Search

Q&A: My Newham

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 January 2018

Newham Music

John Bergin is CEO of Newham Music, an award-winning charity providing music education to children and young people in schools throughout the borough.

What’s your connection with the borough?

I lead Newham Music. We provide musical opportunities for over 10,000 children and young people in local schools, cultural organisations and community groups across the borough.

I believe passionately in the power of music and the arts to change lives for the better, making a real difference to how we live together.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

Newham has always been my London home, as student, musician, teacher and now heading up Newham Music.

Coming from Ireland, I have always felt welcomed here. That sense of being part of the community is one of the best things about Newham.

What one thing would you change?

Music, arts and culture are recognised as playing an important part in the urban regeneration of Newham.

However, although money and resources are crucial, I would shift the emphasis towards seeing local people as key to making it work.

We need to invest in many more participatory arts programmes, for example, our Studio Sessions which provide music technology, recording and production training for young people in community centres across the borough.

Use three words to describe the area.

Vibrant, eclectic, growing.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Bushra Nasir, former headteacher at Plashet School in East Ham.

She instilled in me a “do whatever it takes” approach for every student, no matter their background, and followed that through herself with rigour and dedication. She absolutely inspired me to make that my goal too.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

I would introduce a bill of rights for the homeless. We all have a responsibility in this. The homeless should be able to live with dignity and afforded equal treatment.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

I would promote and celebrate the wealth of local talent, creativity and abilities in our borough. I’m really excited about our new Community Opera, inspired by Newham’s Jonathan Lofulo, a child refugee who turned his life around to help young people.

It will provide a wonderful showcase to celebrate the talents of our young people and the rich cultural diversity of Newham.

Latest Newham Stories

The experienced stopper has explained why results in friendly games are important

Josh Koroma
10:00

A total of 53 East End Road Runners took part in the 24-hour Spitfire Scramble relay at Hornchurch Country Park.

Newham Council has announced it is taking legal action against Barclays Bank over hundreds of millions of pounds it took out in “toxic” loans.

Libraries in Newham are among the top 10 in the country.

Ford

Newham Council threw £40 million of public money “down the drain” when it backed the flawed deal to turn the Olympic Stadium into West Ham’s new home, according to an independent report released today.

11:09

A ‘vile’ paedophile who preyed on ‘vulnerable’ children for more than 30 years has been jailed.

Snaresbrook Crown Court

The Newham Volunteer Police Cadets held their passing out parade on Thursday.

Primary school children have thanked the hundreds of firefighters and police officers who battled a major blaze in the grasslands of Wanstead Flats - London’s biggest ever grass fire.

London

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now