Following the launch of our Living in the Gap report on Wednesday the 18th of March, an evening reception for VHS was held in the Scottish Parliament to discuss the findings and recommendations. The event was hosted by Murdo Fraser MSP and featured an overview of the report from Claire Stevens, Chief Officer at Voluntary Health Scotland followed by a ministerial address from Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement & Mental Health. Two third sector organisations, Circle and Includem (both of which feature as case studies in the report) were represented respectively by Maura Daly and David Ferrier, who gave presentations on their vital work.
One of the main messages of the evening was ‘health inequalities are everybody’s business’ and this was reflected by the presence of around 80 guests from across the voluntary, public and independent sectors. In our attendee feedback, one guest commented:
“The event was a very positive forum for discussion – to open up possibilities for future consideration in bringing voluntary organisations work to the forefront and highlight the potential for partnership and collaborative working with statutory services. I think, as voluntary organisations we aim to provide a medium from the voices of the real-life story of individuals and service users to be heard, and the event really left me feeling that VHS is championing and working to amplify those voices, enabling the value of the work of voluntary organisations to be recognised and sustained”.
Many of the comments from the evening were captured on twitter under #LivingintheGap You can view highlights from the evening through our Storify report found here.
We will be hosting further events and engagement work around the report and would like to hear from you if you would like to be involved. Please contact Lauren Blair, Programme Engagement Officer at VHS on 0131 474 6190 firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Summary: VHS_LIVING_IN_THE_GAP_EXECUTIVE_SUMMARY_MARCH_15_WEBFRIENDLY_VERSION