All News

Coronavirus update: services and support


Information about our latest service updates and places to get support.

UPDATED 14/01/2021

A national lockdown is now in place to control the spread of Covid-19 as rates rapidly increase across London and the country.

You can find up to date advice on how to keep you and your household safe, including information on restrictions, how to get a Covid test locally and extra support for those who need it, on Tower Hamlets Council’s website.

Rapid tests for people without symptoms are now available at Burcham Street Community Centre. Find out more here.

Essential services

Poplar HARCA’s priority remains the health of residents and staff. We are currently running a limited service in line with the latest Government advice.

We are focusing on delivering essential services such as supporting our vulnerable residents, emergency and essential repairs, including gas, electricity and leaks, and cleaning.

Our offices are closed.

Access our services

You can still access our services by logging onto MyHARCA. Here you can view your statement and pay your rent or service charge.

To report an emergency repair; a situation which causes an immediate danger to people or to a building, please call 0800 035 1991.

To report an essential repair, something which must be repaired but is not an immediate threat to people or to the building, email

To make a payment email Alternatively, you can call 0800 035 1991 to make a payment.

We can’t currently accept or issue cheques. For alternative ways to pay, please click here.

Repairs in your home

We are only carrying out emergency and essential repairs to residents’ homes. We are not logging or booking non-essential repairs at the moment. If you are concerned about an outstanding repair, please contact us for advice. Communal and estate works will continue as usual because there is no risk of close contact between people.

For a list of emergency and essential repairs, useful information, and resources to help you carry out basic repairs jobs in the meantime click here.

For emergency repairs, please telephone 0800 035 1991.

For essential repairs, please email

Our contractors are taking extra safety measures to help keep you and themselves healthy while they work in your home. Find out more here.


Our Estate Services team is working on a reduced rota, focusing on health and safety works.  Please keep 2m away from them as they go about their daily tasks.

Community centres

Our community centres are currently closed to the public.

You can still access our community centres online which are free and available to everyone:

  • HARCA Centres Unlocked Facebook Group has health and wellbeing activities for all ages
  • The Hive offers jobs and training advice online and by telephone, and online courses
  • Spotlight offers support and activities for young people
  • Poplar Union has an online programme of events and activities. Poplar Bakehouse remains open for takeaway only.

Our centres will continue to support older and vulnerable households, and we are working with local charities, mutual aid groups and Tower Hamlets Council.  If you feel you may need extra help, or are worried about an elderly or vulnerable neighbour, please let us know.

Isolation Support

The Covid and Isolation Community Support Hub (Bow and Poplar), run by Poplar HARCA staff and local volunteers, can help with:

  • Shopping
  • Collection of medication
  • Welfare benefits advice
  • Foodbank assistance
  • Befriending

If you live in Poplar or Bow and need help or advice while self-isolating or staying at home:

Call 020 7005 7608

Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm

Play areas

Our play areas are open, however it is not possible to guarantee that equipment is clear from COVID-19. Please follow this safety guidance so that we can keep these spaces open.

Construction sites

Our construction sites are open. Sites are following strict safety guidance to reduce risk to employees and residents.

Keep up to date

We are sharing important coronavirus updates in our e-newsletter. Sign up now, or read the latest edition. We appreciate your understanding during these exceptional circumstances.

For more information on how you can take action to protect yourself and others, visit the NHS website.


Helpful links and information

Health information

Information from the Government

Information from Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Council have a set up a phone helpline on 0207 364 3030 to support residents that have been identified as being extremely vulnerable and at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 caused by coronavirus. All other residents who need support can use the online form, to let the council know about their situation and any issues they may face while isolating or managing their care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Financial information & Universal Credit

Local foodbanks

Foodbanks across the country are experiencing high demand. You can support local organisations by making a donation online.

Covid-19 Mutual Aid community groups

Help with shopping and errands

Mental health support

You can find lots of free mental health support in Tower Hamlets and nationwide here.

Support for young people

Volunteering opportunities

Our local community has pulled together to support each other, and many organisations are recruiting more people to help.

Support for business tenants

Find advice and support for our business tenants here.

Tower Hamlets Council


The Metropolitan Police have received reports of coronavirus-related scams:

  • NHS tests: Fraudsters claim to be doing coronavirus tests on behalf of the NHS. If anyone knocks on your door, ignore them and call the Police.
  • Phishing emails: Fraudsters claim to be from research organisations linked to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious or unsolicited emails, and never respond to emails, calls or messages that ask for your personal or financial details. 
  • Free school meals: Fraudulent emails ask for bank details to support those entitled to free school meals. Do not open these emails, and delete immediately. Find out more.
  • Shopping for the elderly: Fraudsters claim to be from supermarkets, take money from elderly residents for shopping and then don’t return. Do not hand over money to anyone knocking on your door and call the Police.
  • Online shopping: If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first and use a credit card if you have one. Find out more.

Install the latest software and updates to protect your devices from the latest threats.

Keeping safe at home

Our Safeguarding team is here to support residents who may be at increased risk of domestic abuse during this stay at home period.

We want to assure those who may use work as a safe haven and are now unable to do so, that we are here to listen and advise you.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse and you’re concerned for your or their safety, please call us on 0800 035 1991 (ask to speak to the Safeguarding team) or report it to us online.

If anyone is in immediate risk of harm, please always call 999.

There are various national support agencies who may also be able to provide you with advice and support:

  • Refuge on 0808 2000 247 – domestic abuse helpline
  • Women’s Aid live chat or email
  • Galop on 0800 999 5428 – LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline
  • Respect on 0808 802 4040 – anonymous & confidential helpline for perpetrators
  • Respect on 0808 801 0327 – confidential helpline for male victims
  • Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247 – supporting victims of  honour based abuse and forced marriage
  • Hour Glass on 0808 808 8141 – challenging the abuse of older people in all its forms

Keeping children safe

The current lockdown could put some children at greater risk of abuse, as families are under new pressures and spending much more time at home.

We can all play our part by checking in with families and reaching out for support and advice if we have any concerns.

The NSPCC website provides lots of useful guidance on how to spot the signs, ways to keep in touch and where to access help.

If a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999 straight away.

If you are worried about a child, the Tower Hamlets Early Help service can provide support with parenting, money troubles, emotional health and much more, to help stop problems becoming more serious. You can make an online referral here.

Fire safety

With people spending more time at home, The London Fire Brigade has published advice on staying safe.

Covid-19 repairs informationCovid-19 business tenants