A new scheme celebrating the borough and promoting inclusion was launched this week.

Waltham Forest Council’s Connecting Communities programme aims to inspire more than 50,000 people to make a difference in the area to help build a place “that feels like home for everyone who lives and works here”.

The authority said it wants to “unlock the collective power of Waltham Forest’s people” to build an integrated, supportive and safe community where people feel empowered to make a difference and make the borough a better place to live.

Waltham Forest is one of five places in England involved in the Government’s Integration Areas Programme.

The scheme is made up of three parts:

Our Place: a campaign which calls on everyone in the borough to act, engage and participate in creating a stronger, more sustainable community.

Community Networks: groups will be established for Leyton, Leytonstone, Chingford and Walthamstow to bring volunteers, community group, local businesses and council services together to agree local priorities and share resources.

New opportunities will be encouraged to “empower people to help each other.”

The authority plans to focus on groups including new arrivals to the borough, black and minority ethnic women, and young people at the edges of the gang lifestyle who are most likely to experience isolation.

Cllr Ahsan Khan, cabinet member for community safety, said: “Waltham Forest has a proud history of welcoming people from all over the world.

“We want every person in Waltham Forest to be proud of their differences, while feeling part of the bigger community. We want to unlock the collective power of Waltham Forest’s people to build an integrated, supportive and safe community.

“We will inspire at least 50,000 people to make difference – for the smallest gesture of helping a neighbour, to volunteering for a cause close to our hearts.

“Thank you to everyone who contributes, in whichever way they can, to their community: Waltham Forest, Our Place.”

The Government’s Communities Minister, Lord Bourne, said: “The Integration Area Programme builds on existing good practice, knowledge and expertise to better understand and to tackle local challenges, delivering more fully integrated communities.

“I am delighted that Waltham Forest is participating in this programme. The borough has shown a clear understanding of local challenges and the key strengths on which local leaders and residents can build.”