Communities Driving Change

The Communities Driving Change (CDC) programme is one of the main priorities of the 2017-2020 Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

The programme aims to build a 'health creation' platform to improve the health of communities by:

  • Identifying issues impacting health and wellbeing that matter to local people 
  • Recruiting other residents who have the energy and passion to make a difference 
  • Developing and finding new ways to improve health and wellbeing locally.

The programme operates in 12 of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Tower Hamlets. These have been selected based on health data and a need to strengthen assets supporting health and wellbeing in those areas.

Find out more about the local programmes.


The programme is supported and evaluated by experts from the University of East London (UEL)
It is a structured programme formed of the following three phases: 

  1. Scoping (October 2017 to January 2018)
    Each provider managed a period of scoping to identify three areas of focus for each area. Evidence from multiple sources helped teams reach this conclusion. 
  2. Engagement and action planning (February to April 2018)
    Engagement processes identifying the priority issues of focus for sustained ‘enabling’ facilitation by the providers. This phase developed an initial action plan of ‘quick wins’ to build momentum within a neighbourhood of action. It also helped in how they would co-produce a response to "bigger picture" themes identified by citizens. 
  3. Delivery (May 2018 to September 2021)

In the first six months of action plan implementation, this is the level of engagement with the community (across 12 neighbourhoods):

  • 259 volunteers
  • 2,967 residents have attended CDC events
  • 827 resident-led activities have been initiated
  • 56 residents have attended training around building capacity in their communities
  • 176 young people have been involved
  • 49 consultation events  

For more information about delivery, use the provider page links in the following table.

Local programmes
Locality Provider Neighbourhoods

North East 

Bromley by Bow Centre

Bow East/Old Ford Road

Watts Grove

Burdett Estate

South and
North West

The Young Foundation and

South West

St Dunstan's

North West

Chicksand Estate
Columbia Road
Collingwood Estate 

South East 

Poplar and Limehouse Network CiC 

Samuda Estate

Teviot Estate

Poplar High Street West (Will Crooks to Pennyfield Estate) 


COVID-19 emergency response, reach and delivery

The ethos of CDC is one of inclusion, ensuring those who are most vulnerable and excluded are not left behind. In the response to COVID-19, a focus on inclusion has ensured that CDC has been able to maintain contact with residents from the start of lockdown.

CDC has a crucial role to play in the recovery phase. Recovery is concerned with

  • inclusion
  • changing people’s lives to end need and
  • investing to solve long-standing problems.

These principles and the methods by which to achieve them are those used by CDC. 

During the emergency, CDC teams have adapted their delivery to include a range of response activities. Please see the provider pages for more information. 

Image of the Communities driving change branding

Image of Bromley by Bow Centre heading

Image of information saying 27 Referrals to additional services. 10 Wellbeing calls.

Image showing 10 wellbeing calls

Image showing MyTime Active heading

Image showing 320 Contacts made across the 3 areas of focus

Image showing Young foundation heading

Image saying 80 COVID activity packs delivered so far

Image showing 500 Food deliveries to families with No Recourse to Public Funds

Image showing Poplar and Limehouse Network heading

Image showing 350 - 400 Patients contacted, supporting GP practices in making wellbeing calls to vulnerable residents

Image showing 150 deliveries of medication to those who are shielding

Image showing 100 home learning packs delivered

Image showing asterisk beside message No recourse to public funds and partnered with Bikeworks