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Get well soon London… Lottery sends you £14 million best wishes

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Release date:
18 7 2007
Improving the health and well-being of 78,000 deprived Londoners is the focus of a major £14 million grant announcement today from the Big Lottery Fund’s Well-being programme.

The UK’s biggest good cause funder will pour the cash into two portfolios of projects targeting London boroughs and communities with poor health, as part of a total £126 million being awarded today across England.

The Well London Alliance, a group of specialist providers brought together by the London Health Commission, has been awarded £9,460,000 for a portfolio of projects that will reach almost 35,000 underprivileged people in 20 boroughs. The Peabody Trust in partnership with local charitable organisations receives £4,685,389 for Active 8 London – a portfolio of 84 projects all aimed at improving the health of 43,000 people in social housing communities across all boroughs.

Big Lottery Fund Head of London Region Debbie Pippard said: “Despite its wealth and reputation as a world city London contains some of the greatest inequalities in health and life expectancy in the UK. Health problems linked to lack of exercise, obesity, stress and depression are taking a huge toll on deprived communities and minority groups. Well-being projects will change this by targeting the causes of deprivation such as poor diets, attitudes to lifestyle, poor physical fitness and mental health problems. The lasting effect will not just be on people’s health – it will build communities, ease pressure on health services and provide a better future for following generations.”

The Well London Alliance will run coordinated community-led projects that will tackle the three main causes of health inequality in deprived communities – deficient diets, lack of physical activity and poor mental well-being. The alliance will also research and assess what interventions work, to help guide future policy in this area.

One of the projects will create maps of a community’s healthy living resources – like parks, allotments and food-co-ops – which many residents often do not know are near their doorsteps.

Another project will bring together community health activators and locals to encourage more residents to get involved in activities from sports to street games and circus skills for children. People with experience of mental ill health will be recruited to deliver mental well-being awareness training.

Jennette Arnold, London Health Commission Chair said "I’m delighted that BIG have given Well London the go ahead. This new partnership brought together by the London Health Commission will work with local communities to develop innovative community-led projects that will improve people’s health and well-being in partnership with local groups and organisations. Our robust evaluation will demonstrate how our approach works. Well London brings together strategic partners and local level experience to deliver lasting change for London.”

Active 8 London’s Well-being projects, led by the Peabody Trust, will fan out across the city from 300 local hubs in all 33 boroughs. Activities will include intercultural food days that will broaden people’s understanding of nutrition, gardening schemes to show high-rise residents how to grow their own vegetables and a week of events and workshops that will address common mental health problems.  Some projects will target specific vulnerable groups within the community such as the Fifty-Five Alive Club that will lead social activities for older people, a project that will provide exercise sessions and advice in women only environments and Pukka Tukka, which is a project to encourage single men off takeaways and processed foods and show them how to make healthy, fresh meals on a budget.

Peabody Trust Chief Executive Steve Howlett said:  “This is fantastic news. It means that over 40,000 people living in the capital’s most deprived communities will have access to a whole range of enjoyable and educational projects that promote physical exercise, mental health and healthy eating.”

Well-being is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s £2.6bn UK-wide portfolio of programmes which are running till 2009. Regularly updated information on the Big Lottery Fund’s new programmes is available at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/publications.htm

Further information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102 030
Textphone: 0845 6021 659
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • The Well-being programme, launched in April 2006, is providing funding to support the development of healthier lifestyles and to improve well-being. The programme will focus on three strands: mental health – to help people and communities to improve mental well-being; physical activity – to help people to become more physically active in their daily lives and in their communities; and healthy eating - for children, parents and the wider community to eat more healthily. To deliver this programme, the fund will appoint a number of organisations that will each deliver a portfolio of projects in England.
  • The Greater London Authority is the responsible body for the London Health Commission, which brought together the Well London Alliance. The alliance comprises Groundwork London, London Sustainability Exchange, Central YMCA, University of East London, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts and the Arts Council England (London).
  • The Peabody Trust is a London-based charitable housing association, established in 1862 by American philanthropist George Peabody. As well as providing housing they deliver a range of anti-poverty initiatives to their residents and the surrounding communities. All major London housing associations are delivery partners in the trust’s Active 8 London portfolio, including the Community Based Housing Association, Metropolitan Housing, Family Mosaic, Circle Anglia and Southern Housing.
  • The Big Lottery Fund rolls out close to £2 million in Lottery good cause money every 24 hours, which together with other Lottery distributors means that across the UK most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project.
  • The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004.
  • On 1 December 2006 the Big Lottery Fund was officially established by Parliament and at the same time assumed the residual responsibilities of the dissolved National Lottery Charities Board (Community Fund) the New Opportunities Fund, and the Millennium Commission. The Fund is building on the experience and best practice of the merged bodies to simplify funding in those areas where they overlap and to ensure Lottery funding provides the best possible value for money.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to Good Causes. As a result, over £19.5 billion has now been raised and more than 250,000 grants given out to the arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.