Where does your name come from?

Nehemiah is a person from the Old Testament of the Bible. There were some particular things about the character of Nehemiah and the process of rebuilding described in the Bible that we felt were of relevance and offered some practical wisdom and insight for today.

We liked that:

  • He was a civil servant and a person of faith
  • He was released to something that needed to be done
  • There were no fanfares and big announcements of money to bring about change and improvements
  • He undertook a quiet reconnaissance to find out the real situation before starting work
  • He inspired and motivated leaders and communities to work together for a common good

We also noted the need to:

  • Deal with cynicism, opposition and hostility
  • Adapt working practices constantly to adjust to changing circumstances
  • Ensure people were honoured and treated well

Do you give grants?

  • No.
  • In practical terms, the work we do helps with the process of applying for grants, and raise resources.
  • We are in the process of building up the Common Good Development Fund so that we can give bursaries and grant fellowships.
  • If you are in a position to make that possible, do get in touch.
  • We are open to being entrusted with money to make grants.

Why are you involved in Near Neighbours?

Here are three of our top reasons: –

  • We helped design the Near Neighbours Programme and commended it to Government for funding.
  • The programme recognises what we think is important in our contemporary society: –
    • what the significance and power of what happens where there are good relationships , interactions and connectivity between people in their local neighbourhoods; and
    • the value of local, “bottom up” initiatives, in the face of the sometimes overwhelming and complex world portrayed in the media and on the news.
  • Thirdly, the way it supports and acknowledges the contributions that are and can be made by people and organisations of faith

How would you describe what the Foundation is doing in 3 words?

  • Progressive
  • Pioneering
  • Holistic

Are you a faith- based organisation?

We recognise that faith, spirituality and religion (3 different things?) are important to many people in many different ways.

Part of the inspiration motivating the founders of the Nehemiah Foundation was their own practical outworking of the faith values they were familiar with.

Our primary purpose is the building of resilient neighbourhoods where people thrive, care, and live together well; this involves working with people of organisations of faith and non, to achieve what we refer to as, the common good.

Who do you work with?

People and organisations who share our vision, aims and objectives.

Do you work with residents and community groups?


  • We usually do this in one of two main ways- either through someone who is taking part in one of our programmes or using our development framework OR with a group of residents who have gathered together to host someone taking part in one of our programmes or using our development framework.
  • We also have a network of associates who may be able to offer tailor- made support, advice or assistance on a commission basis.

Do you work with the private sector?


  • We usually do this through our joint venture framework where we are able to achieve shared aims and objectives by working together. This works particularly well where we are able to attract resources and investment (financial and otherwise) which support people and organisations in local neighbourhoods.
  • We are particularly interested in opportunities to use corporate social responsibility resources to mutually beneficial and meaningful effect. This might be anything from raising funds to providing a bursary or fellowship OR staff team or expertise to support an initiative in a local neighbourhood.

Do you work with the public sector?


  • Many of the issues and concerns raised by local residents connect with issues and concerns faced by the public sector.
  • We engage with any opportunity or initiative that will help each achieve their shared objectives.

How do you differ from community organising?

We are not affiliated to any single form of achieving change.

Community Organising is an emerging way of working which is helping address many concerns and issues affecting local residents at a neighbourhood level

Our Development Framework draws on wide range of tools and approaches for addressing the needs and concerns affecting neighbourhoods.

We see Community Organising one of 5 type of working that it is good to have in a neighbourhood.

The 5 ways of working we look at are:

  • Existing Resources (e.g. neighbourhood management)
  • Resources obtained by working together (e.g. Joint Ventures)
  • New resources and initiatives (e.g. projects and enterprises)
  • What people offer (e.g. social capital and faith capital)
  • What can be achieved by persuasion (e.g. lobbying and campaigning)

Are you a Housing Association?


There are some housing associations that have the same name but we have no shared history and are not a part of them.

Are you connected to the Nehemiah Association in America?


There is an Association in America that has the same name but we have no shared history and are not a part of them.