Healthy Valleys Awarded £120,000 from Big Lottery Fund to Deliver Health and Wellbeing Project


Healthy Valleys has been awarded £40,000, per annum for the next three years, from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver the Social Prescribing Project. Partners from across Scotland and Northern Ireland will be brought together, in this, the largest and first cross country project of its kind.

Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing (SCHW) and the Northern Ireland Healthy Living Centre Alliance (HLCA) have come together as a partnership to deliver the project.  Each represents a network of community-led organisations working to deliver better health and wellbeing outcomes with and for local people.

Social prescribing links primary medical care to community based resources and local support services and is backed by a social model for health.  This recognises that good health and wellbeing are influenced by a wide range of individual, interpersonal, organisational, social, environmental, political and economic factors.

Local medical and social work professionals, including GPs and practice nurses, will be able to use social prescribing to refer patients who are isolated or experiencing loneliness or presenting with social psychological and anxiety symptoms to a link person - the social prescriber.

Healthy Valleys has been tackling health inequalities within the rural South Lanarkshire area since 2005. Based in Lockhart Community Hub, Lockhart Hospital in Lanark, the staff and volunteer team provide a wide range of activities and support to people of all ages from early years to later life. These include, children’s play activities, healthy eating and cooking classes, stress management, holistic therapies, stop smoking services. One to one support to access community activities and healthcare appointments is also provided.

Lesley McCranor, Executive Manager said “Healthy Valleys has been successfully delivering a social prescribing model alongside a local GP Practice for the past 2 years. This Award from The Big Lottery will allow us to continue to develop and expand this model in the rural area and help support more people to improve their health and wellbeing”.

John Cassidy, Chair of the Social Prescribing Project in Scotland said: “We are hugely grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for their support in this cross country project. Social prescribing could change the way we look at primary care for future generations.  It is a holistic approach to reducing medication and improving health behaviours.  It empowers patients and communities, supports greater independence and reduces reliance on primary healthcare, ultimately delivering better outcomes for people and society.”

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will be able to make a big difference to people across Scotland.  It will provide a valuable connection between the health service and the community, across two countries, building on strengths which already exist, to improve people's lives.

* The ten Scottish organisations are:

  • The Hub – Your Community Action Centre, Dumfries
  • Healthy N Happy Community Development Trust, Rutherglen, Glasgow
  • Healthy Valleys, Lanark
  • SEAL Community Health Project, Gorbals, Glasgow
  • Health in Mind, Edinburgh, East Lothian and Scottish Borders (SPP service)
  • Getting Better Together, Shotts
  • Annexe Communities, Glasgow
  • yipworld, Cumnock
  • Your Voice, Inverclyde
  • Healthy Option Oban and Lorn