What we have been up to and how Vegware funding has helped us.

We are a community-led health project based in a deprived area of SW Edinburgh. Through our broad programme of healthy eating and exercise services we aim to: • Reduce social isolation • Promote healthy lifestyles including physical activity and healthy eating • Improve mental wellbeing • Build strong, inclusive and resilient communities.

There have been significant changes within our organisation over the last 12 months. Firstly staffing; Lucy Aitchison, Manager left in January ’19 and Jen Richards took over the newly created role of Chief Executive at the end of February ’19. Jen has a background of over 20 years leading and developing third sector organisations in particular health inequalities. One of our development workers retired and her vacant post was split into 2; Sam Gardiner and Alicja Wypasek joined the team in February ’19 both bringing a varied new skill set into the organisation; enabling future development.

Leading on from a community consultation carried out in 2018 – 19 our organisation re-named to B healthy together; community feedback showed our old name (Broomhouse Health Strategy Group) didn’t connect with them nor reflect the work that we do within our communities. As part of this renaming we have gone through a re-branding exercise which included the creation of a new logo and brand with new marketing materials to reflect this. We launched a new website as part of this re-branding and our organisation now has new fresh, friendly branding which has gained positive feedback from not only our community but funders and other organisations we work with.

Finally another significant change for the organisation was the move from our old premises to the newly built Broomhouse Hub in late August of this year. This move has been positively received by our staff and volunteer team and our service users. We are working hard to create a new welcoming space in our new location. All of this has been on top of the daily work that we do here at B healthy together!

Vegware’s grant has been put towards are core overheads which has helped to support our whole programme of health and wellbeing services.

This year we have achieved the following:

Adult Cooking: 20 sessions of adult and parent & child cookery classes, in partnership with key local organisations,Tasty Bite Drop-Ins: 40 sessions held, Baby’s First Foods: 4 terms of 6 weeks held, BuggyGym: completed 80 sessions, Chair Exercise class: 40 sessions held, Walking Group: 60 sessions held, Mindfulness: 28 sessions held. We co-hosted the Broomhouse Street party this year where over 900 people attended; we had 4 stalls including food science, tasty bites and smoothie bikes (which were kindly supported by vegware cups and straws). We’ve piloted Caribbean Dance and Walking netball to this year and held other one off events! All in all we reached over 1500 people at our different events and activities.

Plans for the year ahead.

Over the next year, we need to ensure our core overheads continue to be supported, and we will put Vegware’s generous donation towards them, to enable us to focus on developing all our services to meet the local community needs.

Our organisation will be moving into a development phase in 2020 due to the move into new premises, new staffing and the closure of our fruit and veg shop in Broomhouse. This provides us with an an exciting opportunity to consult and work with the local community to design services around the local need.

Additionally we are hoping to pilot new community grow, cook, eat sessions with local partners Y people and Whinpark Medical Centre. The aim is to support people living in the accommodation unit (Y people) with their neglected raised vegetable beds and to reduce social isolation and increase social capital for these tenants. These sessions will include a hearty meal of soup or similar after the sessions and a chance to connect with others in the unit. Similarly the local doctors surgery are keen to work with us and are allowing us the use of their community garden at the surgery to carry out similar sessions with additional members of the community.

We are additionally increasing the number of community meals provided in 19/20, our goal is to double the number from 20 to 40 per year. We will be piloting different locations for these meals and will continue to work in partnership with Bethany Christian Trust on 20 of these within the year.

We anticipate further developments in the activities we will be providing next year after we have carried out community consultation.