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Contact Us

For more information on the Scottish Communities for Health & Wellbeing  and what we do in your area get in touch with us using the contact form Here

The Alliance of Community-led Health Improvement Organisations

Latest Updates

The Community Learning Exchange, hosted by Scottish Community Alliance.

The Community Learning Exchange newsletter on the 'news' page. which includes good examples, provides details of the excellent Community Learning Exchange Programme. The programme once again provides financial support for host organisations and visiting organisations who want to share good practice and expertise. For the links go to  Updates

“New SCHW Organisations”

There are over 70 community led organisations that make up SCHW.  SCHW is very interested in community led health and wellbeing improvement organisations that would be interested in becoming part of SCHW  If you are or know of an organisation which might be interested in becoming part of SCHW please contact for further information.

The Social Prescribing Project

SCHW and the Health Living Centre Alliance (HLCA) in Northern Ireland have submitted a joint bid to the Big Lottery Fund UK for a major project to accelerate the use of social prescribing across both countries.  The project will involve 10 SCHW organisations in Scotland and 10 HLCs in Northern Ireland in the first phase. Further phases will depend on making a positive and persuasive case backed by evidence of its impact on individuals, local communities, local authorities, NHS trusts and the Scottish Government  (Read Here)

Views of local people on Social Prescribing

As part of the SCHW/HLCA Social Prescribing Project the views of local people in the 8 communities engaged in the project were gathered through one to one discussions and in small focus groups. The report on the views can be accessed here.  Some quotes from the people in the communities are presented in the Updates page(Read Here)

“Inequality is Not Inevitable – A guide for Inequality Activists” by The Equality Trust 2016. This helpful, practical report is full of excellent information and ideas on lobbying decision makers, including templates for letters and useful sources of information as well as tips on writing press releases and “pitching your story” and good reasons for joining the Equality trust. Worth a read. Access at

Realising the Value : Ten key actions to put people and communities at the heart of health and well-being (November 2016) Read Here

The Emerging Future

An offer to the Scottish Government from Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing. Read Here

Important for SCHW Members

It is important when a case is being made to the Scottish Government and or to other funders that we provide evidence of the amazing resource Scotland has in its community-led health improvement organisations.

Read Here

Saving Money by doing the right thing" is an excellent report by  Locality', a nationwide network of community enterprises, development trusts, settlements and social action centres. Read Here

The Emerging Future:

SCHW is delighted to present a detailed offer to help the Scottish Government. We have a vision and a firm determination to see Scotland at the top of European health league tables with communities placed central to this transformation and we believe this transition has already started. Change for the good is happening in Scotland and the Scottish Government and Scotland can be leading the way in Europe and in the UK and we are offering to help.

Over the past 4 years many SCHW organisations have been visited by academics, policy makers and practitioners interested in our approaches to mental health and health improvement, community-led dimensions and volunteering. Representatives from Canada, Denmark, Northern Ireland to name but a few and we have established a longer term relationship with them. We are definitely at the forefront in many ways; however, we have a long way to go to truly reduce inequalities and poverty and to establish a healthier and fairer society. SCHW can help. Read Here

Featured Organisation: Health in Mind

Health in Mind is a charity promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in Scotland. We do this by providing a wide range of services to support people to make a positive difference to their lives. We work with around 3,000 people every year, helping them live the lives they want to live.

We work in Edinburgh, Mid, East and West Lothian and the Scottish Borders.  We also have some Scotland wide services. You can read more about our Mission and the services we offer by following the link here: Health in Mind

Our mission

At Health in Mind our mission is to promote tolerance and greater understanding of mental health issues and we do this by:

Our vision

At Health in Mind our vision is of supportive communities where all people:

Our values

At Health in Mind, we treat people with respect, integrity and compassion at all times. We work with people in a person-centred way; agreeing individual goals with them and providing the support they need to live the life they want to live.

Our approach is inclusive and we are keen to break down the barriers which prevent some people from accessing resources that could improve their mental health and wellbeing. At Health in Mind, we are passionate about realising the potential of the people using our services; our staff and our volunteers. Health in Mind has around 120 members of staff and around 150 volunteers at any one time and are proud to hold the Investing in Volunteers Award and the Investors in People accreditation.


‘SCHW response to the ‘Tackling Social Isolation and Loneliness and Building Stronger Social Connections’ draft strategy’

1, Loneliness and isolation are both the direct and the root cause of many health problems. A community based approach to improving health and wellbeing uses overcoming isolation as one of its main means of achieving better outcomes for people. Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing member organisations have great experience of tackling them. Most of our wide range of activities and projects include reducing isolation and building social connections as a key component. (see q7).

We offer activities and experiences which are often in themselves healthy for mind and/or body. But it is the impact of getting involved with others, supporting each other, and deciding on future activities which is often crucial to their success.

Community based approaches always aim to a have a flexibility in response to individual and group needs and wishes which enables this important sense of control and agency. We typically offer opportunities for informal drop-in and socialisation combined with more structured programmes of activity, learning or therapy.

We are also often a first point of contact for primary health care and other social services seeking solutions for issues faced by isolated people. Over the next few years we plan to deliver a major programme developing community-led social prescribing which should develop the capacity of the health, care and community sectors to work together and should demonstrate the effectiveness of them doing so.

You can read more here: Questions and the Answers

Knowledge is Power”  The report of a survey carried out by the Scottish Community Development Centre and the Poverty Alliance.

The full report and the executive summary can be accessed on the SCDC website

The following are from the Introduction to the report in the Executive Summary: and the “What now? section of the report.

The power of community-led action research "Community-led action research is not research for the sake of it, to prove a theory or to satisfy the curious. It is about people asking their own questions about the issues they experience, getting the information, and evidence they need, and testing actions for change."

From June 2016 to October 2017, SCDC and the Poverty Alliance worked alongside ten community organisations from across Scotland to identify what a support resource, designed for communities to undertake their own action research processes, would look like. Together we identified what impacts community-led action research can lead to, what more might be needed to embed action research processes and help them work well, and where challenges might lie. In short, we began to design an action research support project, from the ground up.

What now?

To help this work to continue, participants called for the following actions to be taken forward:

• The establishment of a new cross sector alliance to co-ordinate and manage a community-led action research resource

• The creation of a locus for access to practical resources, and for centralising research evidence

• The development of a cohort of skilled practitioners and trainers in action research, drawn from community organisation’s across Scotland

• The establishment of a fund for communities to pay for participation costs associated with their inquiries

• The development of a peer-led learning network

The creation of spaces and opportunities for communities and decision makers to share and deliberate research findings as a way of informing local actions and national priorities.  Read the Full Report Here

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Transforming Lives Project

Re-Connect Group

Transforming Lives

SMHFF Exhibition

'Burns Night'  'Gardening brings people together'