As of the end of September this year, the Wester Hailes Community Herbal Clinic officially turned 4! Its been an amazing four years so far, and we are delighted to continue to run this much needed service. The biggest story of the fourth year was that we were turned down by all of our funding applications, leaving us with no sustainable income source to run the service. We refused to be disheartened though as we believe so strongly in the project and so do many of our patients & supporters. Instead we decided to dedicate our efforts to fundraising instead of applying for bigger grants. We launched into an exciting creative period of filmmaking, product creation & now also a beautiful A3 poster. 

We got together with Screen Education Edinburgh to make a short film about the project to help us get our message out there about the work that we do which we will be using as part of a crowdfunder coming up the springtime. We also hired an artist to illustrate a beautiful poster for us to sell which highlights 5 very commonly sold herb species which are actually endangered or at risk of becoming endangered. We feel its really important that folks are made aware of our impact on the natural habitats of these plants and how we can limit our consumption of them by choosing other, locally available species instead. The poster is an attempt to illustrate this in a way that folks might choose to display on their walls or in their shops. Look out for this in the new year in some local Edinburgh shops! Or you can buy a copy now  for £13.50 (including postage & packaging) via our website:

Our other fundraising project has been to create a small range of locally made herbal products to help with issues with sleep, digestion, anxiety and pain. They are available for purchase in the Granton Hub Cafe, and in the Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre reception. So far we’ve taken £850 in product sales, which is a really encouraging start. 

In the clinic itself, we opened our doors for the first time to herbal students doing their clinical training and will be offering more student placements in the New Year. We are very excited to be supporting the next generation of herbalists to flourish and grow, especially two of our own – our receptionist Susi O Donnell, and one of our GP partners Dr Sharon Stewart.

Outside in the community we’ve continued to run regular Communitea sessions – free workshops to support local residents to forage, grow, harvest and make their own medicines from the local area. This winter we started to open it up for regular participants to take the floor and share a skill relating to home remedy making with us all, to grow our knowledge as a community of people interested in taking care of ourselves and the planet. The first session was soap making and was a great success with more than 20 people coming along.

We are looking forward to a few weeks off and then starting all over again in the New Year.

Merry Midwinter to you all & thank you to Vegware and all of our supporters.

To find out more about Grass Roots Remedies and how to support their project, please visit their website here.