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Fighting isolation Contact the Elderly fights social isolation among older people. Its monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties are a lifeline for older people who have little or no contact with family or friends. www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk The beauty of books Pop Up Projects aims to engage children and families through books, stories and the people who make them. pop-up.org.uk News News in brief School finds home A NEW free school will open in former NHS offices. The London Enterprise Academy has secured Aneurin Bevan House in Commercial Road, Whitechapel. Principal designate Ashid Ali said the seven-storey building would now be refurbished in time to take the first 120 year 7 pupils in September. Authors assemble OXFORD House in Bethnal Green is hosting a pop-up conference on Wednesday, February 5 for children’s authors and primary school teachers. They will share ideas on writing, illustration and storytelling. Authors include Michael Rosen and Lynne Reid Banks. The conference runs from 9am-6pm – for more details go to pop-up.org.uk Mum’s the word on new website A NEW website has been launched for parents and families. The website – www.tower hamletsmums.com– is a guide for mums, dads and carers, which features activities, services, education, shopping and events for young families. Residents can sign up for a monthly newsletter filled with special offers, competitions, events and news. There is also a free membership card, offering discounts and special offers from partnership stores and venues across the borough. Website founder Jo Aspin said: “I’ve lived in Tower Hamlets all my life and I know the area like the back of my hand, but having a baby was new territory for me. “I have quickly discovered a whole new side to the borough and have a new-found community that I was unaware existed, pre-children. “There are so many fantastic things happening in Tower Hamlets, from regular free cultural events to fantastic new shops and restaurants opening monthly. “Tower Hamlets Mums will seek to make sure that parents and carers need never miss a local happening again.” Visit www.towerhamlets mums.com, follow it on twitter @tower hamletsmum or ‘like’ it on www.facebook.com/ TowerHamletsMums Special Cinipan & Mehndi Deals Call us now for your special quote 020 7998 9455 Wedding I Walima I Engagement I Mehndi I Cinipan I Birthday Corporate I Social I Charity & Much More Regents Lake, Banqueting Venue, Bow Wharf, 221 Grove Road, London E3 5SN www.regentslake.co.uk | Info@regentslake.co.uk | Tel: 020 7998 9455 Over-75s invited to join Sunday tea parties Reg at one of the tea parties organised by Contact the Elderly Enjoy a cuppa and good conversation BY JESSICA ODUBAYO OLDER residents who may be isolated or lonely are being invited to spend a few hours in the company of others, enjoying a cup of tea and a chat. With the support of a volunteer network, charity Contact the Elderly organises tea parties for small groups of people, aged 75 and over, who live alone and would appreciate some company on a Sunday afternoon. Each guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver. A different host welcomes the Uni joins Bitcoin revolution STUDENTS will be able to pay for a sustainability course at a university campus in Poplar with the digital Bitcoin currency. The University of Cumbria, which has a site in East India Dock Road, is believed to be the first public university in the world to accept Bitcoin as payment for course fees. Bitcoin allows the global transmission of funds, enabling group each month, but the drivers remain the same. The group in Tower Hamlets has space for new members. Katy Szita, east London development officer for Contact the Elderly, said: “Activities for people aged 75 and above are normally limited to weekdays, so Sunday can be a particularly long and difficult day. “Our tea parties are sometimes the only social outing our guests have in a month, so they can make a real difference.” The group is encouraging anyone interested in going along, or who knows people instant payments around the world. The university is accepting the payments for two courses that look at complementary currencies – the certificate of achievement in sustainable exchange, which will be taught at the east London campus in July, and the postgraduate certificate in sustainable leadership, which will be held at the Lake District campus, in June. who might enjoy it, to get in touch. “Our tea parties represent a great opportunity to make new friends within the community, to get out of the house and to generally have a good time! Perfect for those looking for ways to brighten up a weekend,“ Katy said. Tower Hamlets residents, aged 75 and above, who live alone without the support of family and friends, and who are interested in joining the group can contact Katy on 8530 0494 or email katy.szita@contactthe elderly.org.uk Both courses are run by the new Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS), whose founder and director Professor Jem Bendell said: “We believe in learning by doing, and so to help inform our courses on complementary currencies, we are trialling the acceptance of them.” For more information on the university and the courses go to www.cumbria.ac.uk 27 JANUARY – 2 FEBRUARY 2014 NEWS FROM TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL AND YOUR COMMUNITY 7


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