Tower Hamlets is a densely populated and culturally diverse area, where the traditional East End meets the City of London and the Canary Wharf business districts. Soaring property prices and not enough public housing mean younger generations move away to find affordable homes; family and community networks suffer.
40% of older people live alone. The Borough is the third most deprived in England; high levels of unemployment, poverty, long term ill health and disability, mean life is a daily struggle for many people.
I must say that in my heart, because of the culture, I thought we might not get on, but we have
Magic Me provides opportunities and places for strangers to meet and become good neighbours and friends. Working together in creative ways, participants learn from one another, making connections which strengthen our community, building resilience to cope with tough times.
We believe every individual has the potential to learn and grow. Our projects give our participants confidence and stimulation, and a focus to create something positive together. Teachers report that pupils increase their confidence and are able to talk to strangers. Older people tell us that Magic Me gives them something to get out of bed for in the morning. Participants are encouraged to step outside of themselves and to look at things from each other’s point of view. Working together stereotypes are challenged.
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Photo: Decorum participants at Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre, photographer Holly Falconer