Tonybee Hall – providing free support for deprived communities in the East End

I noticed this charity just a few weeks ago as I was cycling home. But it has existed since 1884. I noticed a few signs on the window, one said ‘Free Legal Advice,’ so I peered inside. The small space was filled with a mix of people, old, young, male, female, black, white, south-east asian. All waiting. I was curious, what is this Tonybee Hall?

What is it?
Tonybee Hall is a community organisation and charity which gives deprived communities in East End of London a voice by providing them with free access to a range of support services and works with them to tackle social injustice.

What do they do?
Toynbee-1-234_-_CopyThey really provide a lot and it’s all FREE. They offer free advice services, specialising in debt advice, legal advice, city advice, Macmillan benefits advice and ‘tenancy talks’ for Tower Hamlets.They have free English language classes for women. They also offer help managing your money. They even offer financial inclusion training and consultancy for organisations who want to be socially responsible.

They have services for older people including a lunch club, surma (bangladeshi pensioners club) and a range of amazing things through LinkAge+ including keep fit classes, coffee mornings, men’s groups, social trips, art classes, computer classes and creative writing classes, health info and massage.The Dignify project helps prevent adults (who may be vulnerable for whatever reason) from being taken advantage of. Lots of people get involved with the Roots & Shoots gardening around the Tonybee Hall premises. The projects for young people include Aspire, Inspire, Be Active! and Rebel Researchers (a really cool scheme where Oxford university students teach school pupils how to do social research). Bengali_gardeners

Why do they do it?
These are their ‘strategic aims’:

  1. To increase financial inclusion
  2. To increase access to justice
  3. To improve people’s wellbeing, opportunities and social networks
  4. To build a strong local community
  5. To build a strong and sustainable organisation

Tonybee Hall has a rich history. You can also read a lot of interesting stories from people involved in various projects either facilitating, volunteering or participating on their blog.

Find out more, read stories and get involved
You can find out a lot on their website and their e-newsletter. You can get involved by donating, fundraising or volunteering (they also some interesting winter events). Read their blog for stories and check out their impact and case studies. I really respect the work this organisation is doing.

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