The Life Channel is a screen based communications network that, unlike broadcast television, goes out of home to find its audience.
Our audience is all the people that make up a community and everything that The Life Channel does is designed to support thriving, vibrant, sustainable communities.
The original network existed only within GP Surgery waiting rooms and the proposition underpinning The Life Channel grew out of that environment - Promoting Health & Well-Being and Celebrating Life.
Although The Life Channel has now grown from its original base to include a growing network with channels in Schools & Colleges as well as Pharmacies, Opticians and Play Centres, health and wellbeing are still pivotal to The Life Channel approach. We have also extended our definition of health and wellbeing to encompass healthy individuals, healthy families and healthy communities - and to encourage our audience to take individual responsibility for ensuring the health of all these elements of their lives.
Whilst each channel is tailored to address the issues of the specific audience and environment, the GP Surgery channel is the bed-rock of The Life Channel network. As The Life Channel has matured, the principles guiding the development of the Editorial approach have been adapted to encompass the broad community based audience that it serves.
The government community web-site defines a sustainable community as 'a place where people want to live and work now and in the future; that meets the diverse needs of existing and future residents, is sensitive to their environment and contributes to a high quality of life. It should be safe and inclusive, well-planned, built and run, and should offer equality of opportunity and good services for all.'
The road map towards achieving this has been outlined in the Local Area Agreement (LAA) which is entered into between government and local authorities and which is focused on 4 'blocks' targeted against a series of outcomes. These four blocks are:
Few environments offer the opportunity to talk to nearly every member of a community as effectively as the waiting room at the local GP's practice. Most people go see their GP at some point during the year whilst some visit very frequently. The two groups identified as key demographics in this environment are housewives with young children and the over 55's age group.
The Life Channel's programming up to 2009 has been focused on providing peer-to-peer health based information addressing key issues and particularly targeted at these groups:
This editorial approach supports the 'Healthier Communities and Older People' block within the LAA.
The Life Channel is ideally positioned to extend its programming to encompass many of the issues highlighted by the Local Area Agreement.
As the network grows and embraces a wider cross-section of the community, the network's opportunity to support each of the blocks highlighted by the LAA also increases. Through our sites placed within GP Surgeries, The Life Channel addresses outcomes highlighted in both the 'Stronger and Safer Communities' block and the 'Healthier Communities and Older People' blocks. Through our sites in schools across the country The Life Channel focuses on the outcomes highlighted in the 'Children and Young People' block and expounded in the DCFS's Every Child Matters initiative.
This has also been extended to support the DCSF's policy 'The Children's Plan'.
The Life Channel's commitment to supporting 'Community' will be reflected in the network growth as we extend its reach. The Life Channel will be appearing on screens in many locations where people conduct their daily lives - in Shopping Malls, petrol station forecourts and at dental practices. The specific content will be tailored to be appropriate at each location.
The Life Channel's underlying proposition will remain the same - Promoting Health & Well-Being and Celebrating Life.
We refer to 'health' to include a pollution-free atmosphere as well as encouraging an individual to give up smoking and 'well-being' encompasses looking after the old lady who lives next door as well as making pension provision for one's own old age.
The emphasis on individual responsibility will continue to be a crucial part of our approach and we will define that individual responsibility to encompass social and community responsibility. The most important factor in the channel's editorial approach is the celebration of life - its wonder and its opportunities and the genuine belief that all people should be encouraged, facilitated and allowed to share in that celebration.