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A study on how major community events can help local authorities engage with even the most hardest to reach groups ...
A study on how major community events can help local authorities engage with even the most hardest to reach groups has been published by Newham LBC.

The report details the results of a two-year assessment of Newham's cultural and sporting programmes and their significant contribution to government targets to address youth offending, improve health, educational attainment and increasing community cohesion.

Building active and cohesive communities through culture and sport - an evaluation of the London Borough of Newham's cultural and sporting programme 2004/2006

It focuses on events like the annual Under The Stars music extravaganza which this year attracted around 40,000 people over four days.

It is the biggest free event of its kind in London and featured entertainment from the worlds of soca, Asian, Country and Western, classical and swing music. Highlights included appearances from BBC Asian Network's Bobby Friction and Sonia Deol, MOBO award winner Raghav, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Trinidad's Ronnie McIntosh.

The festival marked the beginning of Music Month, which showcases a variety of talent at venues across Newham.

Newham mayor Robin Wales said: 'The event has expanded and evolved every year to be more inclusive and to reflect Newham's diverse community. With more than 110 languages spoken in Newham, creating an event to appeal to everyone is a challenge.'

Under The Stars, or similar music festivals, is just one part of a whole host of cultural, sporting and community activities delivered year in year out by councils. What sets Newham apart is the borough's unique approach to assessing the impact of such events on Governmental key targets - as demonstrated by Newham gaining IDeA Beacon Status in the theme of Culture and Sport for Hard to Reach Groups.

The report details the significant impact events like Under The Stars have on community cohesion. Some 94 per cent of respondents asked during the event said that 'events like this help me feel part of the community' or 'helps strength community spirit'.

People wanting a copy of the report can contact Gary Hughes, Business Improvement and Performance Manager, London Borough of Newham, Adults, Culture and Community, 292 Barking Road, East Ham, E6 3BA. Telephone 020 8430 2469 or e-mail

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