LocalNewsSocial wellbeing

COVID-19: How to help

As the needs in our community sadly, continue to grow as the pandemic places more pressure on all levels of society, your appetite to help those in need has not abated. Here’s our COVID-19 Community Guide for lockdown #3.

It includes how you can reach out to your community and help those in need.  And because times are admittedly tough – whether you are old, young, a business owner, or a resident – please remember to take care of yourself as well. And you can find out how here, as well. 

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel so stay strong Roman Roadies. This page is part of the Roman Road Covid-19 Help Hub.

If you liked this, you might also find these links useful. 
Local businesses that are open, deliver or do click and collect 
How to keep well and fit during Covid-19
Useful links for businesses and residents 
Live local updates

How to help others

Over the past year, the pandemic has placed unprecedented pressure on our communities, and local charities have jumped into action. Some drives, like the Council’s Covid-19 volunteer hub, were newly formed in response to the pandemic while others, like our local food banks, had to level up their capacity and services to cope with tragically increased demand.

The list below are local organisations that can do with a helping hand.

  • Tower Hamlets Council – there are live volunteer roles advertised by the Council to assist those severely impacted by Covid-19. Please go to: vcth.org.uk if you are interested.
  • Covid-19 Tower Hamlets Community Support – A local, resident-run group that organised on the first few weeks of the pandemic last year to provide assistance on a street-by-street basis through local WhatsApp groups. You can see more information on their Facebook group here, but do not post any personal information and please read the full instructions by the administrators, as it contains key instructions and how to ensure the safety of the volunteers and users.
  • FoodCycle Bow Road – FoodCycle on Bow Road turns surplus food from partners into community meals and they are looking for volunteers. You don’t need cooking experience to apply.  Go here for their volunteering page or email them at bowroad@foodcycle .
  • Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours – become a telephone volunteer for this befriending and advocacy service for lonely and socially isolated older people. Donate or volunteer here.
  • The Match – are you a furloughed worker looking to do something productive with your time? The Match are searching for volunteers to help out creative businesses and charities. Read more about their initiative here and sign up here.
  • East London Mosque – this mosque and community centre, which has been delivering meals to NHS workers, the elderly and vulnerable people in the pandemic, has a Covid-19 appeal so they can continue delivering supplies to vulnerable community members. Find out more information and donate here.
  • Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park – Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, the charity that runs the park, has a crowdfunding campaign to help them survive the pandemic and secure their future for this year. You can donate here.
  • Age UK Bethnal GreenAge UK Bethnal Green is a local independent charity working with older people mainly cope with difficult changes and ill-health. Find out more about their local work.
  • East End Community Foundation (EECF) – East End Community Foundation offers offers local community foundation grants for donors, businesses & organisations to donate to charities in the East End. Find out how you can help the EECF here.
  • NELFT Mental Health Direct – If you live in Waltham Forest or Leytonstone, you can call this number any time of the day and night for free advice from the NHS and mental health support. Call 0300 555 1000 or find out more about what they can offer here.

We’ll keep this page updated with more opportunities as they emerge. Do you know of any groups that should be included? Get in touch with us at hello@romanroadlondon.com.


This past year has seen a tragic surge in demand for food banks as the devastating effects of the pandemic were felt throughout the community. Bow Foodbank even moved from their usual home at Bow Church to the Bromley-by-Bow Centre to cope with a spike in their usage. These local food banks are looking for essential supplies, your time, or both.

  • Hackney Foodbank – After serving people through the Christmas season, Hackney Foodbank is asking for donations and volunteers at their warehouses to measure and package food for those in need. For more information, please contact them at info@hackney.foodbank.org.uk or apply to volunteer via their website. You can also donate here.
  • Bow Foodbank – Bow Foodbank is now based in the Bromley-by-Bow Centre to cope with increased usage during the pandemic. You can donate food directly at the centre. You can find their preferred food donations as well as more information here. Bow Foodbank is also running an emergency campaign to raise enough funds to meet increased demand, which you can donate to here
  • Bethnal Green Foodbank – This food bank running out of St. Matthew’s in Bethnal Green is looking for non-perishable items. Check their Twitter for dates and times when you can drop off food and email them at bethnalgreenfoodbank@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering. They are also running a crowdfunding campaign.
  • Women’s Inclusive Team – WIT is a Bethnal Green-based charity supporting local vulnerable communities, and has been providing food throughout the pandemic for those in need via their community kitchen, as well as offering other forms of support like tutoring for young people. They are looking for volunteers to cope with increased demand for their services, which you can apply to via their website, or register to be notified of future opportunities. You can also donate to WIT here
  • Neighbourhood Bites Neighbourhood Bites provides warm food, other essential items and companionship for those in need. They are asking for long-lasting food and clothing donations which you can drop off at their sessions on Saturday 1:30-4pm or Tuesday 5-8pm. Please check their Instagram for any updates or changes.

And if you know any charity or community drives that you think should be included, please get in touch at hello@romanroadlondon.com, or on any of our social media platforms. This list of local causes will continue to be updated.

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2 thoughts on “COVID-19: How to help

  • Great article, I’ll be visiting the foodbank this weekend.

    Already been supporting all of our local convenience stores and fruit and veg shops!

  • Great article – for another exercise option. Maxine Jones who normally does really fun aerobics/dance workouts from the Baptist church on Grove Road on Wednesdays and Saturdays is still doing online classes https://www.maxine-jones.com/. Might be worth checking out.


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