We work with others and fund projects in inner-city areas to tackle major urban health issues

We take a place-based approach to our work, addressing a small number of complex health challenges at a time. Each of these complex health challenges make up our urban health programmes.

Our urban health programmes in 2021/22


in funding given to support urban health projects


across 171 partnerships

Our urban health programmes

Children’s health and food, multiple long-term conditions, air pollution and children’s mental health are some of the biggest health challenges in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. They are also complex issues for other urban areas in the UK and internationally. By adopting a place-based approach, we aim to build a deeper understanding of what it takes to address these two complex health challenges both locally and beyond.

We’re currently working to:

  1. Improve children’s health and food
  2. Slow down people’s progression to multiple long-term conditions
  3. Find innovative solutions to the health effects of air pollution
  4. Intervene early to protect children’s mental health

Our programme approach

Since 2017, we’ve taken a place-based approach to urban health. This means developing an understanding of how the local environment – such as the social context and economic factors – affect people’s health. We create partnerships to address the many different causes of complex health challenges. Using our funding and expertise, we back evidence-based approaches from around the world, home-grown initiatives and exciting, brand-new ideas.


We work at four scales

  • Neighbourhood – we test whole-system solutions by setting up a range of projects and initiatives within a small and defined geography, to test and demonstrate their combined impact
  • Borough – we address systemic obstacles to help adopt approaches and ideas that depend on a larger scale model to have impact
  • National – we influence social and policy barriers, and encourage others to adopt successful local approaches
  • International – we share our learnings with others across the globe who are tackling urban health challenges in their areas


How we do it

  • focus on long-term, specific goals that shape everything we do
  • look at the wider needs of people and the broader determinants of their health
  • concentrate our efforts where evidence shows we will have the greatest impact, and then layering up several projects, ideas and initiatives that approach the issue from different angles
  • support a variety of projects and partners, scaling up over time and refining as we go
  • invest in evaluation and learning to make improvements to help share what we find with others

We draw on a variety of resources to support this work, including giving financial support to partners, relationship and network building.

Urban health issues in Lambeth and Southwark


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