asef Rahman, Muminul Haque, and Tahmid Shakib seeking to raise money for Darul Mustafa Foundation – a school based in the most deprived area of Bangladesh. Collectively, they managed to raise above the target of £20,000 in six months, which allowed the school to acquire essentials for the students and school facilities as well as fund future projects.

The project itself provided the friends with key insight into organising successful football tournaments; including over 60 teams in the tournaments taking place in Barking Riverside, a charity dinner and inspiring many others to start a personal pledge. This experience; uniting the local community, became the foundation for the group today. “Hikmah Social” – meaning “wisdom for the community.”


The group has since become established in 2019, delivering various activities underpinned by their core values: envision, encourage and empower. 

In conversation with them it’s clear what their greatest triumphs are: having a committed community and being able to create a sense of brotherhood amongst a diverse group of individuals. They note that it’s the sense of competition and pride that drives individuals to stay committed to the activities.

HS Community Football has also been an ongoing community session for over ten years! It has grown into a space where young men are able to talk more than just sports. The sessions have also become increasingly diverse bringing together different groups because of a common passion.

How TWCP has made a difference?

TWCP has acted as a convener connecting Hikmah Social with different organisations and helping to promote the project. Hikmah Social is now involved with the Active Through Football campaign being supported by the Essex County Football Association and other local groups. They have also been working in collaboration with the Thames View Community Garden to develop the surrounding space.  

TWCP has also been able to provide equipment to the project, where previously it was funded by the founders personal finances, these include: football training equipment, nets, boards for coaching adults and children, a rebound net, and bibs.

HS have also been provided with a mentorship, which is helping them understand what makes them different from other groups.


HS Football League: Friday 8pm and Sunday 7pm

The community can get involved in competitive sessions! As each team fights for the title spot, a sense of excitement and willingness to succeed is felt. HS is committed to providing a well rounded service. The league boasts FA qualified referees and each game is filmed and can be accessed for enjoyment and development!

HS Community Session: Monday 

Ongoing for over 10 years now. A list of players are organised and the bookings arranged every week. 

To get involved email:

HS U16s Coaching Sessions: Sunday 10am

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