The Marmot Review: Fair Society, Healthy Lives, published in 2010 outlined the scale of health inequality in England. The landmark study highlighted the strong link between social inequalities and health and called for action to be taken in a number of key areas to make improvements.

Now, to examine progress, a new review from Sir Michael Marmot and his team has been commissioned by The Health Foundation and the Institute of Health Equity, released on 25th February, 2020.

What makes a healthy community?

The original report highlighted a number of recommendations. These focused on giving children the best start in life, enabling people to have control over their lives, creating good employment for all, and developing healthy and sustainable places and communities.

Despite some areas of improvement, the new review is expected to find that growth in life expectancy across the whole of the UK is stalling and health inequalities are widening. It will make further recommendations for action to policymakers and Government.

During the last ten years and many more before that, the Bromley by Bow Centre has been actively addressing health inequalities on the ground.  The charity continues to challenge conventional wisdom about how to ‘unleash healthy communities’ and has pioneered a radical approach to public health, working with people from some of the most challenging areas in the capital.

This innovative approach is delivered via a multi-practice health partnership and a broad range of services combining social entrepreneurship, the arts, learning, social support, horticulture and integrated health programmes.

Social prescribing, currently being rolled out across the UK by NHS England, started at the Centre many years ago. And projects such as our skills sharing initiative, health champions courses or community-driven change programmes, connect people, develop skills and help build confidence.

Community based research

Alongside the impact of the valued Marmot research and day-to-day delivery of services, the Bromley by Bow Centre has been focused on researching its own work with the support of Public Health England, the Wellcome Foundation, The Health Foundation and OCS to understand its impact better. It has created a learning-by-doing culture entirely based in a real community and is committed to working alongside local people to deliver evidence.

Above all, our learning tells us the importance of kindness and compassion and the need to support people on their long journeys of transformation, not just provide short, time-limited services. Our fundamental principals were recently discussed by Sharon and Mandy, members of our team who appeared on the BBC Radio 4’s Listening Project. The two friends described how powerful a simple act like offering a cup of tea can be to someone who is feeling lost and vulnerable.

35 years, 350 days, let’s raise £350,000

Protecting and growing the services and activities that support our community to stay connected and healthy is one of the central aims of the 35th anniversary year campaign.

Your generosity can make a real difference. Every contribution will help our local community to improve their health and wellbeing, learn new skills, and create a better life for themselves and their families. If you’d like to contribute to our goal, please donate.