News from the Network: Spanning the Irish Sea - Sharing Learning and Working Together for Healthier Communities

Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing (SCHW) were delighted to welcome a delegation from the Northern Ireland Healthy Living Centre (HLC) Alliance to Scotland in October 2014.  The HLC Alliance representatives were in Scotland as part of a 2 day study tour to share good practice and to discuss how the SCHW and community led health improvement is being sustained in this country. The Irish delegates come from a wide variety of roles, projects and towns within Northern Ireland; including Seamus Heaney, Project Director from the Old Library Healthy Living Project  in Derry, Tony Doherty, Regional Coordinator for the HLC Alliance in Northern Ireland and Maeve McLaughlin (MLA), elected member of the of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly in Stormont.  

On landing in Scotland the Irish delegates wasted no time and went straight to work by joining a special meeting held in Health n Happy Community Development Trust in Glasgow.  In attendance were representatives of the Scottish Government, CHEX, local councillor and representatives from Scottish projects including SEAL (Glasgow), Shotts HLC and Healthy Valleys (South Lanarkshire).

Of particular interest to the Irish delegates were the discussions about how SCHW has grown its membership from 26 to 75 community led health organisation in the last 4 years and how the membership has been working with the Scottish Government to tackle health inequalities in Scotland.

As part of the discussions both the SCHW and the Northern Irish HLC Alliance have agreed to work closer together in the future and to investigate future funding opportunities for joint working.

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