The Alliance of Community-led Health Improvement Organisations

Contact Information:



Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.                                 Terms & Conditions                                

Terms & Conditions

Registered Office:

16 Farmeloan Road


G73 1DL

Registered Scottish Charity:

No SCO44327


Design by



Blueprint for a Healthier Scotland

A Proposal to the Scottish Government

Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing (SCHW) has been working for three years on producing a Blueprint for a healthier Scotland to present to the Scottish Government. Many community led organisations have contributed to shaping the Blueprint and many critical friends have commented on drafts.  Thank you for your great help.  We now have the final version of the Blueprint.  The executive summary is on the Updates page where there is also a link to the full Blueprint document.

The Blueprint is a detailed, approach to delivering empowering and enabling investment in communities to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and neighbourhoods.  Building on Scotland’s great and under-valued asset of community led organisations and establishing new local partnerships are at the centre of the Blueprint.  The current crisis has illustrated in an amazing way just how communities can respond quickly and effectively in emergency situations.

We will be promoting the Blueprint with key decision makers soon and in the run up to the Scottish parliamentary elections next year. It would be great if the ideas in the Blueprint found their way into the manifestos. We think they should. Please promote the Blueprint if opportunities arise for discussions with local politicians on the lessons we are learning from the current crisis. The note below gives some of the arguments for supporting the Blueprint.  Please let me know what you think.

You can read the full Blueprint here

just click the link below

Blueprint for a Healthier Scotland

‘Support for the Blueprint’ from a wide range of critical friends.

‘It is a good match for the work they have been doing both with dementia-friendly community initiatives and projects involving care experienced young people’. 

‘Scottish Islands Federation would like to offer its support to the Blueprint. There is clearly an appetite emerging for a new ‘normal’.

‘To #Build Back Better.  I believe the Blueprint proposal is well placed to be part of the solution. Its time has indeed come. The sooner we can make this a reality the better’

‘A long-term national investment in the core costs of community health anchor organisations will certainly help to sustain, embed, and grow a strong and cost-effective community-led health improvement sector’.

‘We also believe the collective knowledge, expertise and collaborative practices of SCHW and its members is well-suited to fulfilling the role of successfully delivering this proposal’.


‘Approaches are absolutely relevant mirror our own community health development experiences and approaches’

‘I think it's a pragmatic approach that could nonetheless result in some quite radical outcomes. The idea of shifting power and capacity to local communities, away from the health bureaucracies is timely, and, as you have shown, doable’.

‘It does make a strongly evidenced case for what would be a transformative shift’.

‘On the Blueprint- we’re really excited about this. I’m going to admit that I forgot some of the detail of the model when we were writing our Covid work and I wish I’d seen the final report sooner. I would have suggested an embedded community health system all across Scotland as a key recommendation. It is so exactly what was missing during Covid that I imagine what would have happened if we’d had such a thing. It would have been so powerful’.

"What your Blueprint represents is not just a programme of investment, in many ways it's more a call for a change in the way we think about health and well-being in our communities". 


Blueprint for

a Healthier


A Proposal

to the Scottish


What makes SCHW distinctive?

Community-led health and wellbeing improvement organisations have demonstrated during the pandemic that they :–

SCHW organisations are also frequently the impetus for community renewal and empowerment – key drivers of a more equitable society, forming partnerships with other local groups, the NHS and local government.

What SCHW does

SCHW is an advocate for community led approaches to improving health and wellbeing.  Wherever possible the Board of SCHW makes connections and partnerships with local and national organisations, statutory services, primary health professionals and local and national decision makers.  We aim to influence national and local strategies for health and wellbeing improvement by making the case for an enabling and empowering investment of core funding in the social model of health in local communities. In this way SCHW will deliver on a range of national health priorities at a local level.  (See section 5 and Appendix B of the Blueprint)

In practical terms, SCHW organisations:

Case Studies to support the ‘Blueprint for a Healthier Scotland’ - How community led health and well-being organisations responded to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for every section of our society. Whilst putting great pressure on acute health services, it has also exposed yet again the impact of inequalities in health. Lockdown, social distancing and closure of many economic, community and leisure activities have put great strain on the ways in which people protect or improve their well-being, and therefore in the longer term their physical and mental health; and a risk of greater social isolation has been added to the high levels that already existed for many people.

Many people work to tackle health inequalities and promote health and well-being in communities, in a wide variety of public services and voluntary organisations. But there are among them a range of independent grass-roots bodies which are community-led and for whom promoting health and well-being is the principal focus of their activities. Scottish Communities for Health and Well-being (SCHW) exists to bring such organisations together, and there are currently 78 across Scotland in its network.

We have been hearing stories from around Scotland about how such organisations have been playing central roles in the enormous wider community response to the pandemic. We thought it would be helpful to capture a little of this by researching and providing these case studies of what organisations have been doing. We also report a few of their immediate impressions of the impact of the crisis.

Click to Read

The eight organisations described here work in very different parts of Scotland, from Dumfries to Aberdeenshire and from inner cities to rural areas. Some have a special focus on young people and families, or on older people; many have activities for all sections
of their communities. All will encounter people experiencing mental health challenges; some have a more specific focus on supporting those people. But all of them work by knowing the specific needs of individuals and their communities and draw on a similar range of activities – activities which bring people together in groups, offer personal advice, support and practical help, and create opportunities to live healthy, mentally and physically active lives.

SCHW final version Covid Case Studies (1).pdf

The organisations in the Case Studies volunteered to be included. We know that the great majority of the independent SCHW organisations are taking special initiatives to deal with the crisis in their communities.

The outpouring of mutual aid and volunteering that has been seen has been vital to support those most affected by the crisis. We believe that it has often been most effective when mobilised or supported by organisations like those featured in the Case Studies, since these:

In the Case Studies we see how organisations have been able to:

Use this link to access the full report on the Case Studies.  They are truly motivating.


Phone: John Cassidy on 0141-646-0123