We're returning to normal service, however, to protect our staff and visitors we encourage face coverings to be worn when entering and moving around our buildings, and in lifts.
Please respect those around you and wear a face covering.
Need help using your smart device or want to brush up on your IT skills?
- Job searching
- Online services
- Money matters
- Health information
- Using social media
- Online shopping
Come along to our weekly workshop and learn at your own pace.
Tuesdays, 2:15 - 3:45pm
Idea Store Chrisp Street
Wednesdays, 2:15 - 3:45pm
Idea Store Whitechapel
Are you over 50 and want to chat with other people your age? Then join our weekly Prime Time session to enjoy socialising, as well as talks, films, games and other events.
We have moved back to face-to-face sessions, initially at Cubitt Town Library, and Idea Store Whitechapel but with more locations to follow.
Reading Friends brings people together to read, share stories, meet new friends, and have fun. We use reading – whether books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else – to start everyone chatting.
See the Reading Friends page for more information on how to join.
Is English your second language and you want to practise speaking it with others? Then join our weekly Conversation Club. We have two sessions:
Wednesdays, 11am - 12noon Online
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will send you an invite to the next session
Tuesdays, 11am - 12noon
Idea Store Chrisp Street.
Would you like to share stories and poetry to lift the mood? Possibly take a turn of reading out loud? Join our weekly Book Break group every Tuesday from 2 - 3pm.
Please email George.Gratton@towerhamlets.gov.uk who will send you an invite to the next session.
Thursday 9 June, 6:30pm
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
In a brief prologue, Elena Greco, a woman in her sixties living in Turin, Italy, receives a call from her friend Lila’s son back in Naples. Rafaella “Lila” Cerullo, Elena’s friend since childhood, has gone missing. Angry with Lila for taking things “too far,” she sits down at her computer to write their story. Looking back on her childhood in 1950s Naples, Elena then known as Lenù, recalls life in a neighbourhood run by loan sharks and Camorrists (gangsters) and dominated by widespread violence perpetrated by both men and women.
- If you would like to join the group above please email Atalanta.firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be contacted with a login for the session which takes place on Zoom
Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Wednesday 18 May at 6:15pm on Zoom.
When the meaning of ‘home’ is complicated, we strive for a sense of connection. Yet sometimes being alone feels like the easiest choice to make. Spanning decades and cities, ‘Harmless Like You’ captures a fractured family narrative of love, loneliness, and reconciliation.
Copies are available to collect from Idea Store Canary Wharf.
- If you would like to join the group above please email Andreia.Oliveira@towerhamlets.gov.uk and you will be contacted with a login for the session which takes place on Zoom
You are welcome to join both groups. Staff involved will be able to guide you as to how to login
Idea Store Bow Book Group
Wednesday 1 June 7:00pm
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
A renowned American writer won the 2020 Goodreads Choice Award for History and Biography with this exploration of the social divisions in American society, many of them unacknowledged, using comparisons with India and Nazi Germany.
"It is a painfully resonant book and could not have come at a more urgent time." Guardian
6 July The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
3 August or 7 Sept The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelit
These sessions may be run on Zoom or in store, depending on some refurbishment work at Idea Store Bow..
If you would like to join the group above please email email@example.com and you will be contacted with a login for the session on Zoom or details of a meeting time and place in Idea Store Bow.
Idea Store Community Navigator health advice sessions have moved online to give one to one support. Community Navigators can help with:
• Advice on keeping safe and healthy
• Information about how the Council can help you
• Information about other services and groups that can give support, including foodbanks, voluntary groups, financial advice services
They are also able to give extra support to vulnerable or isolated residents, for example making phone calls or emailing on their behalf.
If you would like to contact a Community Navigator email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bangladesh 50 Years
Identity and belonging in the East End before and after the Libreration War of 1971
2021 marks 50 years since the independence of Bangladesh. To mark the significance of this, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives (THLHLA) and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) are leading Bangladesh 50 Years, one of four projects that forms a part of the National Portrait Gallery’s offsite programme; Citizen UK, during its temporary closure to transform the gallery.
Citizen UK is an exciting research and creative engagement project involving the borough archive services, local communities and contemporary artists. It is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The project will conclude with a Bangladesh 50 Festival taking place February - March 2021, marking Bangladesh Independence Day (26 March) and the related anniversary UN International Mother Language Day (21 February), kicked off by the launch of a creative commission which will sit in the public realm in Tower Hamlets as well as a exhibition curated by Citizen Researchers, informed by historical materials from Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives and the National Portrait Gallery. See more information
From Town Hall to Local History Library & Archives: new online exhibition is now available.
A short history of our service and premises, 1861-2015 is based on research undertaken for last year's 50th anniversary celebrations of the borough.
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