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Claire Coghill

Amazingly back to school is only a week away and parents and pupils will be hearing from schools and nurseries around changes to Covid-19 arrangements for the new academic year. With all over 16's now eligible for a vaccine I am sure many will have questions that will need answering. Our local NHS partners have a really useful question and answer section on their website for young people, which is worth a look.

12-15 year olds who are clinically vulnerable to the virus or live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness can also get the vaccine, however must wait to be contacted by the NHS before booking. 

The vaccine rollout has been a massive undertaking and 162,000 residents have had their first dose of the vaccine, however there are still many who haven’t yet had theirs. Around half of 18-29 year olds haven’t yet had their first dose, so there is still a long way to go in the vaccination programme. Please do encourage anyone in your life who hasn’t yet had their first dose to go along to one of our clinics to get their protection.

By taking both doses of the vaccine, it will reduce your chances of getting infected by almost 80%, and means in certain situations you may not have to self-isolate.

As some of you may know I am standing down as leader of Waltham Forest Council so this will be my last message. Serving as leader of the best borough in the best city in the world has been both a privilege and a pleasure.

Thank you

Lots of options where you can get your vaccine this week!

Vax - Thumbs Up

Residents aged 16 and over can get their covid vaccine at a variety of venues.

Don’t miss out – get your protection and reduce the risk of infection for yourself and your loved ones.

Thursday 26 Aug:

10am-2.30pm at Leytonstone Library for AstraZeneca

2pm - 8pm at Walthamstow Library for Pfizer

3pm-7pm at Leyton Cricket Hub for Pfizer

Friday 27 Aug:

8.30am-2.30pm at Walthamstow Library for Pfizer

Saturday 28 Aug:

10am-5pm at Tawhid Mosque in Leyton, for Pfizer

Tuesday 31 Aug:

9am-12pm at Paradox Community Centre in Chingford, for Pfizer

Book your vaccine

Pop up clinic comes to Chingford

Woman - Vax

We’re pleased to work with the Paradox Community Centre to hold a vaccination clinic in Chingford on Tuesday 31 Aug.

You can get your Pfizer vaccine there between 9am-12pm.

  • 16+ welcome
  • No ID required
  • First and second doses available, please make sure first is over 8 weeks ago

Thanks to the community centre for working with us to get more residents vaccinated. 

Book at Paradox

Your opinion is important to us!

How are you doing?

As most Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted we would like to find out how you’re feeling about the changes and understand what life has been like for you living through the pandemic.

By filling in our resident survey you’ll get to share your thoughts on the local area and community, and tell us about your hopes and aspirations for the future. This way we can make sure our resources are in the right place.   

If you are aged 16 and over and live in Waltham Forest please take a few minutes to fill out our resident survey.  

Fill out our survey 

Free job help from our Rapid employment service

Rapid - Employment service

Trying to get a job but don’t know where to start? Our experts at the Rapid employment service, Steps into work, are here for you.

The team offers free ongoing one-to-one support and group workshops. You can get advice on your CV, where to search for jobs, filling in application forms, mock interviews, and more.

This is a free Council service for Waltham Forest residents as well as employers.

Waltham Forest residents - ask us for help finding and applying for a job. Employers - we can save you valuable time as we identify, prepare and screen candidates.

For more information, please call 0208 496 4182 (Monday to Friday, 10am–4pm) or email the team. 

Email the team

Leytonstone Loves Film

Leytonstone Loves Film 2 - On grass

Lights, camera, action!

Leytonstone Loves Film is back for 2021 and there really is something for everyone in this year’s line-up.

From family-friendly favourites to cutting edge horror, we’re delighted to partner with the Barbican to present this celebration of the silver screen in Leytonstone, the birthplace of the legendary Alfred Hitchcock.

Get more info

Jump along to our first Jump Festival

Jump Festival

Play is important for adults as well as kids – that’s why we are delighted to announce the first-ever Waltham Forest Jump festival, a chance for all to get out and enjoy having fun with friends, family, and neighbours.

Between Friday 17 and Saturday 26 September we’ll host a range of events across the borough jam-packed with real world and digital work from local, national and international artists, game designers and community groups, much of it commissioned especially for the festival.

The festival will include activities for Car Free Day on Saturday 22 September. Don’t miss out on the first Waltham Forest Play festival!

Discover more

Covid-19 testing before school return


Testing remains important to stop the virus from spreading within our schools and settings. As the summer holidays come to an end, we ask that secondary pupils and staff take a Covid-19 test before the new term starts.

If your child develops Covid-19 symptoms, they must not attend school. Please follow government guidance and keep your child at home and book a PCR test as soon as possible. Adults and secondary school aged children should continue testing for Covid-19 twice a week for additional safety in our community.

Testing is widely available:

  • Walk in to any of our test sites
  • Pick up a kit from over 50 locations across the borough, including your local pharmacy or, order online

 Learn about testing

Are you staying safe?

Meet Outside

The weekly count of people catching Covid-19 in the past week is just below 700 cases in Waltham Forest. Let’s continue to follow the guidance and protect ourselves, friends and loved ones when spending time with one another and while out in the borough. 

We can all stay safe by:  

  • Wearing a mask in indoor public spaces  
  • Social distancing in crowded places   
  • Washing our hands regularly   
  • Letting the fresh air in - if meeting people indoors who you don't live with 
  • Self isolating if you have symptoms. 

Covid-19 restrictions 

Start your career doing a paid work placement


Are you 16 to 24 years old, unemployed and on Universal Credit? A six-month Kickstart work placement could give you essential experience to start a career. You would earn a salary and gain skills while you work for 25 hours each week.

There are thousands of high-quality Kickstart work placements in media, marketing, administration, construction, warehousing, manufacturing and many other sectors.

Find out if Kickstart is right for you, speak to your work coach or email us:

Email the team

New Stop Smoking service is launching

Quit Smoking

On Wednesday 1 September, a new service will be available for residents to get all the help they need to quit smoking. The free Stop Smoking service is open to anyone aged over 12 who lives, works, studies or is registered with a GP in the borough.  

The service provides one-to-one telephone, digital or face-to-face support from a specialist stop smoking practitioner, free nicotine replacement therapy, digital support and apps available 24-hours-a-day, plus support in a wide range of languages. 

Parents of young children and young people are particularly encouraged to contact the service for support. 

Find out more 

Black Breastfeeding Week

Black Breastfeeding Week

Starting tomorrow it’s Black Breastfeeding Week, and we’re celebrating Black mothers in the borough. Research showed that women of Black African origin in the UK had some of the highest infant mortality rates and evidence suggests breastfeeding can help.

The challenges of motherhood are many but please know that you are not alone. Emotional and practical support is important for all women who want to breastfeed, as the benefits can be life changing for both mum and baby.

HENRY in Waltham Forest is a free service to support all families with infant feeding and one to one support. 

Get infant feeding support

Bank Holiday Family Fun!

Square - Bank Holiday Fun

Looking for ideas to keep the kids entertained this Bank Holiday weekend? Head to Fellowship Square, where they (and you) can enjoy a fantastic line-up of free activities, entertaining street performances and live music.

Walthamstow Youth Circus will be teaching hula hooping and juggling skills, there’s facemask and puppet crafting workshops, interactive street theatre, amazing bubbleologists, stilt walkers, live DJ sets from The Disco Shed - guaranteed to get you dancing and lots more! Check the website for each day’s events.

See events info  

Need a council service?

Corporate Strategy - Newsletter Footer

Our teams are working hard to keep services running throughout this next stage of the pandemic and keep residents safe. 

If you need a specific council service, visit our website to find more information.

Find out more 

How are you doing -Man

SubscribeInformation and advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing quickly and its important you keep up to date with those changes. The Council will be using email newsletters to keep residents and businesses up to date.

If residents have questions please visit our website, and use live chat to talk to one of our team, it's quicker than phoning.

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