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The MJ Achievement Awards 2024 We're celebrating whole-team approaches to tackling health inequalities at The MJ Achievement Awards 2024.

The MJ Achievement Awards

Good health is vital to individual wellbeing but also to building strong and prosperous communities. Local government is well placed to invest in health to help local communities thrive. It can support health outcomes by taking action on the wider determinants of health: things like housing, access to green spaces, and employment.

In recognition of this, the Health Foundation has designed and sponsored an award for The MJ Achievement Awards 2024: ‘A whole-team approach to tackling health inequalities’.

Congratulations to our finalists

  • Durham County Council: 'Horden Together'
  • London Borough of Hounslow: 'Digital Inclusion for Social and Health Impact'
  • Cardiff Council: 'Dementia Friendly Cardiff'
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council: 'Active and Connected – Joining the Dots in the East Riding'
  • West Northamptonshire Council: 'Well Northants Participatory Budgeting'
  • Bolsover District Council: 'Bolsover Partnership'
  • Sheffield City Council: 'Investment of Public Health Funding in Green and Open Spaces'.

Find out the winner at The MJ Awards ceremony on Friday 21 June 2024.

About the award

Our award – which closed for entries on Friday 2 February 2024 – invited submissions from local authorities taking innovative approaches to improve health and reduce inequalities. We were looking for teams within councils who have worked alongside public health colleagues, or others, to place improving health at the heart of their work.

It was advised that submissions should be led by teams outside of public health – this may include housing, transport, planning, economic development, children’s services or education. Entries should demonstrate strong leadership within council teams, and demonstrate how this aligns with activity on health inequalities across the whole council alongside providing clear evidence of impact.

Past involvement

St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council took home our 2023 award for their whole-council approach to bridging the inequalities divide in St Helens. 

The judging panel said of the winning team:

‘St Helens presented an ambitious and innovative whole-council approach to tackling health inequalities. The flexibility they showed in responding to community input was impressive and led to their work having greater reach, often in new areas. 

‘St Helens drew on both national and local expertise and demonstrated a collaborative working relationship with other council teams and the voluntary sector. They were able to demonstrate positive impact through the cost-of-living crisis and their emphasis to shift the framing of conversations with local residents to focus on positives was commendable.’

Two more teams were highly commended: 

  • Luton Borough Council: 'Our 2040 town-wide vision, and Luton as a health equity town – embedding the Marmot principles'
  • Belfast City Council: 'Leisure Transformation Programme'.

Other finalists were:

  • Bury Metropolitan Borough Council: 'LET'S Do It' corporate strategy
  • Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council: 'Tackling Health Inequalities through Prevention'
  • Westminster City Council: 'Community Health and Wellbeing Worker Initiative'.

Read The MJ’s coverage of the award:

And watch the video below for a few words from our 2023 award winner, St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council:

MJ Awards 2023 winning team

The Health Foundation first sponsored The MJ Achievement Awards in 2022, marking the 10th anniversary of the decision to move public health into local government.

The award, ‘Place-based approaches to health equity’, invited entries from local authorities that could display a whole place strategy and tangible improvements in creating fair opportunities to improve health and health equity.

The London Borough of Newham won with their project, 'Well Newham: 50 Steps to a Healthier Borough'

Our judging panel said of the winning team:

'Newham impressed us with its leadership endorsement, community co-production, and multiple stakeholder involvement. It demonstrated a cascaded model of aligned goals and indicators, with practical action and clear accountability throughout. It is manifestly a collective endeavour focused on local wider determinants. The one-year progress report reinforces this sense of momentum, energy, enthusiasm, and sense of flourishing.' 

Two more teams were highly commended:

  • Newcastle City Council: 'Newcastle Vaccine Inequalities Action'
  • North Lanarkshire Council: 'Rainbow Shelter'.

Other finalists were:

  • Basildon Council: 'Essex Local Delivery Pilot'
  • North Somerset Council: 'North Somerset's Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy'.

Read The MJ’s coverage of the award:

And watch the video below for a few words from our 2022 award winner, the London Borough of Newham:

MJ Awards 2022 winning team

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