Well London Programme – United Kingdom
The Well London Programme started in 2007 and has run since then. It has been funded by the national lottery and consists of a series of programmes run in 20 of London’s most deprived areas. It was devised in the context of the Mayor of London’s health inequalities strategy and was led by an alliance of representatives covering major development priorities for London. The Well London delivery team contributes to policy objectives such as improving wellbeing and equality, capacity building and participation as delivery of better services. Its aim is to improve all these areas. Each project recruits teams of volunteers from deprived areas who receive training in outreach and health promotion and then go out into their communities to signpost local residents to services and activities that promote health and wellbeing. Phase 1 ran from 2007 to 2011 and included a suite of 14 projects aimed at building community capacity and cohesion it focused on physical activity, healthy eating, mental wellbeing, local environments, arts and culture. Its collective aim was to improve health and wellbeing. Over 47000 people took part in phase 1. It was evaluated in 2011/2012 and was found to have had very positive impacts in improving diet and physical activities.
The programme has been designed following community research carried out by the University of East London, which identified a need to provide local residents with skills to increase opportunities for volunteering to work in their communities to improve health and wellbeing and raising awareness around health issues. Relevant data showed that the residents in the areas targeted had worse than average health (for London). The project was based on the social marketing theory which recognises that a peer-to-peer approach is often effective in motivating people to take up activities and make lifestyle changes. There are a wide variety of activities to achieve the aims of the project. They included such activities as helping people to grow their own healthy food, to buy healthy food at low cost and cook it, physical activities, reaching out to hard to reach groups, etc. The Well London Phase 1 evaluation is freely available online and the plans for the phase 2 evaluation (firstname.lastname@example.org ). The scale and complexity of the Well London programme mark it out as a nationally and internationally significant initiative applying a community development approach in neglected urban areas. It is generating learning and evidence not only to support its integration locally but also to inform wider policy and practice in a field of growing importance.
Additional information: www.welllondon.org.uk
(last accessed in March 2017)