People's Health Trust Local People programme

The Local People programme supports local people to have genuine control over the design, delivery and evaluation of local projects which address the wider social determinants of health inequalities.

It gives organisations the opportunity to engage with people in a different way, supporting the increasing empowerment of local people to address wider issues in their communities and neighbourhoods through collective action.

people sitting on bench

People's Health Trust logo

People’s Health Trust is an independent charity which invests in local communities to help create a society without health inequalities. It works closely with each of the 51 society lotteries and makes grants using money raised by the society lotteries through The Health Lottery.

Sustrans has been working closely with the People’s Health Trust for five years during which time we have delivered three rounds of projects on their behalf, working to address health inequalities through community led street design.

people painting a mural onto a wall

We are currently working with six Community Interest Companies represented in communities including Foxhill, Bath; Sydenham, Bridgwater; Spon End, Coventry; Ellesmere Port; Malden Manor, Kingston-Upon-Thames; Braunstone Gate, Leicester; and Moorland, Lincoln by: 

large group of people pose in street by planter and street kits

Local People Programme projects often set-up Facebook pages or blogs to record their activities or to provide local information to their communities. Take a look at some of their blogs and Facebook pages for an idea of what we're up to.

A homemade heart shaped sign decorated with ribbons

Sustrans began the Local People programme in 2015 with three projects, match funded by their local authorities. These were followed by four more projects in 2016, funded entirely by The People’s Health Trust.

All of the projects seek to activate public space through physical interventions and social activity, with all ideas and decisions made by a Community Forum, representative of the local community and supported by a Sustrans Project Officer.

man planting in raised flower bed

Ideas for transforming public space range from community gardens, to play spaces, community festivals and public seating among many others. Project champions engage with the wider community throughout the decision making process, meeting regularly as a Forum to consider next steps.

As the project develops the Community Forum become more confident, with more knowledge of regulations surrounding public space and experience working with the Council, they can progress their ideas through trialling and if successful decide to make them permanent features.

The Local People programme aims to develop the collective control of a community making decisions about their public space, encouraging collaboration and supporting social networks to grow.

Treating local people as experts in the area where they live leads to more liveable neighbourhoods, where people interact meaningfully with their surroundings and with each other. This connection to their surroundings increases the choice to travel locally by bike or on foot and contributes to the health benefits to the commuinty as a whole.