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Brand Purpose Work & Wellbeing Health

Sheffield babies wear date of death bands to slam inequality


By John Glenday, Reporter

March 27, 2023 | 3 min read

Health Equals, a newly formed coalition of charities, businesses and the public sector, is campaigning to close the life expectancy gap in which babies born in Sheffield live 12 years less than in other parts of the UK.

Don't Panic

Health Equals calls out preventable life expectancy discrepancy

‘Lives Cut Short’ sees the identity wristbands of newborn babies edited to show their life expectancy, a figure which stands at 78 in Sheffield but 90 in more affluent areas.

The stark divergence in projected lifespan is all the more damning as it is ‘largely preventable’, boiling down to essential qualities of education, housing, work, environment, and community.

The emotive campaign seeks to motivate social change in the UK by graphically highlighting geographic inequities, with creative agency Don't Panic pushing the message across billboards and geo-targetted social.

Georgia Stephenson, creative at Don’t Panic said: “What better way to demonstrate health inequality than with a newborn baby? Someone who has made no decisions about their health at all but simply because of the area that they’re born in is likely to live up to 16 years less than if they were born elsewhere in the UK. The campaign is heartbreaking because the reality is.”

A custom website serves as the heart of the campaign, enabling people to find out the average life expectancy in their local area.


Campaign: Lives Cut Short

Agency: Don’t Panic / @dontpanicldn

Founder: Joe Wade

Creative partner: Rick Dodds

Creative Director: George McCallum

Creative: Georgia Stephenson

Junior creative: Katie Richardson

Client partner: Jane Marshall

Senior account manager: Rheia Chand

Executive producer: Jennifer Clare Houlihan

Producer: Chloe Shaw

Junior producer: Ani Bosco

Strategy and engagement partner: Ellie Moore

Brand: Health Equals / @Health_Equals

Head of Health Equals: Carrie Hume

Communications and campaigns manager: Tom Chapman

Senior strategy and engagement officer Martina Kane

Digital marketing and brand officer: Maeve Gordon

Engagement and program manager: Sarah Lawson

Media and public affairs officer: Holly Beatile

Program and operations administrator: Louise Farley

Brand Purpose Work & Wellbeing Health

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