Well London, a five-year initiative which will work with 35,000 people in 20 of Londons most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, has been awarded a total of £9.5m from the Big Lottery Wellbeing programme, a fund which supports the development of healthier lifestyles and improvements to the local environment.
Arts Council England (ACE), London is a key partner in the initiative, and will be working as part of the Well London alliance a consortium involving the London Health Commission, Central YMCA, Groundwork London, London Sustainability Exchange, University of East London and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust to deliver the cultural strand of a programme of community-led health-related projects. The work will start in ten London boroughs in October 2007 and the remaining ten in April 2008: the communities themselves will decide how the Well London programme money is to be spent, assessing their own requirements and priorities. A framework developed by University of East London will be used to implement a rigorous approach to research and evaluation, and reveal whether the programme achieves its goals.
Sarah Weir, Executive Director, ACE, London, says, We look forward to seeing what can be achieved through all of us working together in this innovative and challenging way. Also, to share what we learn across the arts more broadly. Well London will put the arts at the very heart of community experience and help make a positive difference to peoples lives.