The Quality of Life Foundation has been awarded £491,740 in National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) funding to support its work helping improve the health and wellbeing of local neighbourhoods.
The money will be used by the charity over the next three years to hire new staff, including a communications and policy as well as a business manager.
It will also be used to improve its evaluation of the impact of its work on communities as well as industry and government.
The charity focuses on improving residents’ health and wellbeing in housing developments and supporting the social aspect of firms’ environmental, social and governance policies.
“Substandard homes and poorly designed neighbourhoods damage lives and make society less resilient, said the charity.
“Living in substandard housing built in the wrong place can increase the risk of a range of preventable physical and mental health conditions. This can lead to further stress and pressure on society and the planet as buildings require replacing more frequently.”
Foundation director Matthew Morgan added: “We cannot understand the impact that homes and neighbourhoods make on residents’ and communities’ health and wellbeing until we talk to individuals and community groups and devise measurements that complement but reach beyond figures based purely on pounds and pence.
“This work, which has now been given a boost thanks to National Lottery funding, requires an enormous amount of collaboration within and between communities, the development industry, government, designers and the tech sector.
“We hope that these findings contribute to building better, healthier and more successful places that remain viable for longer, furthermore adding to residents’ lives rather than causing unnecessary stress.”
Work already underway by the charity, which launched last year, includes a ‘quality of life mapping’ project. This gathers communities’ views via ‘urban rooms’ and online on issues which impact on their life.
What a great day at Reading’s Urban Room @UniofReading @qualityoflifeuk. What great teams we have working on such an important project.— CommunityVoicesCardiff (@VoicesCardiff) March 25, 2022
Thanks for sharing best practice & lessons learned for the Cardiff Urban Room in May @mhairimcvi @ShorukNekeb @FloraBSamuel @ruchitpurohit pic.twitter.com/2wwKvgxyJ3
Another is a residents' review, which evaluates people’s quality of life. It is also supporting councils to improve residents’ health and wellbeing.
NLCF director of funding strategy Emma Ackerman added: “This project is putting people and communities at the heart of developing and building homes and neighbourhoods.
“With its focus on collaboration, research and impact, the Quality of Life Foundation is not only highlighting the connection between health and housing, it is also supporting people and communities across the UK to prosper and thrive.”
The Quality of Life Foundation launched last year and is currently a charitable company pending its registration with the Charity Commission.
It’s founding director is designer Sadie Morgan. Its board members include West Midlands Combined Authority chief executive Deborah Cadman and Anna Garrod, policy and influencing director at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation.