Denise Jones has lived in Cable Street, Wapping, since 1967. She trained as a Graphic Designer at Brighton College of Art. She is also a qualified teacher and taught in junior schools in Tower Hamlets. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of East London in 2008 for services to culture and regeneration in East London and is a Freeman of the City of London 2002.
She owns a small business, Brick Lane Bookshop Ltd that promotes literature through author events in the shop and in schools. Her independent publishing company BLB Press Ltd runs an annual short story prize, promoting new writers work in published short story collections and podcasts.
She served as a Labour Councillor for St Katharine’s and Wapping Ward from 1994-2022. She is a former Leader of the Council, Deputy Leader, Lead Member for Culture and Heritage, Adult and Health, and the Civic Mayor and was Chair of Mile End Park Partnership that built the £27m Millennium Park. She led on changing LBTH libraries into Idea Stores. She has been Chair of the Mayor’s Loneliness Taskforce since 2018, working with local partners to find ways to alleviate loneliness for people of all ages in the borough.
Denise is a co-founder and Director of the Rich Mix Cultural Centre that celebrates the diversity of multicultural London through arts and educational programmes, She is a Board Member of Young V&A, Trinity Buoy Wharf, Aldgate & Allhallows Foundation, Create London, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, and a Director of Mulberry Academy Trust.
She has served on the Boards of Tower Hamlets NHS Primary Care Trust, Arts Council London, Museum of London and Docklands, Wilton’s Music Hall Trust, Visit London, Tour East, Whitechapel Art Gallery, CIDA, Eastside Arts, Half Moon YPT, ALG Culture & Tourism, Greenwich & Docklands Festival, Women’s Library Council, Heritage of London Trust, TH Homes, East End Homes, Cultural Industries Development Agency, St Katharine’s and Shadwell Trust. East End Community Foundation and East London Foundation Trust (health).