Tower Hamlets Faith Health Action Partnership




Cycle Sisters

The Cycle Sisters Tower Hamlets group hold weekly group rides for local people. Suitable for all levels of ability, with support from friendly Ride Leaders, the rides are a great way of getting exercise whilst chatting and enjoying the surroundings.

FHAP funding has enhanced the activities of the group. The project enables local people to make a positive change, open up new possibilities and boost self-esteem, and these good habits filter through to family life.

The sessions take place each Sunday at 10am.

Most of our participants say they have no idea how close we are to the Olympic Park until we come on a ride. Most of them hardly ever go there….The bus takes ages, but the ride is only like 15 minutes and it’s such a nice route

I don’t have a bike, so I only get to ride if I come to this….I’ve got two kids – in the holidays I get those Santander bikes and go out with the kids. Yeah, I love it.

My first ever ride I couldn’t do that hill. I had to get off and walk it. I was wheezing, my chest was tight, I’ve got asthma ….I felt so bad. Six months later and I was a ride leader

Christ Apostolic Church

Christ Apostolic Church, in Bow, are holding a diabetes and blood pressure testing service for the local community. Taking place once a month after church service, the church opens it doors to the whole community for these essential health checks.

Reverend James Olanipekun regularly highlights the importance of this health service to the congregation of the church, offering words of encouragement and advice.  The checks are carried out by a member of the church that is a nurse.

People that get checked out often share tips with each other, on healthy eating, ideal measurements and how to lower blood pressure. 

I had one person, last month, who had stopped taking their high blood pressure medication. When we did the reading and it was through the roof, I told him, you have to start taking your medication again – and he did.

So many of this congregation have been given a reading by their doctor and told it’s high blood pressure, and it’s kind of something to be embarrassed about, so they don’t do anything – but here like this there is accountability, they are sharing with each other and celebrating their successes.

Dorset Community Association

Dorset Community Association, located in Diss Street, are running two projects, aimed at older people and women.

Both projects aim to promote healthy eating and fitness, as leaders the organisation were aware that levels diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity were a cause of concern. The project aims to make attendees aware of health living choices, as well as providing a space for people to meet and connect. The sessions include a fitness class and advice on healthy food. In addition, people that attend see the session as a social hub, which helps to  tackle loneliness and isolation.

The older people’s session takes place on a Monday and Thursday evening from 6-7pm, and the women’s session is every Wednesday from 10am-12pm.

It helps me to keep moving on since I lost my factory job two and a half year ago due to severe arthritis.

Shahporan Masjid and Islamic Centre Trust

Shahporan Masjid & Islamic Centre Trust, located in Hackney Road, run sessions aimed at young men, aged 15-25. Funding from FHAP has allowed the centre to expand their existing project, and increase the number of young people that can attend, and for extra activities such as football and pool.

The sessions are vital for young people, and there is a focus on the prevention of getting involved with gangs and drugs.  Each week a young personal provides an inspirational talk, giving guidance on challenges faced and how to deal with them constructively and make the right choices.

The session runs each Monday at 8pm.

East London Mosque and the Maryam Centre

East London Mosque, located in Whitechapel, are running two projects. The first project is aimed at senior citizens – the sessions take place weekly, and attendees can chat, receive health advice from visiting services, and take part in a light exercise session. Attendees had the opportunity to visit Woking Mosque in Surrey, and enjoyed a picnic, away from the hustle and bustle of London. The project is vital for tackling loneliness and keeping older people informed of health advice.

The second project focuses on exercise and fitness for women. An hour long exercise session takes place each Wednesday morning in the Maryam Centre, and they have plans to acquire some exercise equipment. The women also attended a trip to Cambridge, to visit a mosque, have lunch and go on a boat trip. Many of the women had not been outside of the borough since before the pandemic.

Both groups are peer facilitated, and offer vital health awareness tips and activities, that can also be provided in community languages.

Both projects run on Wednesday – the Senior Citizens club at East London Mosque is at 12pm, and the women’s exercise sessions take place at 11am in the Maryam Centre.

The mosque is very central, a lot of people come here to pray so it’s convenient for them, and the social aspect is important. Once you enjoy a session you come back for more, see and feel the benefit and good habits never stop….it’s a win-win.

Newark Youth London

Newark Youth London are based in Whitechapel, and provide support and activities for young people. Through this work, they identified a need for parents and older people to access sports and physical activities.  They are now running a pilot project, offering a mix of indoor activities such as yoga, and outdoor activities like walking groups.

These activities will help to address health problems, boost mental wellbeing and tackle loneliness.

The sessions take place on Tuesday mornings from 10-11.30am

It’s really rewarding….You don’t just sit on your mat and then leave – people get to chat, get to know each other – that’s the difference between classes here and in the big studios.

Globe Community Project

Globe Community Project, located in Bethnal Green, are running a project that helps people cope with chronic pain and illness. Take Back Your Life is a pain management programme aimed at people who lack access to help, and the team are training up ‘Mindfulness Champions’.

The project aims to cascade skills and learning gained on the “Take Back Your Life” pain management program, into the local community. The Champions will be equipped to run mindfulness workshops for the local community, having been trained in motivational interviewing, self-belief, positive psychology and identifying values and strengths.

We look forward to the second phase of the project beginning, when the Champions will begin to carry out their own sessions.

Wapping Noorani Masjid and Cultural Centre

The centre is running fitness and health awareness sessions in Wapping for people aged fifty plus. The leaders were aware that a lot of people were extremely isolated, and lacking in exercise, leading to health issued associated with this. They were also aware that older people in Wapping cannot easily access other service in the borough, and if people were only venturing out to mosque, it makes sense to hold a project there.

The sessions also have a part time advice worker to assist people with filling in forms, such as for benefits and offers occasional beneficial activities such as massage.

The project runs at 2pm each Thursday.

It's an opportunity to come together and socialise with others….we are like a family here.

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Tower Hamlets Faith Health Action Partnership