Emergency Support for residents

We are sorry you have been impacted by an emergency.

The council's Civil Protection Unit has made this guide for you.

It gives general advice and signposting to support you in your recovery.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, please contact: emergency.planning@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Local wellbeing support

Local wellbeing support
 Service Description Contact

Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours – Befriending

 Provide befriending services to isolated, vulnerable older people in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Staff befrienders and volunteers provide face to face, distance befriending, and group activities free of charge.

Call Rajesh

Tel: 020 8983 7979

Tower Hamlets Mental Health Crisis Line

Callers will be given support and advice from mental health professionals. It has been designed as a ‘first port of call’ for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis and to remove the need for those people to seek help via hospital A&E services.

Free Phone: 0800 073 0003

Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies

Psychological therapies and counselling services.

 Tel: 020 8475 8080

Mind - Tower Hamlets

Community mental health charity that provides advice and support to anyone with a mental health or emotional issue.

Inspire Mental Health Consortium

Recovery and wellbeing services, to improve the outcomes and life chances for people living with mental health problems.

 Tel: 0330 053 8122

Praxis Community Projects


Praxis provide free immigration advice to people in Tower Hamlets, Hackney or who have No Fixed Address.

In some cases, they might be able to offer representation. 

Their focus is on applications made on human rights grounds.

Those on a very low income or people experiencing destitution are given priority.

Tel: 020 7729 7985

Lines open: Wednesdays 2-5pm and Thursdays 10am-1pm

Email: admin@praxis.org.uk

Tower Hamlets Centre for Mental Health

 To provide practical support and assistance with problems of daily living.

 Tel: 020 8121 5001


Council services

Parking Advice

Our parking services have moved online. You can view the most up to date information and apply online.

Children’s Social Care

If you have a concern about the welfare or safety of a child during the office hours of 9am-5pm, you should contact the Tower Hamlets MASH:

Tel: 020 7364 5006 (option 3)

Extensions: 5606/5601/5358/7796

Email: Mash@towerhamlets.gov.uk


If a child is in immediate danger, please call the police on 999.

Your responsibility is to report your concerns. A Social Worker will follow these up with any necessary investigations or assessment, alternatively contact:

Emergency Duty Team (EDT) Out of hours service

Tel: 020 7364 4079 (after 5pm and at weekends).

Early Help Hub

The Early Help Hub works with families or young people who would like some extra support to deal with a difficult situation. Getting help early can stop things from getting worse and becoming harder to manage.

Calls to the Children Services Hotline Tel: 020 7364 5006 and the online enquiry form are directed through to the Early Help Hub (EHH).

Children and Family Centres

We have 12 children and family centres in Tower Hamlets. These are free and open for all parents and carers with children from birth-19 years of age (up to 25 those with Special Educational Needs and Disability) who live in the borough to access a range of services:

  • Play
  • Family support
  • Health
  • Training
  • Employment

Children and Family Centres aim to improve outcomes for all children, young people, and their families. 

If you need advice and help to find your nearest children’s centre please contact us.

Tel: 020 7364 1553

Tower Hamlets SEND Information, Advice and Support Service

The SEND information, advice and support service (SEND IASS) is a self-referring service which offers advice, information and support to parents or carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from birth to 25 years old.

Email: TowerHamlets&City.SENDIASS@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Tel: 020 7364 6489 (Monday to Friday, 9am- 5pm)

Adult Social Care

Tower Hamlets Connect is a integrated information and advice service being delivered by Age UK East London and its partners.

The service can support adult residents with health, social care and social welfare information and advice, including housing, welfare and benefits, consumer issues and general advocacy.

This will include booking residents in for one-to-one appointment with advisors for advice and general advocacy in the community.

Tel: 0300 303 6070 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday)

Email: enquiry@towerhamletsconnect.org

Financial support

The Residents' Support Scheme is designed to help residents who are either in or at risk of being in crisis or are in need of immediate help and have no source of financial support available to them.

Who does the scheme help?

Residents must be aged 16 years or over and must not be subject to any UK immigration control. The council has identified the following groups as a priority to support:

  • Those experiencing domestic abuse
  • Families with young children
  • Older people
  • People with longer term illnesses
  • People with disabilities
  • People with mental health needs
  • Households with a pregnant woman

If you are finding it difficult to apply online, or if you have a query about a new or existing application, please contact

Tel: 020 7520 7217

Email: lwpqueries@northgateps.com

Housing support

Homeless and Housing Options

Tower Hamlets Town Hall

160 Whitechapel Road


E1 1BJ

Tel: 020 7364 7474

Email: homeless@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9.30am-4pm

Wednesday, 1-4pm

Access: Wheelchair accessHearing loop in reception

If you need emergency homelessness advice, assistance and support outside of these hours or during the weekends please call 020 7364 4079

Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum

Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum celebrates the significant contribution that faith organisations play in the lives of Tower Hamlets residents. It facilitates better communication and understanding between different faiths in the borough.

Independent housing advice

Communities First offer free, independent advocacy and legal advice regarding housing. They can also make a referral to other organisations for more complex legal need.

Email: enquiries@communitiesfirst.uk.com

Tel: 0300 365 7150

Cleaning up

You can search for local cleaning companies or individuals in your local area you can hire to help you clean up your property. Always get approval first from your insurance agent/company before committing to any spending.


Freezers and frozen foods

If your property loses power, you should be mindful of food thawing, check the packet to see if the food is safe to eat and dispose of if necessary.

If moving the food, use insulated cooler bags or boxes and check the food has not thawed.

If you are unsure whether frozen food has thawed it is better to get rid of it and buy more than take the risk of eating it.

Thawed and fresh foods

Any food exposed to intense heat, open flame and/or smoke should be thrown away immediately.

Canned goods

Canned goods should not be used if they have been exposed to intense heat, or open flame during a fire. This raises the temperature inside the tin and can cause harmful bacteria to develop.

Cooking utensils

Unless destroyed, or beyond economical repair then wash thoroughly with soapy water and scouring pads/powder.

Copper and brass should be cleaned with their appropriate specialist cleaners.


Smoke Damage

Wash smoke and soot from clothes at the first opportunity. Make sure you follow the washing instructions, this will also prevent mildew. If any soot or mildew remains after washing consult a professional laundry service. Hard surfaces may have a chemical smell removing agent applied after cleaning and before re-decoration.

Dry Cleaning

For any clothing that is labelled dry cleaning only, and there will be a delay in getting the items to a cleaner.

Remove any shoulder pads or trimmings that may bleed their colour, soak items for a short time only in cold water with a small amount of synthetic detergent.

Rinse in cold water gently squeezing the water from the clothes, place on a hanger to avoid wrinkling.

Dry cleaners can deal with soot, water damage and smoke odours.


Remove any surface dirt by wiping off with cold water and then wipe dry. Stuff shoes with paper, which should be changed regularly to absorb any excess water, dry them away from direct heat or sun.

Soft furnishings


Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to remove odours from feather or foam pillows, so replacement maybe your only option.

Wool blankets

If wool blankets have been affected, then the following should help:

  • Shake and brush surface dirt from blankets
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning if possible. If not, then soak in lukewarm detergent for 15 minutes turning two or three times by hand. Repeat this action if needed.
  • Rinse in lukewarm clear water.
  • Either dry the item in a preheated dryer with some hot bath towels or hang them over two parallel lines.
  • If you use a dryer remove while still damp and finish the drying using the two-line method. Gently stretch the blanket into shape and finish by brushing it. Finally iron any trim that may be present.

Upholstered furniture

If upholstered furniture has been affected the following actions may help:

  • Dry upholstered furniture as quickly as possible to prevent mildew and rotting.
  • Brush off loose dirt, then if required shampoo the item. This should be done by applying “suds” only with a damp cloth or sponge not water, then removing the same by using a blotting action with dry cloths.
  • Brush pile fabrics one way only. When completely dry, brush or vacuum to remove residue.

Cleaning rugs and carpets

If rugs and carpets have been affected the following action will help:

  • If they have been soaked and soiled, allow them to dry thoroughly.
  • By beating, sweeping, or vacuuming, remove any remaining dirt.
  • If necessary, then shampoo, using a soft brush in a circular motion. Wipe area with a soft cloth dampened in lukewarm water, using as little water as possible.


To dry books place them on end with the pages separated. After a time press them to prevent mildew, continue with this alternate drying and pressing until completely dry.

If books are very damp, sprinkle with talcum powder between the pages and leave for several hours before brushing off.


Cleaning walls

If walls have soot damage:

  •  Wash a small area at a time with a detergent solution, starting from the floor up. Your local industrial cleaning supplies agent/shop will be able to advise you of suitable solutions.
  • For water-damaged walls, if possible, wash while still wet. If damage is substantial, it will be necessary to apply a primer sealer coat first before re-decoration.
  • Plaster walls can be repaired while still damp. Consult a decorator but do not paint until thoroughly dry.

Locks and hinges

Where possible they should be taken apart and wiped clean, if they cannot be removed then apply a coating of thin spray oil through the keyhole.

Vinyl floors

If water has seeped under the linoleum, it can cause bad odours within a very short time. If this does happen remove the entire sheet(s) until floor is completely dry, then relay the sheet(s).

Wooden floors

Wood left underwater for any time expands. If the floor has buckled badly, then remove the trim boards, followed by one board along the edge of each door. The wood will shrink back to normal when dry.

Wooden furniture

If wooden furniture has been affected:

  • Clean any dirt from the furniture.
  • Remove drawers until dry enough to return to unit without them sticking.
  • Scrub with a stiff brush and cleaning solution, dry thoroughly as wet wood can decay and go mouldy. Ensure windows and doors are open for ventilation.
  • Do not dry in the sun, wooden furniture can warp out of shape.

Replacing Documents

If documents have been destroyed you can get replacements.