People's Health Trust - People make change, we help it happen

People’s Health Trust has appointed Leandra Box and Shavanah Taj as new Trustees to its Board, to help shape and support the Trust’s mission to reduce health inequalities in communities experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage.

The Board comprises a wide range of experts in health inequalities, policy development and community organising from across Great Britain who support the Trust’s work across England, Wales and Scotland.

Leandra Box, is a senior manager at the Race Equality Foundation, a leading UK racial justice charity.

Leandra has more than 20 years’ experience in race equality and family and youth policy. As a researcher, a policy lead and now a programme lead, Leandra led the development and expansion of the nationally recognised ‘Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities’ violence prevention parenting intervention and its sister programme for young people.

Shavanah Taj has been appointed to the People’s Health Trust’s Board of Trustees as Trustee for Wales. In 2019, Taj became the Wales TUC’s first minority ethnic, Muslim General Secretary, which has 48 member unions, representing around 400,000 union members, to campaign for fair treatment and better rights at work.

Most recently Taj’s work has revolved around supporting Welsh workers throughout the pandemic. Notably Taj has worked with senior health practitioners to introduce Wales’ first Black, Asian and minority ethnic risk assessment tool for key workers. She also successfully lobbied to keep the two metre social distancing rule in place and to strengthen the Welsh Government’s legislation on workplaces and shops to ensure employers are conducting regular risk assessments.

Minoritised communities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Between October and December 2020, 41.6% of black people aged 16-24 were unemployed, which is three times higher than white workers of the same age. Official statistics have also shown that people of black and south Asian ethnic background have a greater risk of death from Covid than white people.

People’s Health Trust funds community organisations which tackle the social determinants of health within their local communities. The importance of tackling health inequalities is greater following the pandemic as communities already experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage are facing greater levels of inequality.

Leandra has written widely on issues including minority ethnic communities’ access to family support, the needs of families, workforce training and development, and the role of the minority ethnic voluntary and community sector (VCS). This experience will be a great asset to the Trust’s Board as they support communities beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shavanah is also a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of Equality and Human Rights Commission’s national enquiry into racial inequality in health and social care workplaces.

Leandra Box, People’s Health Trust Trustee, said:

“I am passionate about using my experience in the voluntary sector to support the community organisations funded by the Trust. As communities begin the recovery process following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that the specific needs of communities that have been hit the hardest are understood and addressed. I’ll be using my experience working with communities experiencing disadvantage to push for action to address health inequalities.”

Shavanah Taj, People’s Health Trust Trustee for Wales, said:

“I’m delighted to be joining the Board of Trustee’s for People’s Health Trust. COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated the huge health inequalities that exist in our communities. Governments in Wales and Westminster need to act decisively to protect livelihoods and offer security to those experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage.

People’s Health Trust has been a voice on health inequalities for nearly a decade and their work both in local communities and across Great Britain has helped bring the impact of social determinants of health to the forefront. I am pleased to be joining the Board at this very important time, to be able to help shape and influence the conversation around inequalities further and help tackle the devastating impacts these inequalities can have on people's lived experiences.”

Notes to editors

People’s Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local communities to help create a society without health inequalities.

For further information contact Holly Beattie at