Past project

Black Thrive Employment Project

Evaluating community led change to improve employment outcomes

Project Overview

Beginning in March 2020, this project’s primary focus is on improving employment outcomes for Black people with long-term physical and mental health conditions in Lambeth.

Using a community-led approach, the project explores the changes needed within local systems – health, education, employment, local government – to help people thrive.

Funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and led by Black Thrive Lambeth, the project will engage statutory bodies and local organisations to collaborate in achieving justice through radical solutions.

Its goal is to ensure that Black people in Lambeth with long-term health conditions (LTCs) are no less likely to be in employment than anyone else, and particularly people from white groups.

The project includes the allocation of grant funding to individuals and organisations.

Project details

More than one in five residents in Lambeth live with at least one long-term health condition and over 19,000 live with three or more (Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity’s One to Many report).

Research suggests that people who experience one long-term health condition are at an increased risk of developing multiple conditions. In addition, people living in areas with the highest levels of deprivation develop long-term health condition on average 10 years earlier than those living in the most affluent areas.

People from Black communities in Lambeth experience a greater of long-term health condition than people from white groups.

Some forms of employment can have an adverse effect on mental and physical health. These include precarious work, low-paid work, dangerous work and workplaces in which a person experiences discrimination and stigma.

On the other hand, good quality and meaningful work has a positive effect on health, resilience, and wellbeing. Black people are less likely to be in employment and when they are, they are less likely to have good quality work.


McPin is leading the project’s developmental evaluation. Working alongside Black Thrive, a community working group, and other partners, we will explore and report lessons from each stage of the project.

A key feature of the evaluation is working with community peer researchers: people from the local community bringing their expertise built upon Black heritage, and/or living with LTCs, and/or experiencing challenges in gaining and maintaining employment.

There are several McPin peer researchers and community peer researchers involved. They use their lived experience and knowledge of mental health to support the project, conducting research in Lambeth and bringing the voice of Black people with LTCs to partners and team meetings.

For the first phase of the project we carried out a rapid review of the literature called the to explore employment support models, with a specific focus on lessons for working with Black people in London.

We were also involved in an , using a community research method, about Covid-19, employment and race in partnership with The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP), which is now complete.

From July 2020 we started the first of several cycles of developmental evaluation. Each cycle lasts four months and uses mixed methods, including surveys, in-depth interviews, reflection work among project staff and partners, and case stories from grant-funded projects.

Read the report showcasing project stories from the Black Thrive grantees.

There is also a toolkit on funding systems change, and an infographic on lessons learnt from creating working groups for the project.

If you would like more information on the project, please visit the Black Thrive website.

For more information on the developmental evaluation and any further queries about the project, please email [email protected].

Read the project report

Project resources

Project report
Project report

Black Thrive Good Work Report

Employment support for Black people with long-term health conditions
Employment • Racial equity | 17th February 2023

Black Thrive Researching the Impacts of Covid

A peer researcher talks about the Black Thrive Employment Project, including the purpose of this research and the importance of taking a community-led approach.
Employment • Racial equity | 17th February 2023
Project report
Project report

Black Thrive: An Equitable Recovery from Covid-19

Insights from Lambeth - Community Research
Employment • Racial equity | 17th February 2023

Work with us

We are always excited to hear from others who want to collaborate on mental health research. From delivering peer research to helping you with public involvement strategies and providing training, get in touch to chat.