The Alliance of Community-led Health Improvement Organisations

Community Learning Exchange

The Community Learning Exchange, hosted by Scottish Community Alliance, is now into its second year of funding. 98 applications have been supported so far, with 145 organisations benefiting.

The following documents together with an application form are now available through the following Links

Or Contact:   or Phone 0131 260 9501

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. This comes highly recommended. Read More.

"Saving Money by doing the right thing"

"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.  It offers a refreshingly alternative and compelling argument and guide to the ways in which public services need to change (at no additional cost!) to provide more effective support for improving health and wellbeing. A key theme of the argument is that services are 'local by default'. The case studies of individuals situations are excellent This is well worth the time invested in reading its 50 pages.

Views of local people on Social Prescribing

The following comments are a selection of those made by local people in the communities that will be engaged in the SCHW/HLCA Social Prescribing Project.  The full report on the views of local people produced to support the SCHW/HLCA Social Prescribing Project can be accessed here.

Developing a Blueprint for Embedding Community Led Approaches to Improving Health and Wellbeing

SCHW is currently developing a blueprint for embedding community led approaches to health and well-being into national health and investment strategies.  The national developments highlighted below provide some sense of the change that is needed to current strategies to ensure new approaches are included in Scotland’s national strategies for improving health and well-being where health inequalities are greatest.

The Scottish Government's Health and Social Care Delivery Plan ‘A Fairer Healthier Scotland: 2017 – 2022’ identifies ‘five strategic priorities... based on evidence of what works’. Strategic Priority 4: ‘Healthy and Sustainable Places’ includes as evidence of what works ‘A strong and resilient community - led health sector has effectively contributed to policy and practice to improve the health and well-being of those in greatest need.’

The Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy for Scotland sets out a range of key commitments across the full spectrum of mental health improvement, services and recovery to ensure delivery of effective, quality care and treatment for people with a mental illness, their carers and families.  Mental illness is one of the top public health challenges in Europe.  This Strategy brings mental health improvement work and work to improve mental health services together for the first time in a single strategy.  It recognises the role of communities and the third sector particularly in promoting ‘participation and empowerment in a rights-based approach’ and physical well-being.

A More Active Scotland: Scotland’s Physical Activity Delivery Plan presents actions across multiple sectors to increase physical activity. In order to increase

wellbeing, self-esteem and physical health. It recognises the need for “enabling and facilitating the wide range of others – third sector organisations, communities, individuals – who play crucial roles in making the practical changes” necessary to meet the desired outcomes, and promises to “pursue asset-based approaches which empower communities to identify their own goals and meet their own needs through physical activity and sport”.

Launching the consultation on a draft strategy for reducing loneliness and isolation in January 2018 the Minister said “... we want communities and society to lead it. We believe communities themselves are the best places to ensure people who may be at risk of becoming isolated or lonely can access the support they need.” In our response, SCHW argue that loneliness and isolation are both the direct and the root cause of many health problems and that a community-based approach to improving health and well-being uses overcoming isolation as one of its main means of achieving better outcomes for people.

The Democracy Matters conversation launched by the Scottish Government in May 2018 suggests that in addition to “communities having a stronger voice when decisions about them are taken” we should consider them “having the powers and

resources to use as they think best”.

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