UCL Grand Challenges


Champions Project

Researching and co-developing solutions to address how COVID-19 has affected families with young children living in temporary accommodation in the UK.

Public square with a van parked and outside the van are displayed a series of sandwich boards with images and message from children fixed on the boards

13 June 2022


Grant: Ad-hoc support
Year awarded: 2021-22
Amount awarded: £5,000


  • Professor Monica Lakhanpaul, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Diana Margot Rosenthal, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • De Montfort University, Leicester

CHAMPIONS (Children in Homeless Accommodations Managing Pandemic Invisibility Or Non-inclusive Strategies) is an initiative researching how COVID-19 has affected families with young children and what will help. The project does so by listening to the stories and experiences of families who live in temporary accommodations (TA); exploring how the professionals that support them have changed the way they work to adapt to COVID; and together co-developing recommendations to help children and families recover from the pandemic.

The CHAMPIONS team, led by Professor Monica Lakhanpaul, explores how best to reach and help children in TA and their families. By working in partnership with them to co-develop strategies addressing the health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 in the short and long-term. The diverse interdisciplinary research team and project partners includes expertise in co-producing strategies across sectors including child public health, epidemiology, inclusion health, economics, built environments, mental health, digital innovation and public engagement.

The project, funded by ESRC with supplementary support funding from Grand Challenges, involved the creation of a digital knowledge exchange platform and advocates for the essential role of a home in providing a safe, healthy and educational environment. It continues to host tailored public health briefings on this subject for policymakers and healthcare professionals.

Brick wall on side of building with grafitti writing sprayed over it which says 'every child deserves a home 2 be safe healthy & educated

Outputs and Impact

The Champions Project exhibition panel at the Grand Challenges, Grand Impacts exhibition, 2023