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MAKE HEALTH EQUAL IN THE WEST MIDLANDS
Because of things like income, housing, and jobs, babies born in parts of the WEST MIDLANDS could live 
14 years less than in other parts of the UK.

Discover the life expectancy in your area

The number of years a person can expect to live is affected by many things, from good-quality homes, to neighbourhoods with green space and clean air.

Discover the life expectancy where you live.

HOW DOES LIFE EXPECTANCY COMPARE ACROSS THE UK?
74years
The national average81
90years

LIFE EXPECTANCY

The world around us shapes our health and wellbeing.

From quality homes that are warm and safe, to stable jobs, social connections, and neighbourhoods with green space and clean air, these are the building blocks that have a lasting and positive impact on people’s health, and reduce health inequalities.

In the West Midlands and across the UK, these building blocks are not available to everyone, or not at the quality needed.

Data on children under 16 in relative low-income families from the OHID Fingertips Public Health Data.

1 in 4

children in the West Midlands are living in poverty.

7.6 µg/m3 compared to WHO healthy level of 5µg/m3. Data taken from OHID Fingertips Public Health Data.

Air pollution

in the West Midlands is too high. The level of fine particle pollution breaches the World Health Organisation’s healthy levels.

35.7% of people not reaching the minimum income standard Data from the OHID Fingertips Public Health Data.

36%

of families in the West Midlands do not have enough money to live well.

WE ASKED PEOPLE IN BIRMINGHAM WHAT THEY THINK THE AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY IN THEIR AREA IS, AND THE THINGS THAT CONTRIBUTE MOST TO THEIR HEALTH.

Find out what they said…

WHAT ARE PEOPLE FACING AND HOW DO WE CHANGE THINGS?
  • 'There was one family who had been living in hotels for four years, cramped conditions that didn’t allow them to cook and kept them from sleeping properly'

    Shale Ahmed is a project leader at Aspire and Succeed in Lozells, Birmingham. 

    As part of its Local Conversation project funded by People’s Health Trust, Shale and his organisation took steps to address the housing crisis and to make sure where people lived wasn’t affecting their health.

    Shale says: ‘Housing is a particularly important issue in Lozells, as it is in so many communities and increasingly we’ve seen that the majority of people coming to us for help are coming with housing-related issues.

    ‘There was one family who had been living in a series of hotels for four years, cramped conditions that didn’t allow them to cook and kept them from sleeping properly, which took its toll on their mental health particularly. We helped them compile the evidence showing that their accommodation was overcrowded and that they’ve been stuck in temporary accommodation for a long time. Within three months they secured a house down the road from where we’re based. The difference in their wellbeing is incredible. Just by looking at them you could tell in their smiles, the way they responded to you, that their quality of life had improved.’

  • Transformational 'Let's Chat' community hubs in bus stations

    There are high levels of loneliness and isolation in West Bromwich and Walsall which impacts directly on health outcomes. Poverty and food insecurity also impact on people’s health. 

    The Let’s Chat hubs have created a community space in bus stations which enables people to drop in and meet with others, as well as support access to other relevant services. Based in two bus stations in Walsall and West Bromwich, it developed welcoming community spaces for people who are feeling lonely or isolated to meet others and access a range of support. 

    The hubs have developed to reflect the needs of the community, offering free food at lunch time, and access to food banks, linking with FE Colleges and skills hubs to improve employment prospects of attendees. These hubs have been transformational for some people, building confidence to be able to volunteer and undertake positive activities or increased people’s skills and knowledge to be able to apply for jobs. 

  • Tackling digital exclusion

    Communities that face higher levels of deprivation and inequality are more likely to be digitally excluded. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) partnered with The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) to distribute and evaluate the impact of providing digital health devices (Fitbits) within communities in Birmingham. The devices were distributed to individuals in communities that face the highest levels of inequalities, whereby the cost of digital devices can be a barrier to access and engagement.  

    There was a clear positive impact on digital skills with 50% of respondents agreeing that using a Fitbit had improved their digital skills; 72.8% would recommend using a Fitbit to improve their digital skills.  

    The health and wellbeing of results were substantial, with improvements in sleep and increase of physical activity. Nearly half (47.4%) reported improvements in mental health and more than half (57.8%) reported improvements in physical health. 

  • Supporting student mental health and wellbeing

    Thrive at College is a West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) funded programme supporting student mental health and wellbeing. Education settings play a vital role in promoting mental health and wellbeing and good mental health is important for helping children and young people develop and thrive.

    The programme takes a ‘whole college approach which has been evidenced to lead to improved emotional health and wellbeing in children and young people. It has been designed around six key principles: working towards the core standards for promoting mental wellbeing as set out in the Association of Colleges Mental Health Charter; providing mental health training and resources; offering peer support for students; supporting staff through a workplace wellbeing programme; delivering core curricular and skills programme which include wrap around mental health advice and support; and ensuring mental health provision is available and signposting pathways are in place linking to local services and mental health support teams. 

  • Reducing worklessness for people with long-term health conditions

    Thrive into Work is a regional employment support initiative that supports local and national efforts to reduce worklessness for people with long-term health conditions in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

    A recent client supported by Thrive was struggling with her job due to her health and was concerned about looking for a new job because she didn’t know where to start or have an updated CV. An employment specialist at Thrive was able to signpost relevant other local services, highlight job and training opportunities and provide support throughout the process, which ultimately led to job interviews. 

  • Creating a City of Nature

    Naturally Birmingham is helping to deliver Birmingham City Council’s City of Nature Plan. It keeps people’s views and values at its heart while helping to develop new approaches to the provision, maintenance and use of the city’s green spaces. One of the plans’ aims is to ‘level up’ access to green space and nature. Naturally Birmingham’s work includes identifying and testing a programme of nature-based health interventions and growing a range of online information and opportunities to involve new audiences.  

Let’s #MakeHealthEqual

Sign up to find out more about our campaigns and how you can help shape a society where each of us has the best chance of good health, no matter where we’re born.

Sign up to find out more about our campaigns and how you can help shape a society where each of us has the best chance of good health, no matter where we’re born.

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We travelled the UK to find out

how regions compare

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