Stronger Together

08 March 2016

Local residents in Newham are working together to gain confidence, leadership skills and build relationships with neighbours from different backgrounds through the Stronger Together project. The project has been awarded further funding from People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthLives through the Health Lottery, following a successful two year scheme.

“There are a lot of people living in Newham who struggle to cope with financial difficulties, poor living conditions and challenging family circumstances. Stronger Together aims to bring these people together to reduce isolation by building stronger support structures. We run a range of regular sessions to support local people to gain skills and make friends such as English lessons, IT classes and money advice sessions.

Members of the Stronger Together project

“These sessions have supported local people in a number of different ways. When Sarah first came to the centre, she could not speak any English and had no friends or family here, other than her husband who worked long hours. She became very low, withdrawn and frustrated that she couldn’t find work. She couldn’t even go to the doctor because she had no one to translate for her. After a few months of attending our ‘Let’s Get Chatting’ group, Sarah is almost unrecognisable. She has significantly improved her English and has grown in confidence thanks to the friends she has made through the sessions. She is no longer isolated from the community, but now actively involved and has started volunteering at our events so that she can help others to overcome loneliness as she did.

Member of the Stronger Together project

“We also hold regular events where people can socialise with one another such as community breakfasts, film screenings and cultural celebrations. These are great opportunities for members of the community to interact with people from different backgrounds – for example at our Eid celebration, the group invited along a local pastor and at our Diwali celebration, women of all religions joined together to cook for the celebrations.

“Residents are working hard to identify common concerns, strengths and opportunities within the neighbourhood and through the project steering group have the opportunity to shape the delivery of the sessions and to take action to create a better community to live in.

“Stronger Together is not just about giving people much needed skills and support, but also a place for the community to grow and strengthen together.” 

Read more news from the Trust here

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