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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 

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

TWCP support Barking and Dagenham “Active Through Football” bid

What is it?

Active Through Football is an ambitious new programme from Sports England, funded by the National Lottery and delivered by the Football Foundation. Its objective is to increase activity levels in people aged 16+, by running recreational activities shaped by local residents.

The programme could not be more critical for the Thames Ward area. Thames Ward has geographical barriers to exercise, one of the highest rates of unemployment in Barking and Dagenham, and is in great need of social prescribing services.

Football as a sport is a fun way to keep fit, and help individuals become more socially connected. Active Through Football hopes to be a sustainable programme that reinvests into the community, by empowering local people to gain qualifications and employment opportunities as coaches, to run the future delivery of the programme.

Thames Ward Community Project have offered vital support to the programme, which must collaborate with local groups and residents as part of its bid. TWCP would be among other local groups involved in the management and vision of the project within the Thames Ward area.


The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham has been shortlisted to apply to the Football Foundation for “Active Through Football” funding; the bid covers operations in three wards, Thames Ward being one of them.

The application is now in the community engagement phase between now and May 2021 when the bid will be submitted.

Have your say!

There are many ways this programme can be delivered. These include: recreational football, sessions for women, “walking football” and “football for fitness” classes. The structure of the programme is wholly dependant on community feedback and so we need your support to secure the scheme.

You can fill out the online form as an individual or an organisation with thoughts on how the programme could help others in the borough. 

Deadline: Mid-April 2021

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