Apr 01, 2019
In the first roundup about our programmes and new projects, we shared examples of how we’re working with our partners to take a whole-systems approach to childhood obesity and multiple long-term conditions – layering up activity at a neighbourhood, borough, national and even international scales.
Since then, alongside preparing to start our next programmes (details of which will follow in the coming months), we’ve continued to grow partnerships across our current programmes and made some important new funding commitments.
Our childhood obesity programme aims to bring down the high rates we see in parts of our boroughs down to the lowest levels, reducing the number of children and young people reaching an unhealthy weight.
In the last couple of months, we’ve focused on growing our partnerships across our work in school and street environments. Some of our latest commitments include:
Providing charity Shift with £280,000 for a new venture that makes healthy, affordable and convenient takeaway meals available to local families living on a low income. Through our research, we’ve heard from parents that although they want healthier food options for their children, they often have to prioritise affordability and convenience over nutritional value due to budgets and lack of headspace. Through this pilot, we’re aiming to reshape food environments at a local level to give more families options to substitute unhealthy takeaway meals for healthier ones.
Expanding our partnership with Alexandra Rose Charity with an additional £1,048,505 to help more families on low incomes buy fresh fruit and vegetables from their local market as part of our Faraday Neighbourhood Scheme. We know that young children from the poorest income groups are twice as likely to be obese compared to their most well-off neighbours. By expanding the project in Faraday, Walworth and Camberwell Green, the Fruit & Veg Vouchers Project will support 2,000 families access fresh fruit and vegetables, as part of our strategy to bring the child obesity rates in lower income areas down in line with more affluent ones.
Supporting Southwark Council’s Good Food Retail Plan – helping the borough to become one of the Greater London Authority’s six pilot boroughs to help all Londoners have access to healthy, affordable food. This work will include a survey of the retailers in the more deprived areas of the borough to understand the distribution of those selling affordable and nutritious food. We know that families across income groups spend about 80% of their food budgets in supermarkets and that the street environment as a whole holds many of the cues that drive our eating and physical activity. The pilot boroughs aim to help more Londoners have access to healthier, more affordable food.
Committing £280,000 to test the role of health mentors in schools in tackling child obesity. We believe primary and secondary school environments can have a significant impact on children’s health and weight. Working with social enterprise Evolve, we aim to increase physical activity and enhance diets by improving children’s social, cognitive and emotional health. Over the next three years, Evolve’s health mentors will work in schools across Southwark to test, develop and adjust the model, looking closely at the varying needs within schools across the boroughs.
Our multiple long-term condition programme aims to slow down people’s progression from one to many long-term conditions.
At the moment we’re focusing on creating the foundations for the programme by strengthening our understanding of the issue, building partnerships and testing approaches to address the factors influencing the progression to multiple conditions. You can read about five things we’ve learned about this issue so far in the latest blog by Kieron, our Chief Executive.
Some of the latest commitments to help strengthen our understanding of the issue and guide our efforts include:
We’ve provided an additional £188,848 to local partners in our North Lambeth Neighbourhood Scheme to test a ‘household model of care’ for Portuguese-speaking people at risk of rapid progression from one to many long-term conditions. Community and health sector organisations will work with a small number of households to understand the factors affecting a person’s ability to stay well and explore how cross-sector models delivered at the household level might address these challenges. This is part of our neighbourhood approach, layering up projects in specific neighbourhoods to see if we can impact greater change by tackling complex health issues from multiple angles.
With charity Demos, we’ll be doing a rapid review of what works to support people with health conditions to overcome financial difficulty. We’re keen to surface ways to support people to make changes to the social factors such as finances that might influence the progression of their conditions. The research will look at existing evidence from well-established interventions as well as innovative approaches; helping to point where our programme might have the greatest impact.
Along with Rocket Science and Renaisi, we are exploring how purposeful activities, like employment, can help slow down progression from one to many health conditions. This is part of our work to explore how social context matters when it comes to slowing down people’s progression from one long-term conditions to many.
We’ve also been busy sharing lessons from our programmes and learning from others tackling health issues in urban environments.
We’ve shared our work across the two programmes with the Department of Health and Social Care, to feed into the development of the forthcoming Green Paper on Prevention. We’ve spent time with the Jamie Oliver Foundation, sharing our learning on child obesity, and with the national Taskforce on Multiple Conditions, sharing our latest insights on multiple conditions.
Looking ahead, our plan is to carry on developing partnerships across our current programmes and growing the team in preparation for our new programmes.
You can keep in touch about the projects we’re funding, the latest from our programmes and more by subscribing to our newsletter.
04 September, 2019
London’s Child Obesity Taskforce takes action so that children can grow up eating healthily, drinking more water and being active.
01 August, 2019
Every two months, our Director of Funding, Jon Siddall, will be sharing highlights of what we’ve been up to across our portfolio of programmes at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
04 June, 2019
We’ve started an international learning partnership with research institute Arnhold Institute for Global Health in the US comparing efforts to improve health in two urban settings - Lambeth and Southwark here in London and East Harlem in New York.