Reflecting on change

06 December 2018

A look back at all that has happened in 2018

It is seven years since People’s Health Trust started work to address health inequalities in Great Britain.

In that time, the Trust has supported over 2,800 projects and 496,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales.

Despite health disparities being wholly avoidable, the inequalities in health are not improving.

Official figures show that men who live in poorer neighbourhoods in England and Wales die on average, nine years younger than those who live in more affluent neighbourhoods.

In Scotland, men in the poorest neighbourhoods can expect to die 25 years earlier than men in the wealthiest ones.

Increasing life expectancy has all but halted since 2010 - the first time since 1920s.

That is why, the work that the Trust does is so vital. In the last 12 months, the Trust has continued working with local people, ensuring they have control over decisions and actions that affect their lives. We support local people to address the things which they say are important to make where they live even better places to grow, live, work and age.

All three programmes – Active Communities, Local People and Local Conversations – are supporting local people to come together and shape their neighbourhood.

From our external evaluation, we know that the Trust’s Active Communities programme is helping to create new social connections, friendships and a deeper sense of belonging in neighbourhoods.

The research showed that 93 per cent of projects reported members increasing friendships and connections as a result of being involved and 91 per cent of projects reported people feeling less isolated.

Through projects, residents were also increasing their knowledge, understanding and skills, which often went hand-in-hand with their increasing self-confidence – and, with that, improved aspirations.

Overall, members reported feeling happier and benefiting from a better quality of life.

The Trust’s Local Conversations evaluation also looks promising. Projects are increasing their social connections as well as their confidence and knowledge.

A number of our Local Conversations projects highlight the increased influence residents are having, individually and as a group.

This year has seen emerging evidence from the evaluation of the Local People programme. The programme is achieving many of the shorter-term outcomes we would expect to see, with those involved feeling more connected, confident and learning new skills. For those most closely involved, there is evidence of control growing from being involved in collective activities and actions.

We have now developed networks across all three of our programmes, which include face-to-face networking events for practitioners.

Over the last year, on top of the bi-annual Local People and Local Conversation Network Days in London, we delivered seven regional training and networking events for Active Communities-funded projects. Almost two hundred groups came together across Great Britain to meet each other in Birmingham, Manchester, Plymouth, Newcastle, London, Cardiff and Glasgow.

Next year, we will continue to offer regional events for Active Communities-funded groups. We have also partnered up with some exciting organisations to provide training opportunities that are designed to be more local.

There have been some exciting highlights this year. We have continued to bring together funding organisations as part of the Living Wage Friendly Funder scheme.

In partnership with the Living Wage Foundation, the Trust also led the development of a coproduced action plan to address low pay in the sector, calling on Government and charities to work together to ensure charity workers earn a real Living Wage.

The Trust’s work was recognised earlier this year when we won the Living Wage Friendly Funder Award at the Living Wage Champion Awards, which recognises Living Wage employers and individuals that have made significant contributions to communities and industries by implementing and celebrating the Living Wage.

All this has been made possible thanks to The Health Lottery, through which an incredible £104m has been raised for good causes.

This money has been an incredible investment to support local people. We know that without it, 40% of projects would close immediately.

There has been other exciting changes recently. The 51 society lotteries were consolidated into ten regional lotteries, one lottery for Scotland and one for Wales. 

The Health Lottery game also changed. Now every time somebody plays a line on The Health Lottery, they will automatically be entered into a monthly raffle for a guaranteed £250,000 jackpot.

It’s not been an easy year for the charity sector but we have achieved some incredible things locally. In 2019, we’re looking forward to new challenges and new successes as we continue to work with local people across Great Britain.

 

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