Founded in 2007, The Rooted Forum (TRF) arose out of acute problems that were being endured by local residents including but not limited to spiralling rates of crime, urban deprivation and social exclusion. We as an organisation can be traced in terms of our origin to being founded as a direct response and initiation of local people to address the immediate regional needs of Wapping and Shadwell; to this day it is our local residents, stakeholders and service users that continue to steer The Rooted Forum (TRF) whilst staff and volunteers whom are comprised of locals are present to ensure optimum service delivery to meet the demands and needs of their community.
Prior to our formation, the Shadwell ward in Tower Hamlets had been deprived of a youth service and community centric facilities for over 10 years which consequentially coincided with an escalation of crime, ant-social behaviour and violence within the locality. In our beginning TRF operated from the Old Town Hall in Cable Street, the centre offered a focal point for the local youth providing them with a much needed leisure and recreational space.
Initially the organisation’s primary focus was the delivery of youth club facilities as a means for diversionary activism, to provide a secure and safe place for congregation, to engage local young people that felt neglected by mainstream services and to create a positive presence so as to address the longitudinal regional difficulties identified within the ward. With the passing of time however, as the capacity of the organisation expanded to meet the broader needs of these youth and the wider community the organisation’s aims and objectives too evolved to function increasingly as a developmental association to encapsulate, bring to the fore and approach to tackle variations of the needs and demands of locals.
Through our efforts the organisation developed close working relationships with stakeholders, due to our record of successful achievement, experience and improved standards we soon received recognition in widening circles as the change and impact that we exerted was felt locally in the lives of many; we entered a period of growth and furthering of partnerships, The Rooted Forum (TRF) in 2010 moved into the new building, the Tarling East Community Centre.
This eco- environmentally friendly and Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant venue was inaugurated by local MP Jim Fitzpatrick and it has become our home from which to The Rooted Forum (TRF) further expanded its work and broadened its scope. TRF would continue, lead and launch innovative Projects to help service delivery of keynote provisions to attend to the requirements of the whole community; engagement that sought to be inclusive cross-representation of residents. At present, The Rooted Forum has 6 strands of work which ranges from working with people of all dominions of religion, race and gender from very young children of Primary School age to our elderly residents and members of the Borough.