Tower Hamlets voluntary groups pick up community grants

Four groups in Tower Hamlets are among the last wave of voluntary and community groups to be awarded �500 after a major high street store opened at Stratford City.

John Lewis has dished out �20,000 to more than 40 groups across the six Olympic boroughs.

Among those to benefit is Poetry in Wood which provides training and employment for people with learning disabilities. The voluntary organisation based at the Montefiore Centre, on Hanbury Street, Whitechapel, runs art, design and woodwork courses, and trains 32 people each week. The money will be spent on machinery.

Another group awarded is Tower Hamlets Street Pastors, which sees church volunteers patrol Brick Lane, Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Mile End, Bow and Poplar, engaging with people on the streets, including those suffering alcoholism, drug addiction, homelessness or family problems. The money will be used for personal safety alarms, thermal blankets, gloves, hats and flip-flops distributed on the street.

Families Together, which runs a practical home maintenance course to residents in Tower Hamlets, will use their �500 to buy tools.

Power Group which takes children in Tower Hamlets on fun trips to gain confidence and talk about their worries will use their �500 to take 15 children to pantomime, ice skating, bowling and the cinema.