About the Quality Of

Life Foundation

The Quality of Life Foundation is an independent, charitable organisation that aims to raise people’s quality of life by making wellbeing central to the way we create and care for our homes and communities. We find out what people think and feel about where they live and instigate practical projects that promote more long-term thinking in industry and government.

What is quality of life?

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. 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.

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.

OUR STORY

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. 

To start with, we carried out research to find out what affects people’s quality of life. We used this evidence to build a framework to demonstrate how improvements to our homes and communities can improve our quality of life. Now we are looking at ways to add to increase the evidence base for making health and wellbeing more central, and providing services to provide general uplift and create greater accountability.

Throughout, we have sought 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.

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 Quality of Life Foundation started life as a company limited by guarantee but has since filed articles to become a charity. We are in the process of registering with the Charities Commission and as part of our development, we are also starting a trading subsidiary through which we can provide products and services, the profits of which will go back into the Foundation’s work.

THE BOARD

We have a Board of Trustees, whose professional specialisms span design, development, health and wellbeing policy and planning, sustainability, local authority direction, social value and academic research.

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.
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 on cities and place. He has responsibility for the Advancing Net Zero...

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.
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, 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.
PROGRAMME MANAGER, PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND

Michael Chang

Michael is a Chartered Town Planner, Honorary Member of the UK Faculty of Public Health and Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health...

Michael is a Chartered Town Planner, Honorary Member of the UK Faculty of Public Health and Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health. He has a specialist interest in the topic of healthy planning and development, and advises on all aspects of spatial planning and public health across national and local systems and workforce in policy, decision-making and urban development processes. Michael initiated and co-founded the Health and Wellbeing in Planning Network, is Visiting Fellow at the UK WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments, Panel Chair of the Essex Livewell Healthy Development Accreditation scheme, and in the Urban Land Institute’s Health Leader Network for 2021.
POLICY AND INFLUENCING DIRECTOR, GUY'S AND ST THOMAS' FOUNDATION

Anna Garrod

Anna is Policy and Influencing Director at Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation, with 15 years' experience working in health policy, influencing and communications in the NHS, professional associations and the charity sector...

Anna is Policy and Influencing Director at Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation, with 15 years' experience working in health policy, influencing and communications in the NHS, professional associations and the charity sector. Anna leads Guy's and St Thomas' approach to influencing as an urban health foundation, using their evidence and insight to influence policy and practice at a local, national and international level. Her expertise includes health service design and commissioning, health inequalities and mental health.
Non-executive Director, Board Committee Chair, angel investor and start-up advisor

Li Li Long

Lili is an experienced non-executive Director, Board Committee Chair, angel investor and start-up advisor. Following a 20-year career as a senior executive...

Lili is an experienced non-executive Director, Board Committee Chair, angel investor and start-up advisor. Following a 20-year career as a senior executive in financial services businesses ranging from Virgin Money to HBoS to LCH.Clearnet, Lili now applies her commercial, strategy, digital and transformational change experience to a range of purpose-led organisations. In particular, Lili is drawn to organisations that successfully combine their obligations to their customers, employees and investors with those to the local communities of which they are a part.
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: With over 20 years' experience in writing and communications, Matthew's role is to foster greater understanding and cooperation between local people, the built environment industry and government. He is particularly interested in how communities are formed and how to help them thrive.
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.
Consultant

Dominique Staindl

Working with clients across the UK and her native Australia, Dominique has a specialist focus on communications in the built environment. For her, cities are the most exciting places to live. She loves that the pace and proximity to others brings challenges and demands solutions. And that responsive designs can raise standards and improve livelihoods at scale.

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