About us

Living Well UK is a National Lottery funded programme (2018-22) led by Innovation Unit.

It has worked with four pioneering places in the UK to build Living Well systems of support for good mental health and wellbeing, inspired by Lambeth Living Well, south London. These places were Edinburgh, Luton, Salford and Tameside & Glossop.

Support for our places has centred on:


Movement building

Enabling citizens and professionals to forge a powerful shared vision for change and work side by side and non-hierarchically

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Co-design and

Ensuring that system change is built out of the voice of lived experience


Story gathering
and storytelling

Reconnecting practitioners and leaders emotionally to why they work in mental health in the first place


(rather than ‘piloting’)

Enabling fast-paced testing, learning and service development, and to avoid ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ thinking in complex systems where there is often no easy answer

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Starting by working in one neighbourhood and growing to whole cities, localities and Integrated Care Systems.

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Practice leadership

Blending the best of clinical and social models and to recognise that real transformation happens in the work between professionals and between them and people using services.

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Collaborative leadership

Across organisations and sectors – creating leadership communities based on dialogue and relationships.

Since then, the movement has grown and is now influencing and supporting transformation of adult community mental health across Derbyshire County, Greater Manchester and York, in line with the 2019 NHS England framework for community mental health.

The programme has supported leaders, practitioners and people with lived experience to co-design multidisciplinary, neighbourhood-based Living Well teams, alongside work to help them redesign integrated, specialist Community Mental Health Teams in secondary care.

The programme has been independently evaluated by Cordis Bright, who found clear evidence that Living Well has supported people to make progress towards improved mental health and quality of life.

Innovation Unit will publish a systems change learning report in January 2023, based on our experience of working across multiple health and care systems in the UK.

Learn more about Living Well


Who is implementing Living Well?

Meet our sites and our supporting organisations


Why do we need Living Well?

Learn about our research and ways of making a mental health system function well


What is the impact of Living Well?

Learn about how Living Well has changed the system already

Who is involved?

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Innovation Unit is managing the Living Well UK Programme which is funded by the National Lottery Community


The National Lottery Community Fund will monitor progress for the programme against agreed outcomes


Leaders and practitioners from these organisations in Lambeth will be a key part of the programme


Meet our Living Well sites

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