Covid-19 and Activities

News & Newsletters

Welcome to the City Connections news page. Here you will find the latest news and updates, as well as a catalogue of the current and past editions of the City Connections Monthly Newsletter (coming soon).

City Connections | Health and wellbeing services in London's square mile


Summer in Aldgate

Please below for information regarding the forthcoming 'Summer in Aldgate' event.


Mental Health Awareness Week

10th -16th May 2021 is Mental Health Awareness Week, this year the theme is ‘Nature’.

The Mental Health Foundation has many ways to get involved, an FAQ sheet and a resource pack available on their website.

See our previous update below for services and resources available to City residents.


Healthwatch City of London

Healthwatch are the independent champion for people who use health and social care services: "We’re here to make sure that those running services, put people at the heart of care. Our sole purpose is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf. We focus on ensuring that people’s worries and concerns about current services are addressed. We work to get services right for the future."

To find out more about what Healthwatch do and how they can help you, go their website for a video explainer.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week Healthwatch are hosting a Mental Health and Wellbeing Focus Group this coming Friday 14th May, 11:00 - 12:00.

Joining details:

Meeting ID: 918 7411 1747 Passcode: 276063 Dial in: 0203 481 5240 United Kingdom


Mental Health Awareness Week - Services and Resources

This week is Mental Health Awareness week. Please see below for a list of mental health and wellbeing services available to City residents. Do contact us at or call 02039579844 if you would like further information.

City Connections Befriending offers befriending services for those who are feeling socially isolated. Contact or call 02039579844 for more information.

Speak directly to NHS Volunteer Responders 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) Check in and Chat Service. Referrals can also be made on behalf of a resident to NHS Volunteer Responders.

Talk Changes can help you find ways to manage your mind and make changes, so you can live life to the full. We are a confidential NHS service for adults registered with a GP in City and Hackney. Website Phone: 020 7683 4278

Family Action offer a listening ear, focusing on help or guidance on family issues. They also provide longer-term support through regular Befriending or Counselling. The service runs Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm. Contact through live web chat, text, phone call or email. Telephone: 0808 802 6666 Text message: 07537 404 282 Email: Website

City Wellbeing Centre has a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre for City residents, offering counselling and psychotherapy. The service is open to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. It is currently online due to the pandemic. Book an initial appointment via the website, telephone or email. Email: Telephone: 020 7380 1960 Website

City and Hackney Carers Centre offer counselling sessions on a sliding scale pricing system, starting at £5. The costs go towards covering the running costs of the service. The service is available for unpaid carers living in the City and Hackney. You can refer yourself by completing a form on the website. (Carers Only)

City and Hackney Wellbeing Network aims to build resilience to prevent the onset of mental health problems and to alleviate issues such as stress, anxiety and low mood. The network will also support people with severe and enduring mental health conditions. They can’t guarantee eligibility for 1:1 or face-to-face support. However, they will consider your referral and help to signpost you towards Digital support if that is the case. Website

East London NHS Foundation Trust All services are currently open for business and receiving both routine and urgent referrals. People who are known to the service can contact their Duty Worker, as usual. The Donald Winnicott Centre covers the City of London and their phone number is 020 7033 6100.

Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to offer free confidential support to you, whatever you may be going through. Contact via telephone call, email or post. Telephone: 116 123 Email: Website

The City & Hackney Mental Health Crisis Line number is changing to Freephone 0800 073 0006. The helpline is a 24-hour service for people of any age who have long term psychological issues or who have experienced sudden crisis (e.g. bereavement). They offer confidential expert advice and guidance support and referrals to local services if needed.

SANEline is a national out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. The helpline is for supporting anyone who feels they have reached a moment of crisis. They are open every day from 4.30pm to 10.30pm. Leave a message on 07984 967 708 giving your first name and contact number, or email and a professional or senior volunteer will get back to you as soon as practicable. Website

The award-winning Dragon Café in the City is free and open to anyone working or living in the City and provides a (virtual) space for them to release the pressure, try something new, and engage in creative activities designed to foster positive mental and physical wellbeing. The sessions are held on Wednesday fortnightly. The programme of events can be found here at Dragon Café in the City Website

The Mindfulness Association offers free daily Zoom mindfulness sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening, followed by tea and company. Website

Medito is a free app with no adverts which you can download from the App Store or Google Play on a smartphone. They have a range of short mindfulness and meditation clips to listen to, offering space to switch off and better cope with depression, stress, anxiety and other negative states of mind. They have lots of different types of clips, from helping you sleep better, to coping better with the pandemic. Website

Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional well-being support service for young people aged 11-19 years in City and Hackney. Kooth has no referrals or waiting lists and young people can access it anonymously. It’s open 365 days a year from noon to 10pm weekdays and from 6 to 10pm on Saturday and Sundays. Website

Every Mind Matters A campaign run by Public Health England giving tips and advice to help you look after yours mental health and wellbeing. Website


City & Hackney Public Health Updates

AstraZeneca Vaccine bloodcot information leaflet

Community Collect: rapid COVID-19 testing

From Friday 9 April everyone in the UK is being encouraged to get tested for Covid-19 twice a week. As national restrictions ease, rapid testing is a critical way to reduce the spread and keep us on track with the roadmap out of lockdown. Rapid Covid-19 tests are free and provide results within 30 minutes. If you don’t already access rapid testing through an educational setting, or workplace, there are a number of ways you can access rapid tests by:

Ordering home testing kits to your home

Collecting home testing kits from a collection point, such as a pharmacy, community centre, or testing centre. Use the NHS Covid-19 test and vaccination site finder tool

Visiting a rapid testing centre


Open Now - New Support for Mental Health

The brand new Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre for City residents* and workers with a workplace located in the postcodes EC1-EC4 is open.

Book here for online counselling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples and groups who are experiencing any of a range of emotional and psychological difficulties – whatever your income or circumstances

*(and those living in neighbouring boroughs, i.e. Tower Hamlets, Camden, Westminster, Islington, Hackney, Southwark and Lambeth)

How the Centre Can Help

The Centre enables you to explore and address difficulties online such as:

Depression, Anxiety, Struggles with marital and relationship issues and those relating to family and work life, Sexual problems, Self-esteem issues, Life transitions, such as moving towards retirement. If you would like to know more about our service call us:

0207 380 1960

Read the WellBeing Centre Director, Damian McCann’s article on the ways in which the services offer help to workers or residents in the City and surrounding areas. Read more >


Community Collect: rapid COVID-19 testing

From Friday 9 April everyone in the UK is being encouraged to get tested for Covid-19 twice a week. As national restrictions ease, rapid testing is a critical way to reduce the spread and keep us on track with the roadmap out of lockdown. Rapid Covid-19 tests are free and provide results within 30 minutes. If you don’t already access rapid testing through an educational setting, or workplace, there are a number of ways you can access rapid tests by:

Ordering home testing kits to your home

Collecting home testing kits from a collection point, such as a pharmacy, community centre, or testing centre. Use the NHS Covid-19 test and vaccination site finder tool

Visiting a rapid testing centre


Smokefree City & Hackney is now live!

Free local Stop Smoking support services in City of London and Hackney.

From 26 April 2021, Smokefree City & Hackney is offering free, personal and confidential support to stop smoking for those living, studying or working in the City of London and Hackney, or who are registered with a City and Hackney GP.

Research shows that smokers are three times more likely to quit with support and medication compared to quitting on their own. Smokefree City and Hackney offers a flexible programme, enabling current smokers to access support and medication (free to those who don't pay for prescriptions) to quit smoking. Individuals signing up to the service will access a free high quality evidence based service, one-to-one support with a trained Stop Smoking Advisor for up to 12 weeks, along with access to your choice of medication. Due to the impact of COVID-19, one-to-one support is currently telephone based. For more information about the support available visit

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Community and Children Services Committee, Randall Anderson, said:

“This is a valuable service to the City and one that will help many people who want to stop smoking."

“We know that stopping smoking can be hard, but you don’t have to do it on your own."

“There’s lots of support available to give you the help you need to give up cigarettes. You are more likely to stop smoking for good with the right support.”

If you are a smoker and interested in quitting, please contact Smokefree City & Hackney via the online referral form or call our freephone number 0800 046 9946.


AstraZeneca Vaccine: How do you weigh up the risks and benefits?


Coaching for Unpaid Carers - From Bitter to Better Hackney Carers

Hackney Carers

City & Hackney Carers Centre

Main telephone: 020 8533 0951 

Option 1: Friday, May 7, 2021
10:30am-12:30pm (10:15am registration and introductions) Please register here:

Option 2: Wednesday June 2, 2021 - 10:30am-12:30pm (10:15am registration and introductions) Please register here:

When you’ve been hurt, it can be difficult to let go and move on. But holding onto bitterness and resentment can harm our relationships, and leave us feeling stressed and depressed. If you want to learn how to let go of bitterness and resentment, come along to one of our upcoming workshops with Coaching for Unpaid Carers. You will learn how to release yourself from the cycle of bitterness and resentment, and we will share some techniques for cultivating forgiveness for yourself and others. Lastly, we will share with you some of our top tips for keeping your cool in the midst of conflict. We are running this workshop on two different days. Places are limited so book now to secure yours. 


Covid-19 Vaccinations and Blood Clotting Information

Please find some useful information and age related tables: Click Here


Unpaid Carer Vaccinations

A reminder that if you are an unpaid carer you are eligible to have the COVID 19 vaccination. You should register with your GP as a carer if you haven't already.

Once you are registered as a carer with your GP practice you will be able to book in your vaccination via the national booking service website

You will not need proof of ID when booking your vaccination in this way.

Alternatively you can contact your GP or call 119 to arrange your vaccination.


Smokefree City & Hackney

Smokefree City & Hackney is your local NHS stop smoking service, and we are continuing our work to help smokers quit during the pandemic: as we cannot currently see smokers in person we are running telephone and email support and advice sessions and arranging to supply stop smoking medications via local pharmacies. You can contact Smokefree City & Hackney by calling 0800 046 9946.

You can also follow Smokefree City & Hackney on twitter @SmokefreeCandH

Or visit the webpage here: Smokefree City & Hackney


Toenail Cutting Service

In their March Bulletin Healthwatch City of London provided an update on toenail cutting services:

The Neaman Practice are advertising a toenail cutting service delivered by Hoxton Health a registered charity. The service, which costs £15, is available to City and Hackney registered patients/residents deemed as vulnerable, over 55, living alone or a carer – at risk of mobility issues or falls.

To refer someone, phone Hoxton Health on 020 7739 2533 and supply the person’s name and their phone number. Hoxton Health will then contact people direct to make an appointment.

Clinics are available at:

Hoxton Health, St Leonard’s Hospital, Nuttal Street, N1 5LZ

Fountayne Road Health Centre, 1A Fountayne Rd, Cazenove, London N16 7EA

Nightingale Practice 10 Kenninghall Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 8BY

Home visits: The service is available to people unable to attend clinic. Please note you must be able to independently sit up, remove shoes and socks, and handle money, or you must have a carer present to use the service.

The Neaman Practice continues to offer the NHS GP referral service. The podiatry clinic at the Neaman Practice is still running, this happens every six weeks and is available via GP referral.

At Healthwatch City of London are meeting with the Head of podiatry from Homerton Hospital and City and Hackney CCG commissioner of the services, to discuss and resolve the on going issues Neaman Practice patients are experiencing in booking appointments at the podiatry clinic. Let us know of your experience: If you have experienced problems whilst trying to access this service, please let us know by emailing


FREE Covid-19 Pop Up Vaccine Clinic for Black and other Hackney and City of London communities

Are you aged 50+? Are you aged 16+ and at higher risk from Covid-19 because you have an underlying health condition that makes you clinically vulnerable (such as asthma, diabetes or HIV) Are you a carer for someone elderly, disabled or high risk? Do you consider yourself homeless or undocumented? Are you unable to access public funds or register with a GP? You are eligible to attend these community pop-up clinics

Thursday 15 April, 10 – 2pm

Halkevi Community Centre

31-33 Dalston Lane

London E8 3DF

Friday 16 April, 2 – 6pm

Pembury Community Centre

1 Atkins Square, Dalston Lane

London E8 1FA

Hosted by Community African Network (CAN) and Support When It Matters (SWIM).

All ethnicities are welcome to the clinic. Pre-booking will guarantee a slot for you. To pre-book, please call Ola (CAN) on 07518020494 or Peter (SWIM) on 07557260174.

CAN will provide language support in French, Lingala, Portuguese, Swahili Somali, Tigranya and Yoruba.


Delivered by Age UK East London on behalf of The City of London Corporation

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Our Head office: 82 Russia Lane, Bethnal Green E2 9LU
Phone number: 0203 957 9844

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