Representatives of Happy Times' Quiet Times project with Health Lottery owner, Richard Desmond, and People's Health Trust Chief Executive, John Hume.

People’s Health Trust celebrated its fifth anniversary yesterday at an event at the House of Commons hosted by Baroness Royall.

In the last five years, over £80million has been raised by 51 society lotteries, through The Health Lottery. Over 2,300 projects have been funded, supporting more than 400,000 people across Great Britain to take greater control over what happens in their neighbourhood.

The event was an opportunity to celebrate all of the amazing work these groups are doing in their neighbourhoods, with the support of the Trust, to help reduce health inequalities.

Guests included representatives from locally-funded community groups from across Great Britain, MPs, peers and Richard Desmond from The Health Lottery.

On the day, guests had the opportunity to hear about funded community groups from across England, Scotland and Wales, and learn more about People’s Health Trust’s work.

People’s Health Trust is the only grant-making trust to be distributing funds directly to support locally-led actions addressing health inequalities.

The Trust works in this way because it believes that giving local neighbourhoods 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.

There is a growing body of evidence that health is affected by the amount of control that communities have over decisions that affect them collectively.

John Hume, People’s Health Trust Chief Executive, said: “People’s Health Trust is working to support a wider understanding of what health is really about. This is highly relevant because the gap in life expectancy and years of healthy life between those who live in wealthy neighbourhoods and those who do not is staggeringly high – it’s a shameful source of profound injustice.

“The fundamental causes of ill-health are avoidable, the issue of health inequality is a profoundly moral question, and it’s a moral question we have to deal with today.

“And for the past five years, we have been trying to do just that with the good causes money raised by society lotteries through The Health Lottery. We’ve been trying to work together with local people to dispense local justice, not charity.”

Baroness Royall said to the local community representatives attending the event: “I’ve met some fantastic people today, the work you do is extraordinary and all of you are making such a difference to your communities because you understand the needs of your community. You are in the best place to bring about change, and change people’s lives."