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2021/22 has been a year of growth, drive, and ambition as we expand our reach and impact in pursuit of better health for all.
The year 2022 was the final year of our first five-year strategy (2017 to 2022) and one of great progress towards our goals. We worked on increasing our impact and influence, used our assets and resources to support our collective mission of investing in a healthier society, and set our endowment a dual mandate of achieving both health impact and attractive financial returns.
Our progress against priorities and resulting achievements is set out in the contents of this report.
We remained focused on the following priorities:
direct charitable expenditure
in charitable support for NHS staff and healthcare
target allocation for impact investment strategy
This has been a year of growth, drive, and ambition as we expand our reach and impact in pursuit of better health for all. As a 500-year-old organisation, our challenge has been to respond to the moment at the same time as taking full advantage of our ability to think for the long-term.
The moment is a critical one as we begin to emerge from and navigate the long-lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Life expectancy in the UK is decreasing. The NHS is facing significant challenges. Poor health continues to hold our national economy back.
I am proud to say that as a foundation we’ve continued to rise to the challenge, making great strides across every area of the organisation this past year.
Through Impact on Urban Health, we are exploring scalable solutions to the biggest urban health challenges, such as childhood obesity, the effects of multiple long-term health conditions, children’s mental health and the health effects of air pollution. Alongside our increase of charitable expenditure, this year we supported over 171 initiatives, projects and communities through Impact on Urban Health charitable funding totalling over £23m.
Through launching our three new fundraising charities we are bringing renewed focus, strength and commitment to supporting the vital work of the NHS. We continued to prioritise patient care and supporting the dedicated staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’. Over the past year alone, we invested £2m in a staff psychological and spiritual care programme.
We are also leading the way as a responsible investor, continuing our journey towards deploying all our assets for health. Our investor engagement led to significant changes from some of the world’s biggest food retailers and manufacturers. We have played a key role in the development of SC1 – a vision for a life sciences hub in London with health equity at its heart. At the same time, our renewed impact investment strategy and increased impact investment allocation goes beyond that of any other UK charitable foundation.
To support these ambitions, we have grown our capabilities and are now operating at a larger scale as an organisation than ever before. Vital to this work has been attracting the broadest possible range of experience, skills and perspectives into our teams and to continue embedding the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion into everything we do. This is fundamental in helping us achieve our mission. While we’ve made strong progress, we also know we have more to do in our push to become a truly inclusive organisation.
Looking towards the long-term, this year we also developed our next five-year strategy. Our 2022 to 2027 strategy is all about reach. Its goal is to leverage insights from our practical, real-world work to influence change at a much wider level. This represents the second five years of a 30-year strategy – the first five years focused on testing how best to have impact, while the next five years aim to build the platforms for this impact at scale.
The Foundation could not achieve the impact it does without its people. I’d like to thank our remarkable staff team for delivering above and beyond in a constantly changing landscape, and our Trustees for their continued support and guidance on this vital work.