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Importance of ‘community-based and culturally adapted interventions’ for mental health and wellbeing showcased in Right to Thrive report

  • Since 2018, London’s Right to Thrive initiative has directly supported Londoners’ mental health and wellbeing through 43 grassroots projects.

  • More than £450,000 of funding from the Mayor of London has been invested through the initiative in grassroot and community led organisations engaging with Londoners at disproportionate risk for poor mental health and wellbeing.

  • Right to Thrive impact report published to share and explore the emerging themes, including importance of equity and disparities across communities and groups in London.

As London’s Right to Thrive initiative marked five years since launching, grassroots and community organisations from across London joined together at Toynbee Hall yesterday evening to reflect and share activities from the initiative.

Right to Thrive has been an ongoing commitment from Thrive LDN and The Mayor of London to support the mental health and wellbeing of communities through social action and local activism in London. Particularly for those at higher risk of unfair treatment based on their identity, beliefs, or social class, and in some cases a combination of these.

Since 2018, the Mayor has invested more than £450,000 through the initiative in grassroot and community led organisations engaging directly with Londoners at disproportionate risk for poor mental health and wellbeing.

Right to Thrive projects and initiatives have ranged from supporting a rugby club for young black men to a community choir to support displaced people. Numerous projects were delivered during the height of the pandemic to create safe spaces for and support the resilience of young Londoners, families and people from racialised and minoritised backgrounds.

Deputy Mayor for Children and Families, Joanne McCartney, said: “As a result of City Hall’s investment, the Mayor and Thrive LDN’s Right to Thrive programme is helping to support community and grassroots projects across the capital who work with, and for, marginalised Londoners most likely to experience poor mental health.

“I am pleased this report celebrates and shares the stories of the thousands of Londoners who have benefitted from the initiative. By continuing to work in partnership, we can build a better London where everybody has the opportunity to flourish and fulfil their potential.”

Opening the celebration event to a packed Toynbee Hall lecture theatre, Thrive LDN co-lead and NHS England mental health equalities advisor, Cllr Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE highlighted the crucial role Right to Thrive is playing in supporting local communities to flourish. She welcomed the publication of a new Right to Thrive impact report which begins to share and explore the emerging themes from London’s Right to Thrive partnerships and projects.

At the event, presentations from eight community organisations and the Londoners they work with highlighted and showcased the positive impact that engaging with and listening to communities with lived experiences of inequality and discrimination has had. Additionally, communities who have been disproportionately affected by various crises and shocks in recent years identified the significance of family and support structures, and the support offered by wider community and faith groups.

Cllr Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE, mental health equalities advisor for NHS England and co-lead of Thrive LDN, said: “It is crucial that we engage with and listen to communities with lived experiences of racism, inequality, and discrimination. Events in recent years have shone a harsh light on longstanding structural injustices which exist in our society.

“There is no doubt that racialised and marginalised communities particularly, and others from lower socio-economic positions, are suffering the impacts of the pandemic and economic crisis more than others. Right to Thrive has been a positive step to offer targeted support for Londoners who are experiencing exclusion, discrimination and bias because of who they are or where they live.

“We must keep learning from London’s community and grassroots projects. I’m excited by Thrive LDN’s plans to co-develop a community of practice as a long-term commitment to continue supporting Londoners with lived experiences of marginalisation and disadvantage to thrive.”

The report outlines how social inequalities impact people’s mental health and wellbeing, with significant implications for their life outcomes. Drawing upon the evidence and insights gathered from Londoners through Right to Thrive projects, a huge variation exists in terms of both experiences and outcomes, depending on who you are and where you live.

Aimed at decision and policy makers spanning the city, the report considers the importance of equity through recognising that not everyone starts from the same position. The report outlines that “fair treatment – although important – alone does not address disparities between social groups.”

Looking ahead to the next five years, Thrive LDN recently commissioned The Ubele Initiative to facilitate a community of practice with Right to Thrive grant participants. A community of practice is made up of groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis. The community hopes to amplify voices, develop leadership, and redistribute power.

Commenting on Right to Thrive and the next steps for the initiative, Thrive LDN director, Dan Barrett added: “Five years on from launching our Right to Thrive initiative there are many positives and successes which we have achieved collectively.

“However, we cannot be complacent or think this work is definitive. The need to understand more about the intersectional nature of issues communities face, the impact of cumulative stressors over time and the systemic action needed to address them is even more evident. Doing so will also support the wider London community to be more aware of social injustices through a lens of intersectionality.”

If you’d like to learn more, download the Right to Thrive impact report or get involved, visit: