As was originally envisaged, the Attlee Centre has now evolved into a separate community-based organisation, sharing a common commitment to Clement Attlee’s philosophy and ethos, whilst independent of the Attlee Foundation the focus of which is social policy research and innovation. From 1st April 2015 The Attlee Centre will have it’s own Board of Trustees.  The Trustees are Sandra Kabir (Chair), Subhash Thakrar (Treasurer), Martin Young and Zakaria Hossain.

In 1982 the Attlee Foundation pioneered an adventure playground in Tower Hamlets for children of all abilities, The vision, realised in 2006, was for a purpose-built community-led youth and community centre directly serving young families, especially younger children, girls and women and young people to establish long term relationships with them and to provide access to specialised services from trusted sources.

The Attlee Centre has now evolved into a separate community-based organisation, sharing a common commitment to Clement Attlee’s philosophy and ethos, whilst independent of the Attlee Foundation.
The Attlee Foundation (attleefoundation.org) was established with support from across the political spectrum in 1967 to commemorate the life and work of former Prime Minister Clement Attlee whose Government launched the National Health Service. Attlee’s early work in Stepney was as a volunteer at a boy’s club of which he subsequently became manager. As Mayor, he launched major public health initiatives in housing. Access to opportunities is at the core of the Foundation’s activities and is reflected in its past local and international work, social policy research on issues affecting disadvantaged communities and direct project work with young people.


The Attlee Centre is based in LAP2 – Spitalfields & Banglatown ward in Tower Hamlets. which is one of the most deprived wards of the Borough which is itself is ranked 7th most deprived out of 326 local authorities and districts in England.

Demographics: Census 2011

There are 10,286 people living in Spitalfields and Banglatown: 3,604 are aged 0-24 years; 93% of children and young people aged 0 – 17 years are from BME backgrounds. Spitalfields and Banglatown has had a population increase of 9%: from 9,447 in 2001 to 10,286 in 2011. Whilst the numbers of adults aged 20 – 44 have increased by 10% and now make up 68% of the total population there has been a notable decrease in the numbers of young residents aged 0 -19, a fall of 30%.CHECK Around 6% of the total population is now 64 and over and amongst this age group there has been a 13% increase since 2001. (Source: National Census 2011)


Tower Hamlets remains one of the four most overcrowded boroughs in the country. An estimated 20% of households are overcrowded in Spitalfields and Banglatown (according to the government recognised “bedroom standard”) compared to only 2.4% nationally (source: Survey of English Housing, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Family Resources Survey, Office for Work and Pensions).

Over half of Bangladeshi households in Tower Hamlets fall below the bedroom standard. The consequences of this level of overcrowding are: lack of privacy; broken sleep; lack of space for storing clothes and personal possessions, for studying and homework, for prayers and for entertaining female guests. At its worst it causes health problems (source: Kempson, Elaine (1999) Overcrowding in Bangladeshi Families – A Case Study of Tower Hamlets Policy Studies Institute).

Open space:

Spitalfields has been identified through the Council’s Open Space Strategy as suffering from the greatest deficiency with “a noticeable absence of spaces supporting the existing population” (Open Space Strategy: LBTH).
The National Playing Fields Association recommends a minimum of 6 acres of recreational open space per 1000 total population including 1.5 to 2 acres for children’s playing space. Pressure on land means the area is unlikely ever to attain this minimum so protecting current space is vital for the whole community.