Well London showcased at the House of Lords
On 8th February 2012, Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford OBE hosted a reception for Well London at the House of Lords.
An audience of peers, public healthcare professionals, and community and voluntary sector representatives were given an overview of the Well London approach and heard first hand accounts from two local residents and a police sergeant.
Professor Adrian Renton, who is the Director of the Institute for Health and Human Development, at UEL, said: "From a research point of view, the Well London project shows the Big Society is alive and well in certain areas of London. When we designed the project, we took account of the evidence that local social-economic and physical environments provide strong barriers, which prevent people from adopting healthier lifestyles and leading happier lives. We realised that we needed to transform the environments and the communities themselves to be successful. We set out to build networks and structures of mutual support by helping people to organise around common problems, which affect their health and well-being. This has led to an explosion of volunteering in the areas we worked in and has seen people find new employment."
The audience heard first-hand accounts from people who have made considerable improvements to their lives as a direct result of being involved in Well London. The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Art, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) also offered a presentation on a new and complimentary approach to Well London - Connected Communities.
The University of East London is now preparing the legacy strategy of Well London, which will be known as phase 2.
Well London wins an Award
The Well London Alliance Partnership has won a Health Promotion and Community Well-being award from the Royal Society for Public Health. This award recognises the Well London Alliance’s achievements and innovative approach to promoting community health and well-being in 20 of London's most disadvantaged areas. The award was presented at the House of Lords on 29th November 2011 .
If we are to reduce health inequities it is essential to take action on the social determinants of health - the 'causes of the causes' of ill health. That means working in partnership at local level to improve the social conditions in which we are born, live, grow, work and age. The Well London Alliance Partnership does just that. Empowering individuals and communities, and giving people a voice is integral to addressing health inequalities. I am delighted the Partnership has achieved well-deserved recognition for its work.Professor Sir Michael Marmot,
Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity
Launch of new open spaces on the Barnfield Estate
On November 5th 2011, residents on the Barnfield Estate in Woolwich celebrated the launch of a new playground, community garden, and fitness trail.
The work formed part of the Well London Healthy Spaces project which levered in additional funding from Greenwich Council, Marks & Spencer, Groundwork and the Naked Heart Foundation.
Rahman Famuditimi, Chair of the Friends of Barnfield, said “This is a major achievement for the community. Finally there is a space for children, young people and the older generation, where the community can meet to play, socialise and interact with the outdoors. This will impact on people’s general well-being, and the community will grow from strength to strength with a renewed sense of pride for the environment.”
Supermodel, Natalia Vodianova, founder of the Naked Heart Foundation, attended the launch along with two former London Health Commissioners: Mike Bell from the Board of NHS London, and Tony Medawar, from the London Development Agency. Tony spoke for everyone when he commented “It was a wonderful occasion and a privilege to be part of it”.
Groundwork London will continue to help residents develop their gardening skills so they can help maintain the space.