Barnardo's free helpline to support Ukrainian families

Barnardo’s have a helpline to provide support and care to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

You can call the helpline on 0800 148 8586. English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers are available.

The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 10am–8pm and Saturday, 10am–3pm.

You can also use the dedicated email address or visit the Barnardo’s website.

Health and wellbeing

Useful contacts

Health and wellbeing emergency contacts
 Contact  How they can help
999 Call if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. Or go to the Accident and Emergency department of a hospital.

Call If you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

You can also call if you’re not sure which NHS service you need. They can also arrange a GP appointment with your practice or one of the extended access hubs. But you will need to be registered with a Tower Hamlets GP.

0207 771 5807 Call if someone is having a mental health crisis. You can get support and advice from staff available 24 hours a day.
NHS app

The NHS App enables people to:

  • check their symptoms using the health A-Z on the NHS website
  • find out what to do when they need help urgently using NHS 111
Local doctor

Make an appointment if you are feeling unwell and it's not an emergency.  These are often called “GPs”, “GP Practices” or “Health Centres”. 

Visit a pharmacy

See your local pharmacist for advice about common, minor illnesses such as:

  • a headache
  • allergies,
  • thrush,
  • minor burns and scalds,
  • constipation,
  • sore throat and much more.

Pharmacists are also called “chemists”. There are many pharmacies in Tower Hamlets.

National Health Service (NHS)

The NHS is the Government-funded medical and health care services. Everyone living in the UK can use the NHS without being asked to pay the full cost of the service. This includes:

  • Visiting a doctor or a nurse at a doctor’s surgery
  • Getting help and treatment at a hospital if you are unwell or injured
  • Seeing a midwife if you are pregnant
  • Getting urgent help from healthcare professionals working in the ambulance services if you have serious or life-threatening injuries or health problems - this might include being transported to hospital

Treatment on the NHS is free for UK residents at the point of delivery. However, there may still be some costs you will need to pay.

Free prescriptions

You usually have to pay for your medicine/treatment prescriptions. However, you can get free NHS prescriptions if you:

  • are 60 or over
  • are under 16
  • are 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • pregnant or given birth within the last 12 months
  • have certain medical conditions or disabilities
  • and many other reasons.

Registering with a GP

Registering with a GP is straight forward. you can also register online. When you have found a practice you nearby, if they are taking new patients, you can register at the address or online. Some GPs may ask for:

  • proof of address
  • and ID.

However, you should not be refused registration or appointments because you do not have a proof of address or personal identification at hand.


You can register with an NHS dentist to get cheaper treatment than private dentists. The NHS sets the prices dentists are allowed to charge for treatment.

Getting glasses

You can get your eyesight tested with an optician or at some pharmacies. They usually charge a fee, but many will have deals or discounts, so check with the optician first.

You may be eligible for Free NHS eye tests and vouchers that go towards the cost of your glasses. Make sure to check and let your optician know before your eye test.

Stop smoking services

You can get help and support to stop smoking.

The Social Prescribing Service

Work alongside medical staff to help you get the extra support you need to have better health and wellbeing.

They can give information about the free and low cost services around:

  • Financial support and advice
  • Employment, training and volunteering
  • Education and learning
  • Healthy lifestyle advice and physical activity
  • Arts, music, outdoors and creative activities
  • Befriending, counselling and emotional support groups

Contact your GP to get support from the Social Prescribing service.


If you are living with or know someone who has cancer, there is help and advice tailored to your needs.


If you are living with or know someone who has dementia, there is help and advice tailored to your needs.

Community Navigators

Located in the Idea Stores, Community Navigators use their knowledge, experience and the Wellbeing Wheel to help you find the support to deal with your health and wellbeing needs.

Idea Stores also have a Health Zone area with information on health and wellbeing.  This area has  books, videos, magazines on health issues. This area has books, DVDs and magazines on health issues.

Physical health

Keeping fit doesn't just improve your physical health, it can also improve your mental health. 

 There’s an excellent range of activities to take part in, such as:

Mental health

Good mental wellbeing is fundamental to our physical health, relationships, education, work and achieving our potential. It can help us to cope with life’s problems and to enjoy the good things.

There's lots of mental health support out there, for anyone who needs it.

Sexual health

Sexual health services in Tower Hamlets are provided through open access ‘one stop shops’ that promote good sexual health and well-being.


There is support for those affected by drug and alcohol addiction.


There is a lot of Information and support for people with alcohol addictions and their families.

Drug misuse

There is a lot of Information and support for people with drug addictions and their families.

Children, young people and families

Safe East

Safe East is a free, confidential health and wellbeing service for children and young people who need support around:

  • drug
  • and alcohol use
  • and/or sexual health.

This is open to anyone who lives or studies in Tower Hamlets up to the age of 19 or up to 25 if you are in care, or have special educational needs or a disability.

Early Help service

Early Help Service supports children and families with issues such as:

  • Family breakdown
  • Housing problems
  • Emotional health and wellbeing
  • Money troubles         
  • Children’s and young people’s behaviour
  • Parenting
  • Drug or alcohol addiction