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18 July 2007
London's most disadvantaged communities to benefit from £9.46m lottery win for new Well London alliance

An innovative five-year programme that will work with local people to transform health in twenty of London's most disadvantaged neighbourhoods has got the go-ahead following a Big Lottery Fund (BIG) award.

Well London, as the programme is called, has been developed by a unique alliance of seven partners who have been granted a total of £9.46m from the BIG's Well-being programme.

The London Health Commission, Central YMCA, Groundwork London, London Sustainability Exchange, University of East London, Arts Council England, London and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, have come together, bringing their strategic influence and local community-led experience.

The Well London programme will invest in local community-led projects promoting physical activity for well-being and positive mental health, as well as encouraging healthy eating and improving London's open spaces. The programme will encourage new ways of working on these issues through culture and tradition.

Communities will decide for themselves how the Well London programme money is to be spent, assessing their own requirements and priorities.  The partnership aims to support local groups and people and join-up current initiatives, developing skills, confidence, programmes and networks to leave a lasting health legacy. This is the first time that this type of approach will have been tried on a regional scale.

The London Health Commission has brought together Central YMCA as the lead for activity and health, Groundwork London for physical activity and environment and London Sustainability Exchange on healthy eating, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust on mental well-being and Arts Council, London to lead on culture and tradition. University of East London will lead on the research and evaluation framework.

Jennette Arnold, London Health Commission chair said, "I'm really excited that Well London has been awarded this BIG grant. It gives us a fantastic opportunity to deliver real, long-term health benefits for people living in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.  In our groundbreaking approach we will work in partnership with Londoner's at the very local level to develop community-led projects that will improve mental and physical health and well-being". 

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London said,  "I welcome the Big Lottery Fund's decision to fund the ‘Well London' programme and congratulate the London Health Commission and its partners for all the hard work that has gone into winning lottery support. This initiative should bring real positive change to the health of some of London's most disadvantaged communities. I look forward to watching the development of this exciting programme."

The programme will take a rigorous approach to research and evaluation and a unique framework has been developed that will demonstrate in a robust way whether the programme has been successful. This is the first time that this approach has been used at a citywide scale.  Well London will benefit the whole of London by ensuring that the learning from these projects gets into policy and practice at regional and local level through the London Health Commission partnership.

Further information: 

Contact: Gus Wilson, Development and Communications Manager, London Health Commission tel 020 7983 4120 email:
Out of hours: 07876 031 789

Jennette Arnold, London Health Commission Chair and London Assembly member Tel 020 7983 4357; email

Mark Harrod, Executive Director for Health and Community Partnerships Central YMCA Tel 020 7343 1740; Mobile 0797 150 12424

Samantha Heath, Director, London Sustainability Exchange (LSx)
Contact Gail Dinner LSx Partnership and Communications Manager, Tel: 020 7324 3691; E-mail:

Anita Konrad, Senior Policy Development Manager, Groundwork London
Tel: 020 7960 2672; mobile 07901 518134

Adrian Renton, Director Institute of Health and Human Development, University of East London
Mobile: 0777 589 3669;  email:
Or Patrick Wilson, Head of PR 07951 797 975

Karen Taylor, Arts Council England, London
Tel: 020 7608 4170, email

Tony Coggins, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 020 3228 2480; email:


Notes to editors

1. Well London is a bid to the Big Lottery Fund's Wellbeing Programme. It is a coalition of the London Health Commission, Central London YMCA Greater London Authority, Groundwork, London Sustainability Exchange and University of East London.  The bid strategy can be downloaded at

2. The Well-being programme will provide funding to support the development of healthier lifestyles and to improve well-being. The programme will focus on three strands: mental health - to help people and communities to improve mental well-being; physical activity - to help people to become more physically active in their daily lives and in their communities; and healthy eating - for children, parents and the wider community to eat more healthily. To deliver this programme, the fund will appoint a number of organisations that will each deliver a portfolio of projects in England.

The Big Lottery Funds rolls out close to £2 million in Lottery good cause money every 24 hours which together with other Lottery distributors means that across the UK most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project.

The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004.
Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030    
Textphone:  08456 021 659

Full details of the work of the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards are available on the website:

3. The London Health Commission is the strategic partnership in London that works to reduce health inequalities and improve the health of all Londoners. See

4. Central YMCA -   is the UK's leading activity for health charity and is also the world's first YMCA, established in 1844. Our objectives are to improve the health and quality of life of individuals and communities; champion the benefits of health-based activity for all; and address, and tackle, health inequalities within our society. See

5. Groundwork London supports communities in need, working with partners to help improve the quality of people's lives, their prospects and potential and the places where they live, work and play. Our vision is of a society of sustainable communities which are vibrant, healthy and safe, which respect the local and global environment and where individuals and enterprise prosper. See

6. London Sustainability Exchange (LSx) aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable London by connecting and motivating people. They work in partnership with business, government and the voluntary and community sector to help overcome barriers to sustainable development in London. See

7. University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community, with 20,000 students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of our diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.

8. Arts Council England works to get more art to more people in more places. We develop and promote the arts across England, acting as an independent body at arm's length from government. Between 2006 and 2008, we will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and the National Lottery in supporting the arts. This is the bedrock of support for the arts in England. We believe that the arts have the power to change lives and communities, and to create opportunities for people throughout the country. For more information see

9. South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, SlaM South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) provides mental health and substance misuse services for people living in the London Boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.  In addition, the Trust provides substance misuse services for people in the London Boroughs of Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley, as well as specialist services to people from across the UK.

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