Orkney Information Hub

Enhancing Wellbeing in Our Island Communities - Updated June 2020

Enhancing Wellbeing in Our Island Communities

(funded by the Aspiring Communities Fund and led by VAO)

 In 2018 VAO in collaboration with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, 7 development trusts and Robert Gordon University commissioned research into community led care in the non linked isles. The research was carried out by Rosie Alexander and the report recommended that the isles communities continue to build and extend existing community services and identify the potential for bringing new services to the isles.

As a result a project has been co-produced with the above partners and Papay Community Council. The islands involved are: Hoy, Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre, Shapinsay, Stronsay and Sandy. The aim of the project is to enhance the wellbeing of older people living on these islands. A project manager and evaluator have been appointed and are employed by VAO. Island wellbeing co-ordinators have been appointed in each island and are managed by each island Development Trust.

The co-ordinators are working hard to produce delivery plans for their individual islands and these plans will be publicly available in the autumn of 2019. Some of the activities already being carried out include organising a dementia friendly workshop on Rousay, providing an outlet for small daily living aids on Hoy and Walls with the support of Selbro, supporting isles initiatives such as setting up Men’s Sheds and looking at ways to encourage the use of existing island assets such as the Healthy Living Centres. They have also provided crucial support to the Community Led Support team to set up workshops in Sanday.

Project Update June 2020

Extending the Reach of the Enhancing Wellbeing In Our Islands Communities Project

The Enhancing Wellbeing Project has been given the opportunity through funding from Aspiring Communities Fund, to continue focussing on the wellbeing of people living in the non-linked islands of Hoy, Shapinsay, Sanday, Stronsay and Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre. This project starting in March 2020 will extend the reach of the original Enhancing Wellbeing in our Island communities (EWOIC) Project, to address other areas of inequality. The existing project team can continue and will develop by building on existing relationships to facilitate solutions to issues of hidden poverty and disadvantage which were emerging during the initial EWOIC project. In their short time in existence the co-ordinator roles have become a safety net to the primary care offered on island. These community-based posts are in a unique position to galvanise local action to find solutions to inequality of access to wellbeing services on the isles.

This funding will enable our unique partnership to progress essential work, and will:-

· Create opportunities for new skills and employment

· Enable the co-production of solutions to the inequalities experienced by individual and groups across the participating islands. Some of these inequalities are already known as they have been highlighted during the EWIOIC project and have yet to be addressed as they were outwith the scope of the initial project.

· Support communities to find their own solution to their own problems

· Demonstrate the significant benefits of early engagement with communities and taking a bottom-up approach

· Have the potential to be a model that can be adapted to address similar problems in other areas

· Demonstrate additionality through the involvement and commitment of several agencies to establish and monitor the chosen solution

· Establish and maintain an innovative partnership between development trusts, HIE, VAO, RGU and Orkney Health and Care which will lay the foundation for sustainable approaches to community challenges

· Build on, or redesign, existing local service provision to provide support to meet local demand and local need and to tackle inequalities in a local context.

· Enable communities to be involved with other partners in planning and delivering services to meet local need

This project aims to deliver significant benefits to island communities. The end result aims to ensure that people are supported to access early interventions thereby reducing the need for statutory interventions. This project will take a holistic, intergenerational approach, which will utilise the full breadth of the community to address issues of inequality, and in particular low income groups, lone parents and workless households.

For more information about the project please contact Rosalind Aitken, Project Manager on rosalind.aitken@vaorkney.org.uk


 enhanced well being

Final Report on Community Led Care

Apprendices to the Community Led Care Report

Enhanced Well-Being Delivery Plan 
















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