The Communities in Control study – is a national evaluation of the place based initiative – Big Local – being rolled out in 150 areas in England with over £200 million funding from the Big Lottery Fund.
In each Big Local area, residents have control over when and how funding is used to make local neighbourhoods better places to live. The research is looking at the ways that this action by communities is achieving change in the social determinants of health in these areas. This includes community action to strengthen social relationships and improve the local environment, as well as efforts to improve area reputation. The extent that being involved in the initiative may have impacts upon residents’ sense of control and their health and wellbeing is also a focus of the research.
The case study below discusses the relevance of the study for public health and communities from the perspective of Local Trust, a resident of a Big Local area and NIHR SPHR’s Professor Jennie Popay.