October 23, 2013
In rude health
15 years ago, one of the predecessors of the Big Lottery Fund – the New Opportunities Fund – created a special programme to establish healthy living centres across the UK. Scotland got funding for 46. At the outset they took all shapes and sizes and inevitably some fared better than others. But the idea was basically sound and this fledgling movement has thrived. Numbers have since grown to 74 and this year their national umbrella body rebranded.
What’s in a Year? Well in the simplest terms, it’s the amount of time it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun one time. Over this period the Scottish Healthy Living Centre (HLC) Alliance has been extremely busy. As the Alliance approaches it’s AGM on 29th November 2013 the Directors and Alliance organisations can feel rightly proud of the last 12 months. The Directors, who are made up of volunteers from the community-led health improvement organisations in the Alliance, have achieved a lot in the last orbit of the Sun. The number of organisations which make up the Alliance has grown from 26 organisations to 74 this year. These organisations employ over 500 staff, engage more than 3,000 volunteers and provide services to over 300,000 Scottish people every year. The growth in the number of Alliance organisations has prompted a name change to Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing to encompass the character of the wide range of organisations. The name change will be ratified at the AGM. And there’s more, the Alliance has successfully bid for over £300,000 funding from the Health and Social Care Alliance’s ‘Impact Fund’ and the Scottish Governments ‘16b Fund’ over 3 years. This funding is supporting Alliance organisations to deliver ‘new’ much needed community-led, health improving initiatives in Scotland’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
The icing on this substantial cake was the Alliance’s week long appearance at the Scottish Parliament in September. Many MSPs were bowled over by the achievements so far and the enthusiasm of the Directors.
Not bad for a single orbit of the sun!
To learn more about the HLC Alliance or to find out if your organisation can become part of the Alliance go to www.shlca.co.uk or speak to Lindsey on 0141 646 0123