Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive, Guy's and St Thomas' Charity
Dec 15, 2020
Today, we are launching a new brand, Impact on Urban Health.
For our British audiences, this will be familiar as the Ronseal school: it does what it says on the tin.
We’ll be using this brand to showcase the work of our urban health programmes. These seek to understand the deep causes of some of the most complex health issues of our time and then explore different ways of addressing them.
Throughout this pandemic three things have become very clear. First, that our health is shaped widely — and unequally — by the places in which we live. Second, that this is not just an abstract problem but an urgent challenge. Third, that health is a collective outcome. Inequalities are everybody’s concern.
But the most important point is that these are not new patterns. They’ve existed all along, all around the world. They shape our economies. And they are especially evident in cities, where the gap between the best and worst health outcomes is widest.
We aim to do something about that. We want to reshape urban areas so that they are healthier places for everyone to live.
For the past years, we’ve been part of increasingly active discussions amongst major cities, NGOs, philanthropies, academics, national governments and businesses about the need for concrete solutions. These have shown huge potential to learn from place to place; the importance of a much wider conception of what drives our health; and the need to centre the voice of urban communities in our response.
The hope of the new brand, in our own way, is to elevate these conversations to even wider audiences.
For those we currently partner with, where we work and how we work won’t change.
We’ll continue to focus our efforts in the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark — some of the most diverse areas in the world. We’ll continue to focus on a small number of programmes. We’ll continue to test and develop new approaches with a wide range of local, national and international organisations, groups and individuals.
But we hope to attract new partners too. By 2050, close to 7 billion people are projected to live in urban areas. Even in wealthy countries like the UK, urban health inequalities are increasing. These next 30 years need a huge acceleration in new actors, ideas and angles to meet this challenge.
The core idea behind Impact on Urban Health is health equity. Equity is always a collective effort. So expect to see more from us on what we are learning from partners in similar places as well as our own; more insights from across our urban health programmes; and wider advocacy from us and others on how to unlock the potential for cities to be healthier.
Next year we’re also excited to be launching new brands that speak to the other parts of our work — as an endowment, and as a fundraising charity for Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals and community services. We’ll be sharing more on these soon.
For now, do please get in touch if you’d like to join us in our work on urban health. We think change is possible. We would love to partner with those who believe the same.
19 November, 2020
In this guest blog we meet Elaine Brown, a member of the community research team we are working with as part of our collaboration with The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP).
16 November, 2020
Stephen Bediako, from The Social Innovation Partnership, shares the approach to our new project to distribute emergency funding to support organisations in our place through the pandemic.