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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

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!

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

Inside TWCP: From Zero Engagement to Community Work

I’ll be honest, I lived my first year as a resident of Barking Riverside with little to no engagement at all with the community. The “little” compromised solely of taking the EL1 bus route to Barking station, heading to work, and commuting back home again. On weekends, we would head to the town centre, to the local supermarket, which was merely out of necessity, and I was okay with living like this. I had become accustomed to this sort of urban nomad life, in which I made little effort to grow roots where I lived.

A few reasons drove this behaviour, one just being the tunnel vision of the working life, but another has to do with the regeneration that took place in what I would call my hometown. I grew up to watch the area change from infamous to a bohemian hotspot. Young working professionals and students arrived finally seeing the potential for communal projects and shared spaces, to enhance community, without the community. The divide is stark. It made me lose a bit of my sense of belonging, and knowing you belong, and you have a voice to shape where you live is everything.

Fast forward to moving to Barking, and it took giving birth to my first born and the Pandemic to make me slow down and finally embrace what was my new locality. I received a newspaper from a well known charity, which sparked my interest. Exploring all the Warehouse on River Road had to offer gave me a new found excitement for my local area and I actually started to talk to my neighbours. My year was spent taking part in a collaborative business project, where I learned how to create handcrafted candles and textile products; taking care of chickens, a fun and beneficial past time in terms of collecting eggs; and finally joining a Women’s cycling group, which ultimately changed the trajectory of my life! It led me to this job. 

It was the year 2020, and those experiences that ignited in me a desire to not only be a part of the Thames Ward community, but to empower the voices of all of us to be part of the change happening right now. You can become an active part of holding those with duty accountable, creating your own solutions to local issues, collaborating with others so the wheel isn’t reinvented, and just learning from the diverse group of people that live here.

I want to challenge you if you are a local resident to be heard! Yes we’re all a little rusty after spending time in lockdowns but thats the crux of what we’re doing here at Thames Ward Community Project. We’re conveners. We’ll help you cultivate your skills, get you a seat at the table and support the community so that conversations turn into action.

Zainab Jalloh

Communications and Outreach Officer

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