Newham is a young, vibrant and ambitious borough, but we face significant challenges. By focusing on building resilience, we are tackling deprivation and creating a more prosperous future for our residents.  
A crowd of people watching something

​Our approach to building resilience in Newham

Our approach to improving the lives of our residents is unique. Through building personal, economic and community resilience, we will make a positive and lasting impact, working towards giving you the same life chances as those in other parts of London.
That means making sure everything we do works together to build resilience and being sensitive to how our policies and activities have an impact on personal skills, local relationships and the broader economic environment.

This approach is working. In the Government’s latest indices of deprivation, Newham went from the being the second most deprived local authority in England to the 25th – one of the biggest falls in deprivation in the country. There is further to go, and we will continue to explore new ways to build resilience, but it is clear that our approach is transforming lives.

How we started

In 2011, following our consultation A Strong Community: Building Resilience in Newham (PDF), we launched Quid Pro Quo, Not Status Quo: Why we need a welfare state that builds resilience (PDF). It was our delivery plan for building the resilience of our residents and community.

A Strong Community: Building Resilience in NewhamQuid Pro Quo, Not Status Quo: Why we need a welfare state that builds resilience

What we have done to build resilience

Resilience Making it Happen - An update on delivery
Since launching our resilience delivery plan we have committed to include resilience in everything we do as a council.
We have made great progress in building a more resilient Newham, which has contributed to a significant fall in levels of deprivation in the borough. Resilience Making it Happen - An update on delivery (PDF) sets out some of our achievements so far.

Building Resilience: The Evidence Base front cover
Our document Building Resilience: The Evidence Base (PDF) also gives an in-depth look at the research that is informing our decisions.


Community resilience

Community resilience is about networks and relationships. It is about recognising that part of our strength comes from those around us and the community we belong to.

Community neighbourhoods

Your elected councillors, with you, have real control over local services. Our community neighbourhoods bring together local assets such as libraries and community centres with local volunteers and activities to get more people involved in your local community.
Each neighbourhood has a co-ordinator who works with you and your councillors to share ideas and get changes made.


We know that a stable and affordable home is a key foundation for building resilience. In the context of a London-wide housing crisis, our document 'National Crisis, Local Action: Making a Real Difference in Housing' (PDF) outlines the activity we have taken so far to build a more resilient housing market in Newham.
We have a:
  • new private rent vehicle to build and buy homes for affordable and stable rent
  • NewShare scheme which offers residents who would struggle to buy on the open market, the opportunity to own their own home
  • new housing allocations scheme for social housing that rewards contribution to the community
  • private sector landlords licensing scheme to make sure that all housing is of the type you would want to live in and to stop the results of sub-standard housing such as poor health, anti-social behaviour, buildings being neglected and local residents not feeling safe in their own neighbourhoods.
Find out more about our housing allocations scheme
Find out more about private rented property licensing 

Understanding community resilience

Community Resilience in Newham
To build our understanding of community resilience in Newham and the strengths, networks and connections in the borough we conducted a research project with think tank the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and The Campaign Company.


Personal resilience

Personal resilience is about being able to respond to challenges, have good relationships, learn new skills and succeed at work.

Every child matters

Our Every Child programme aims to complement traditional learning, ensuring the borough’s young people have access to wider opportunities that support educational attainment, activity and achievement.

This includes giving:
  • children in years 5, 6 and 7 the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument at no cost to parents
  • every year 7 pupil the chance to take part in a sport that they enjoy free of charge
  • every primary and secondary school child the chance to go to the theatre.
It also includes:
  • free school meals for all primary school children
  • our reading guarantee, which offers one-to-one tuition for primary school children who are falling behind with their reading and volunteers from local businesses to encourage children with their reading skills.
  • Find out more about free school meals
    Find out more about free music tuition

    English language skills

    In a borough where children in our schools speak more than 200 languages and dialects, it is important that we help our diverse residents to share your experiences and make links with each other. That is why we are investing in helping you to learn English.
    Find out more about learning English

    Economic resilience

    Economic resilience is about having stable, decently paid work and the economic resources to cope with emergencies and make genuine choices about your lives.


    We are helping local people to find jobs through our local employment scheme, Workplace, which has supported our residents into nearly 30,000 jobs since it started in 2007.
    Find a job through Newham Workplace
    Facing Debt: Economic Resilience in Newham, written by Professor Anne Power, is based on the results of an 18 month study into the impact of debt and the experience of life on a low income in Newham.
    The report helps us to understand the struggle of both working and non-working households and and how they manage credit and debt.

    We have since launched MoneyWorks, to help residents make the most of their money whatever their circumstances. This money management service provides advice, workshops and support, as well as access to fair, low-cost loans.


    A more resilient future for Newham

    The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games brought the world's attention to our doorstep. We will always fight for legacy from the Games and beyond.
    Our approach is working, and levels of relative deprivation have fallen in Newham. However, there is further to go, and we will continue to look for new ways to build resilience in partnership with you. 
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