Susan Lowes, VHS Policy and Engagement Officer and Scottish Government officials, Karen McCallum-Smith and Susie Warden, recently met with Anita Aggarwal, Senior Development Worker at Pilton Community Health Project. Karen and Susie are part of a team responsible for leading the development of the new food body in Scotland. At the beginning of May, Voluntary Health Scotland led an interesting roundtable discussion between the Scottish Government and the third sector looking at food issues in the community and the role and scope of the proposed new food body for Scotland. At this event, Anita offered the civil servants the chance to meet with local people in Pilton to see the work that is being done at a community level and reinforce the themes that were discussed at the roundtable.
For over 25 years, Pilton Community Health Project has worked with local people in North Edinburgh to take steps towards better health. Through a range of community activities and projects, the Health Project works with local people to identify causes of ill health, help to tackle these, and campaign for better health services.
On the visit Karen, Susie and Susan met with local people in Pilton who are part of the Health Project’s International cooking group, Yummy Bread Company and community gardeners. Particular highlights included:
- The Yummy Food Festival; a community food festival, organised by the Yummy Bread Company, that offered cooking workshops and food performances to 500 local people.
- The Pilton Community Food map; a joint project from Pilton Community Health Project and the Food for Thought forum. This is an interactive map that helps provide information about local community food projects that people can get involved with in the Greater Pilton area.
- The Community Garden Project, where local communities have joined together and secured a lease from the Edinburgh City Council to turn unused land into shared community allotments.
They came away not only with a wider range of the issues that affect people in the North Edinburgh community, but also with a strong sense of community interaction and involvement, and a taster of the range of activities and groups that local people can join so they can feel healthier and learn more about how to live healthier lives.
Visit their website to find out more information about the Pilton Community Health Project – www.pchp.org.uk