Colourful building, photograph by Samuel Regan Asante

Research and development

How social investments can help turn the dial on health inequity

16 February 2024
4 min read

In urban places, like where work in Lambeth and Southwark, addressing health inequity means acting on the systems and structures that mean some people have healthy lives and others don’t.

We do this by working with other funders, innovators, community organisations and suppliers to understand and address the causes of health inequity – using the best sources of data, lived experience and evidence to create the greatest impact.

These types of organisations include researchers, digital content producers, tech companies, designers.

We know that people from Black and other ethnically marginalised communities experience the starkest health inequalities – but a lack of diversity in the ‘supporter partner’ sector is often a barrier to developing the most culturally relevant approaches as the lived experience of people from marginalised background are overlooked.

Structural inequality in the sector means that where organisations lead by people from Black and other marginalised communities do exist, they are often small or have a limited capacity for making the scale of impact needed to challenge the structural cases of health inequity.

Supporting suppliers

Striving to create a diverse supplier sector, we’ve committed £2.3 million over the last two years to organisations with the skills and experiences that are essential to delivering our mission. As part of our diverse suppliers portfolio, we’re backing:

  • Business Under Development Limited (BUD Leaders): a Black-led social enterprise that provides training, workshops and coaching to achieve greater equity for women from Black and minoritised ethnic backgrounds.
  • Rooted by Design (Rooted): a strategic design and futures company envisioning and making real possibilities and solutions in service to Black abundance.
  • Comuzi: a creative tech company that uses a combination of research, design and technology to create digital products and experiences to help organisations connect better with the communities they serve.

These investments will help us to centre the voices of people from the communities that experience the worst health outcomes and make sure our projects are culturally relevant – whilst going some way to meet the investment needs of diverse-led social purpose businesses in Lambeth and Southwark who specialise in the type of services we need to deliver our programmes.

These are organisations, through their lived and learned experiences, are connected to the communities and issues we want to have an impact on.

“As a Black-led and -centred company, we know we bring unique value and expertise to social change; to have investment in our longer-term ambitions is a direct investment in levelling the playing field not only Black founders, but Black communities” – Julian Thompson; Founder, Rooted by Design


Social investments

In 2021 we made our first social investment, committing to funding ClearView Research, a Black-led market research agency that specialises in research and community engagement projects which focus on underrepresented and culturally diverse communities.

Since then, we’ve broadened our social investments and are supporting organisations to expand their reach and scale-up sustainably.

The organisations we’re supporting through social investments are:

  • The Good Food Fund: influencing the food industry to narrow the inequality gap in children’s access to healthy food.
  • Marks Out Of Tenancy: an online platform that enables tenants to share their whole tenancy experiences and rate their landlords.
  • Elfinity: building an engagement platform that connects households with debts creditors and debt advice agencies to proactively work towards financial health.

Our aim

Through this work, our aim is to ensure suppliers are equipped to help us and the wider health and social sector act on the structural causes of health inequity.

“By partnering with an organisation aligned with our core values, we’re able to amplify our impact and ultimately better bridge the equity gap for the communities we work with.” – Georgina Wilson; CEO, BUD

Olamide Raheem

Get in touch

To find out more about our social investments, get in touch with us

Contact Olamide