About the Quality Of

Life Foundation

The Quality of Life Foundation has been set up to raise people’s quality of life by making wellbeing central to the way we create and care for our homes and communities.

We are carrying out research into what people need from their local areas; building a quality of life framework; and instigating practical projects to support more long-term thinking in industry and government.

We define quality of life as a person’s physical, social and psychological wellbeing.

We believe that if we can improve the built environment – the buildings and neighbourhoods where people live – then we can raise people’s quality of life.

Which is good for people and good for the planet.

THE CHALLENGE

There is currently too much short-term thinking in the housing sector and government at a local and national level, which has led to public apathy and distrust in developers and councils. 

Young people in particular will bear much of the economic brunt of Coronavirus, but are particularly poorly served by their homes. Our nationwide poll of 1,000 people told us that over half of young people aged 18-24 are not satisfied with where they live, and those living in cities and renters are similarly adversely affected.

We believe the solution is long-term thinking that prioritises people’s quality of life, by which we mean their physical, social and psychological wellbeing.

OUR MISSION

We want to create change in the way the housing industry acquires, plans, builds and manages new homes and communities to improve people’s quality of life.

To start with, we are carrying out research to find out what affects people’s quality of life. We are using this evidence to build a framework to demonstrate how improvements to our homes and communities can improve our quality of life.

Throughout, we will seek ways to engage with the public to understand sentiments at a community level, and to create a system whereby the public can assess individual developments based on its impact on their quality of life.

Using this research and thought leadership, we will promote a new model of development. We will work with developers, local authorities and housing associations to demonstrate how adopting our framework will create long-term social and economic benefits.

THE BOARD

The Quality of Life Foundation was set up by design champion and industry leader, Professor Sadie Morgan OBE. She became frustrated with our inability to create homes and communities that are built for the long-term at scale. She felt there was a need to focus the debate around people, their health and wellbeing, and to involve both developers and the general public in how their homes and communities are created.

After a series of conversations with Tony Pidgley, CBE, Chairman of founding partner, Berkeley Group, she set up the Foundation as a space for those both inside and outside the built environment industry to focus on what people think and feel about their homes and communities, and work out ways that they might be improved. The industry thinkers and decision-makers on our board include:

FOUNDING DIRECTOR, DRMM

Prof. Sadie Morgan OBE (Chair)

Sadie Morgan is a founding director of Stirling Prize-winning architecture practice dRMM. In her role as a design champion...

Sadie Morgan is a founding director of Stirling Prize-winning architecture practice dRMM. In her role as a design champion, Sadie is involved in a number of advisory roles, including chairing the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two and being one of ten commissioners for the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). She has been instrumental in setting up the NIC’s Design Group and in 2017 was chosen as a Mayor’s design advocate for the Greater London Authority and became a non-executive director of the Major Project Association. Most recently she was appointed as a non-executive director of U+I and as a member to the Homes England board, the UK government’s housing accelerator.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, WEST MIDLANDS COMBINED AUTHORITY (WMCA)

Deborah Cadman OBE

Deborah became Chief Executive of the WMCA in September 2017, following over 30 years’ in public services. Previous senior roles included...

Deborah became Chief Executive of the WMCA in September 2017, following over 30 years’ in public services. Previous senior roles included Head of Policy at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. Following roles at St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the East of England Development Agency, Deborah was Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council from 2011 to 2017. She was born and bred in Birmingham and attended the University Birmingham. Deborah received an OBE in 2006 for services to local government and is a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Trust and Joseph Rowntree Housing Foundation.
FOUNDING DIRECTOR, MIKHAIL RICHES

Annalie Riches

Annalie established Mikhail Riches Architects to improve the quality of housing and neighbourhoods in the UK. Her focus is on...

Annalie established Mikhail Riches Architects to improve the quality of housing and neighbourhoods in the UK. Her focus is on the delivery of projects that change the perceptions of the places they touch, making enjoyable new places, as well as great homes. Annalie contributes across all the scales of architectural practice; she is recognised for her masterplanning and strategic abilities, as well as her in-depth knowledge of housing. Annalie is also well known for her ‘hands on’ expertise in architectural design and detailing. Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley won the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize for the Passivhaus and high-density Goldsmith Street social housing scheme.
DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PLACES, UK GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL (UKGBC)

John Alker

John leads UKGBC’s long-standing policy and advocacy work, and its growing programme of activities...

John leads UKGBC’s long-standing policy and advocacy work, and its growing programme of activities on cities and place. He has responsibility for the Advancing Net Zero, Cities and Social Value programmes, as well as UKGBC’s work on health and wellbeing in the built environment. Based in Manchester, John also leads UKGBC’s local networks and regional membership strategy.
WRITER AND SOCIAL HEALTH ENTREPRENEUR

Julia Hobsbawm OBE

Julia is a writer and entrepreneur who addresses the problems and solutions of humans in the machine age. She put the phrase “Social Health”...

Julia is a writer and entrepreneur who addresses the problems and solutions of humans in the machine age. She put the phrase “Social Health” on the map to describe how we cope in the always-on digital age. Julia runs the highly successful network Editorial Intelligence and is Editor-at-Large for Arianna Huffington’s new well-being platform THRIVE Global. Her book Fully Connected: Social Health in an Age of Overload was shortlisted for Management Book of the Year 2018 and Business Book of the Year 2018. Her new book, The Simplicity Principle, will be published in April 2020 in the UK and US.
SENIOR INNOVATION MANAGER, TELEFONICA UK

Sam Salih

Sam works with Telefonica UK’s business innovation division, where he has developed an expertise in the application of...

Sam works with Telefonica UK’s business innovation division, where he has developed an expertise in the application of new technologies within the Smart Cities use cases, due to their potential to reduce resource consumption and improve quality of life. Sam has worked with government to help advise SMEs to access funding and for a range of companies such as EDF Energy to grow its innovation unit. Sam co-founded one of the first digital, multi-utility suppliers in the UK with the purpose of improving students’ quality of living. Sam is also a founding trustee of The National House Project, a charity that works with care-leavers to improve their lives.
FOUNDING PARTNER, TOWN

Jonny Anstead

Jonny is founding Director of TOWN, a developer with a focus on delivering well-designed and sustainable homes...

Jonny is founding Director of TOWN, a developer with a focus on delivering well-designed and sustainable homes, streets and neighbourhoods. Set up in 2014, TOWN works at varying scales, including community-led housing projects of 20-40 homes, mixed-use, residential-led town centre regeneration schemes, and large-scale urban extensions. TOWN is the developer of Marmalade Lane, a 42-home cohousing project in Cambridge. At larger scale, Jonny is leading TOWN’s work on a 5,500-home new quarter of Cambridge, in partnership with U+I Plc.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LONDON COMMUNITY LAND TRUST (LONDON CLT)

Calum Green

Calum has been with London CLT since 2011. During that time, he has taken the organisation from having its first...

Calum has been with London CLT since 2011. During that time, he has taken the organisation from having its first site identified to securing four further sites in in Lewisham, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Redbridge, with more in the pipeline. Until 2017, Calum also worked as a Senior Organiser for Citizens UK. In this role he trained over 500 community leaders across the UK in organising and helped found Peckham Citizens, an alliance of 11 community organisations that work together to build the capacity of local people to tackle injustice in their neighbourhood.
PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, UNIVERSITY OF READING

Prof. Flora Samuel

Flora is known for her work in supporting research in architectural practice, breaking down barriers between practice and academia...

Flora is known for her work in supporting research in architectural practice, breaking down barriers between practice and academia and also for her leading role in demonstrating the value of architects. She leads on the Design Value strand of the UK Centre for Collaborative Housing Evidence (CACHE), was the first RIBA Vice President for Research and leads the Social Value Toolkit for Architecture, which will be published in 2019. This is an output from the Research Practice Leads group, a group of leaders of research in practice from some 40 practices who have been meeting quarterly since May 2016.

IN MEMORIAM

Tony Pidgley CBE

Tony Pidgley CBE, Berkeley Group’s founder and Chairman, who died in June, was instrumental in the creation of the Quality of Life Foundation...

Tony Pidgley CBE, Berkeley Group’s founder and Chairman, who died in June, was instrumental in the creation of the Quality of Life Foundation... His commitment to and belief in people and communities will be the lasting legacy of a remarkable life.
The Quality of Life Foundation came about after a series of conversations between Tony and Sadie Morgan. Tony identified the need for an organisation that would champion people and communities, and this chimed with Sadie’s increasing frustrated with the pace and focus of change in the housing sector.
“I’ve rarely met anyone with such a zest for life, a twinkle in his eye, and unrivalled energy,” Sadie said. “I shall never forget his support and encouragement.”
We remain grateful for Tony’s foresight and leadership, and Berkeley Group’s support, without which this endeavour would never have happened.

THE IMPLEMENTATION TEAM

Director

Matthew Morgan

Matthew Morgan, Director: Matthew works as a writer and communications consultant, primarily for architects and designers, and has been crafting stories in magazine journalism, book publishing, branding and communications for over 20 years.
Consultant

Kate Honey

Kate Honey has worked in community engagement, research and co-design roles for Soundings Consulting, Portland, Commonplace and volunteers with Land Aid.
Project Manager

Beth Pilgrim

Beth has worked across the private and not-for-profit sectors, co-founding her own social venture, Supply Change, in addition to work at Orbit Housing and St Mungo’s.

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