London Borough of Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest is one of London’s most diverse boroughs and we believe it is this diversity that makes the borough so great. More than two thirds of residents are from an ethnic minority background; around a third of residents are born outside the UK and around one in five are EU nationals.

More than eight in ten residents in Waltham Forest believe that the borough is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together. As a participant in the government’s Integrated Communities programme we are thinking creatively about how we promote integration and cohesion and our communities are enabled to challenge any intolerant and discriminatory behaviours.

Located in the north east of London, the London Borough of Waltham Forest is an urban area, with a young, multicultural community. The urban south is complimented by a more rural north and the borough is strongly defined by Lea Valley to the West, and Epping Forest to the east, among the largest public open spaces in London.

Waltham Forest features a mixture of both inner and outer London characteristics. The north of the borough is less densely populated with larger homes and older population, while in the south the population is younger and more transient and is more likely to live in private rented accommodation and overcrowded conditions.

The population of Waltham Forest is around 275,500, and the borough has a young age structure with higher proportion of children and working-age residents compared to the UK average. The average age of Waltham Forest residents is 34.5 years compared to the national average age of 39.9 years.

Our Connecting Communities Programme (Our Place) is all about creating a place that everyone can call home. Our vision is to unlock the collective power of Waltham Forest’s people to build an integrated, supportive and safe community where every resident and local organisation is empowered to lead change that makes Waltham Forest a better place to live.

This programme reflects a strategic step change for us as a council, away from programmes that are designed for people, towards programmes designed with people at its heart. We are keen to share our learning from our programme with members of the Belong Network. Read more about in our Connecting Communities strategy here.