Collective control

What is collective control?

Collective control is the process of people gaining feelings and experiences of control through being involved in collective activity.

Giving local communities greater control over what happens in their area brings about better outcomes locally, greater social connectedness, a greater sense of purpose and self-respect, and a greater sense of belonging, all of which are strongly linked with wellbeing.

Collective control is the aim of all the Trust’s funding programmes. For projects we fund, this means that all members have the opportunity to have a say in how their project is shaped and developed for its whole duration.


Why is control important to health?

When people have more control over decisions and actions that affect their lives, they have a better chance of improving and maintaining their health.

Feeling unable to affect what is happening, and what choices and options are meaningfully available can lead to low self-confidence and self-esteem. Living in an area that faces higher levels of disadvantage increases the likelihood of this experience, which may be reinforced by negative portrayals in the national media or other stigma about the neighbourhood.

People’s Health Trust supports communities to come together, build connections and gain more control collectively. Its three funding programmes help local people take action on the things that are most important to them, in order to reduce inequalities in health that they experience as a result of where they live.


Evidence about collective control 

Our assumptions about collective control are based on a growing body of theory and evidence. Increasingly they influence organisations committed to improving wellbeing and social justice, and are becoming recognised as a critical part of the public health agenda.

Ongoing independent evaluations of the Trust's funding programmes are demonstrating the development of collective control at a local level. This is discussed further in a selection of reports, available here.


How the Trust supports people to develop control

The Trust believes that supporting local communities to take greater control over what happens in their neighbourhood is key to creating new and stronger relationships, improving confidence and encouraging a greater sense of belonging.

Common to all aspects of the Trust’s work is the desire to ensure that control is in the hands of residents and that local wisdom and assets possessed by each neighbourhood drive what happens on the ground.

Projects we fund that aim to promote collective control through co-production and community engagement have been shown to increase self-confidence, self-esteem and sense of control for individuals and to increase social connectedness, cohesion and social capital for communities. All of these outcomes have been shown to have a positive influence on health.

You have already completed an application for funding, are you sure you would like to submit another application? You should only submit another application if it is for a different project. If you want to amend an application that has already been submitted, please call us on 020 7749 9100.

Begin a new application