Tower Hamlets – It’s Our Turn

Community-led journalism project on loneliness

I feel lonely when there is no one to hang around with. I find it hard to make friends. – Tomas


What does loneliness actually mean and how do we get through it?

In June 2022, we partnered with Real DPO, ICM Foundation and Bromley by Bow Centre to train disabled residents in Towe Hamlets, London UK, as community reporters so that they could share their experiences of being lonely as well as other stories from their communities. By uncovering and sharing their own experiences, they hoped to identify appropriate and meaningful solutions to loneliness for disabled people.


Across a series of in-person workshops, we looked at why our own stories are powerful – using coloured pens, paper and drawings, they shared the times they felt lonely and how they got through it. Together, the group took part in community reporter training and explored how to safely find and capture stories from their communities, as well as share their own reports using mobile and digital tools.

Key themes that came out of the first workshop.

During the training, they had time to break out into smaller groups and practice their interviewing skills as well as find support and friendship. From the stories they shared early on, they were able to identify and upvote themes that would go on to shape their reporting sprint into loneliness.


I’ve felt lonely so many times, especially with the school…but knowing that when I get home, I could just be in my room, play Minecraft, listen to music. – Holly

Since then, the community reporter network have been sending in their own reports, using audio, video and text to detail their experiences as well as the stories and concerns of others in their communities. Their insights are hosted together on their co-produced, accessible community website, Tower Hamlets – It’s Our Turn.

Through their stories, they want to amplify their own voices, challenge assumptions, and help decision-makers make informed and inclusive decisions.


Real DPO, ICM Foundation and Bromley by Bow Centre, funded by the Tower Hamlets local authority.


Tower Hamlets – It’s Our Turn will be launching soon!