‘Making Scotland Better’ Event

On Tuesday 23 April CHEX held an event in Edinburgh entitled ‘Making Scotland Better: Achieving Radical Change’ with participants from community-led health organisations, local authorities and national statutory bodies.  The theme for the day was radical change in tackling growing health inequalities in Scotland, and effective partnership between communities and policy-makers in making such a change.

The three key presenters at the event spoke on a diverse range of subjects:

  • Gareth Allen from the Scottish Government Third Sector Unit and Lesley Benzie from Lifelink talked about the recent Learning Exchanges between Scottish Government civil servants and community groups
  • Maruska Greenwood from LGBT Centre for Health & Wellbeing presented on the benefits of engaging in partnership working with statutory services, and described the ways in which community groups can highlight and support communities which exist under the radar of public health services (e.g. the over-fifties in the LGBT community)
  • David White, Assistant Manager at Edinburgh CHP, spoke about new relationships and new ways of working with community-led health organisations.

Each presentation was followed by brief discussion by participants, reacting to what they’d heard and sharing related experiences.  There were three workshops in the afternoon, focussing on the benefits of community action and the demonstrable impact it can have within communities.

At the conclusion of the event there was a plenary session where every participant was asked to think about what they could achieve on three levels; individually, locally and nationally, to bring about the radical change required to make an impact on the health inequalities in Scottish communities. As there was a good range of participants from the community development sector, local authorities and national bodies, there was a corresponding range of responses and ideas about what could be done.

From the feedback that CHEX received, the event was viewed as: useful and inspiring to the participants, a good opportunity to network and further illustrative of how community organisations can work to make a difference to tackling health inequalities in Scotland.

CHEX is currently writing a report for the event, bringing together the themes of the day and participant feedback.  We’ll keep you informed on the CHEX website and through our e-bulletin, CHEX-Point Snippets.

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