Shaping Places for Wellbeing Across Scotland: A Partnership Approach

Irene Beautyman

Irene Beautyman

Irene Beautyman
Guest Author
Irene is the Place & Wellbeing Partnership Lead at Public Health Scotland and the Improvement Service. Irene’s role involves bridging public health and local government to support place based approaches...
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We will learn from each other as we go. We will share this nationally. We encourage you to join us on that journey.

People living in Scotland should all have the opportunity to thrive. To live a healthy life in the places that they live, work and play. The places where people live have a significant impact on not just how long they live but on enabling them to live free from illness during that longer life. The factors that impact on our lives (the social determinants of health) can include the work we do, our education, income, where we live and the physical environment that surrounds us. Some aspects of a place will nurture and promote good health while others can be detrimental. The distribution of these characteristics is not equal. Those living in areas of greater deprivation are less likely to have access to the aspects that nurture health and wellbeing.

The Shaping Places for Wellbeing Programme grew from an ambition to change this and the desire to ensure that everyone in Scotland can live in a place that has the characteristics that will nurture health and wellbeing.

Designing the Shaping Places for Wellbeing Programme

To anchor the programme we drew inspiration from the principles that Christie recommended for the future of Scotland’s public services back in 2011 and used the Place Standard Tool to define the characteristics that every place needs to enhance wellbeing. These Place and Wellbeing Outcomes:

  • Are preventative in nature
  • Depend upon strong partnership working to deliver them
  • Require the participation and meaningful involvement of those with local lived knowledge of the place

Taking a partnership approach to designing the Shaping Places for Wellbeing Programme

At this point we developed a collaboration with the People Powered Results Team, a Specialist Enterprise from Nesta. We drew on their experiences of designing and delivering place based programmes that put people at the heart of change and we created a programme design underpinned by the following key principles:

  • Data driven decision making & action
  • Collaborative, cross system partnership working at local, regional and national levels
  • Sharing Learning and insights gathered

What next?

This is a really exciting opportunity for Public Health Scotland and the Improvement Service to work collaboratively with a wide range of local and national stakeholders,  learning how to shape new ways of living in local places that reduce impact on inequalities and nurture people’s health and wellbeing.

The Shaping Places for Wellbeing programme will be delivered over three years and is shaped by three interlinked activities

  • Local support to 4 places across Scotland all experiencing inequalities but with differing contexts
  • Local learning networks, sharing learning between these 4 places and other learning partners with similar ambitions.
  • A National leadership cohort from Scottish Government and COLSA,  providing a connection between local learning and national decision making

The Programme will work with four towns Clydebank, Alloa, Ayr and Dunoon. Through this work we aim to tackle inequalities, strengthen local partnership working and learn how we can better involve citizens and communities throughout the programme.


For more information about the Shaping Places for wellbeing programme, please contact Irene Beautyman.

For more information about the People Powered Results Team and the programme Design please contact [email protected]

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