About the Quality Of

Life Foundation

We are a charity committed to creating greater accountability and encouraging more sustainable models of development by making health and wellbeing central to the way we create and care for our homes and neighbourhoods.

We do this through research, community engagement and services, such as Quality of Life Mapping, Strategy Review, Training and Resident Review. 

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 the late 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 is a charitable company, registered with the Charity Commission (charity number 1198624). As part of our development, we have also started a trading subsidiary (QOLF Trading Ltd) 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 PARTNER, TOWN

Jonny Anstead (Chair)

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.
HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY, LEGAL & GENERAL

John Alker

John's role at Legal & General is designed to drive tangible and meaningful change across a range of sectors - from net zero carbon housing commitment to its levelling up agenda...

John's role at Legal & General is designed to drive tangible and meaningful change across a range of sectors - from net zero carbon housing commitment to its levelling up agenda, transforming towns and cities across the UK. With over 15 years’ experience in the sector, John previous experience at the UKGBC as Director of Policy & Places saw him lead the non-for-profit's policy and advocacy at both national and local level, working with the construction and property sector on a suite of successful programmes and projects, covering topics such as net zero carbon, social value, health & wellbeing and regeneration & placemaking
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.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

Prof. Sadie Morgan OBE (Founder)

Sadie Morgan is the founder of the Quality of Life Foundation and a founding director of Stirling Prize-winning architecture practice dRMM. In her role as a design champion...

Sadie Morgan is the founder of the Quality of Life Foundation and 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.

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 passed away in June 2021, 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.
Interim Business Manager

Angela Bryant

Angela Bryant is a business founder, collaborator and consultant who works with health-focused and sustainability-driven organisations to improve their marketing, engagement and operations so that they can create huge impact in the world.
Senior Engagement Officer

Melissa Lacide

Melissa is passionate about community participation, understanding the aspirations, connections and needs between people and places. She has wide-ranging experience working collaboratively with stakeholders on the ground, managing partnership projects, and mapping social value.

Her career includes a position held at placemaking charity as an advisor in design research and community led design practice, including asset mapping, meaningful engagement, and up-skilling stakeholders. She also worked for a sustainable architectural practice and design collective as an engagement consultant and participatory researcher, spanning the redevelopment of derelict buildings and spaces, a visitor centre eco-build, and a cultural building retrofit.

Engagement Officer

Ed Gritten

With a background in built environment communications and extensive charity sector experience, Ed has recently completed an MSc in Sustainable Heritage from The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources at UCL. Prior to joining QOLF, Ed was working for a start-up urban greening and design consultancy. He has a 1st BA degree in Cultural Studies from the University of Kent. Ed believes in empowering local voices, embracing complexities and supporting sustainable communities through holistic engagement.
Researcher

Hani Salih

Hani implements our resident review, evaluating health and wellbeing in housing and neighbourhoods, as well as facilitating our CCQOL research project - both active in locations across the UK. Fresh from conducting his postgraduate studies at the The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Hani brings with him a wealth of academic experience, having completed his MSc in the Urbanisation and Development programme which tackles theoretical and critical qualitative analysis from a global perspective.
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.
Communications and Policy Manager

Emma Cooke

A CIPR-qualified communicator, Emma has a wealth of experience in the housing and charity sectors. She has worked in local government on housing policy, in communications roles at a housing association and a research charity, and most recently in public affairs at a national active travel charity.
With the Foundation, Emma will lead the team to help shape communications and report strategies; as well as develop policy recommendations that achieve maximum impact across industry and government on a local and national level.
Emma has a real interest in both increasing equity in our communities, and in influencing the role the built environment makes in achieving that.
Urban Designer

Warren Lever

Warren Lever is an urban designer and heritage professional with extensive experience in master planning, design advice, design guidance and the design of public realm schemes. He has worked for a number of local authorities over the last 20 years where he has been involved in urban regeneration, heritage and wider place shaping initiatives. A key part of Warren’s approach to place-shaping is the early and inclusive engagement of communities and stakeholders and he feels this lies at the heart of successful design outcomes.
Team Administrator

Annick Matthews

With a Master's of Teaching and experience working in multicultural and multilingual communities across Australia, Switzerland, France and the UK, Annick has taught at all levels creating programmes focused on French language and English as an Additional Language both online and in person. She is responsible for guiding the Foundation’s training programme for local authorities as well as keeping the charity’s operations running smoothly.
Community Researcher

Emma-Lea Bailey

Emma-Lea has joined us as a Community Researcher, having just completed her A-levels. She is excited to get stuck into our Quality of Life Mapping project in Harlow and Gilston, as it's a brilliant opportunity to be hands-on in her community, to meet people from different backgrounds and to make good use of her knowledge of health and social care. Emma-Lea has many hobbies outside of work, including drawing, long dog walks and volunteering with one of our partners - Rainbow Services.
Community Researcher

Mohammad Ibrahim Haidari Wardak

Ibrahim is one of the Foundation's Community Researchers. Having grown up in Afghanistan, he is now a student at Harlow college, studying A-levels in maths, chemistry and biology. Ibrahim is working on our Quality of Life Mapping Project in Harlow and Gilston. The project excites him because it enables people of every background to have their say and be listened to about improving their lives.

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