Good homes, good society, good nation – the 2024 Neil May MBE Memorial webinar

‘Good Homes, Good Communities, Good Nation’, was what inspired Neil May’s work to improve the built environment for health of people and the planet. Andy Mitchell remembers his friend and colleague in his talk to open the 2024 Neil May MBE Memorial webinar (Mould, Damp and Health Inequalities) and reminded us that the reverse can also be true. Bad housing is causing societal injustices affecting health and lives, especially for the poorest communities.


Dr Andy Knox, our keynote speaker goes on to say that “Healthy homes are an important part of the puzzle to fix a sick society”. Dr Knox has recently been awarded the MBE for services to Primary Care and tackling Health Inequalities. His motivational presentation reveals the links between bad housing conditions and the respiratory problems that are burdening the overstretched resources of the NHS.


Damp and mould in homes and schools contributes to increasing respiratory problems and Dr Valentina Marincioni’s presentation shows how this can be avoided. The UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings at UCL, set up by Neil May, continues his work to raise the understanding of why and how mould occurs in buildings.


The death of Awaab Ishak in 2020, as a direct result of exposure to mould, brought this problem to attention of the media and policy makers. Our third speaker, Prof. Sani Dimitroulopoulou (Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist – Indoor Environments, Air Quality and Public Health, UK Health Security Agency and Chair of UKIEG) – explained the latest guidance. In response to the Coroner’s inquiry into the death of Awaab, UKHSA along with DHSC and DLUHC developed a new consolidated guidance on damp and mould aimed at private and social rented landlords, which was published on the 7th of September 2023. UKHSA also led on the quantification of the respiratory burden of disease from exposure to damp and mould in English housing.


Our thanks to the attendees, and a special thanks to the sponsors 21° (formerly known as Green Building Store). We are delighted that through your support and the proceeds from the event we have been able to donate £500 to each of the following charities, World Vision UK and The Birchall Trust.


This webinar was part of a series of events in memory of Neil May MBE. Neil was an inspiration to many who work in the built environment sector and was instrumental in the development of many progressive initiatives including ASBP, UKCMBGood Homes AllianceSustainable Traditional Building Alliance and more. Alongside his innovative work on performance in buildings he was passionate about social equality in housing.


A recording of the webinar is available on our resources.

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