MEN’S 5K: Saturday 19th November

mens-5k-posterThe annual MEN’S 5K helps raise valuable funds for our local Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group and will be held on Saturday 19th November starting from the Stornoway Castle Green at 10.30am (with registration from 10am).

To view/download the entry form simply click here.

MEN’S 5K is the opportunity for men and boys aged over 12, to raise awareness of male cancers.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a couch potato or a marathon elite, walk, jog or run – you can do this – and help raise funds to fight male cancers.

The Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group makes significant contributions to men, and their families, who are living with, or are affected by cancer in the Western Isles.

The future is always unexpected, but with such a group working tirelessly in the Western Isles for our benefit, we can only wish them well and encourage them on their journey.

Success for Localised Vitamin D Films!

vitamin-d-film-how-do-i-getCLICK HERE TO VIEW FILMS

“Fun and quirky” were the words used to describe the three localised short films recently launched to raise awareness of the importance of Vitamin D in childhood.

Featuring local children and adults from the Butt to Barra, the films were created by NHS Western Isles to bring some playfulness to an otherwise unexciting subject, with some light-hearted and humorous results.

Using adults whose voices are dubbed by children, each of the films delivers its own Vitamin D message: The importance of Vitamin D; How do I get my Vitamin D?; and The Healthy Start Scheme. Continue reading

S’mashin Saturday Club

S'mashin Saturday ClubThe S’mashin Saturday Club is a monthly group for young people aged 11-20 years with learning disabilities that focuses on art and physical activity.  The group meets on the last Saturday of the month in different venues, usually from 2-4pm, with staff supporting from different agencies.

Sports, visual arts, music, outdoor activities, bowling, cinema, water sports etc. are some of the activities on offer. It costs £2 per session and a snack is provided. If you would like your son/daughter to become a member or you would like further details, please contact Valerie Russell, at Action for Children 01851 705 080 or email:

For further information on Health Promotion involvement contact Isabel Steele, Senior Health Promotion Officer.

Bronze Award for Angus Mackay & Sons

Angus Mackay & Sons (Back) - Bronze AwardCongratulations to Angus Mackay & Sons (Back) who are the first construction company to have worked on the Healthy Working Lives award programme and achieved the Bronze Award for their work in promoting health and safety with their staff.

Pictured is Chrissie Macdonald from Angus Mackay & Sons (left) being presented with their certificate by Norma MacLeod (right), NHSWI’s Healthy Working Lives Advisor.

Qinetic Training - Mental health and stress awareness - Aug 16Pictured is the last block of QinetiQ employees who took part in the Mental Health & Stress awareness training provided by Norma Macleod, Healthy Working Lives Advisor, and Alison MacDonald, Senior Health Promotion Officer.

The series of training and awareness sessions for staff and managers was held during March to July 2016 and is designed to encourage good practice in promoting positive mental health and well-being, offering managers a broad awareness of mental health and identifying key factors that contribute to a mentally healthy workplace. Continue reading

Golf Week: Fairway to Health

Golf WeekDuring this year’s Golf Week (9-16th July) held by Stornoway Golf Club, a wide range of NHSWI staff offered health advice and information to those taking part in the event.

Staff from Health Protection, Dental Department and the Health Promotion Department provided information on smoking and substance misuse, whilst promoting the importance of bowel screening, AAA screening, oral health, and general health and wellbeing advice.

Staff would like to thank Stornoway Golf Club for hosting them.

‘Safe Space’ at Hebridean Celtic Festival

HCF 2016During last week’s Hebridean Celtic Festival, the Outer Hebrides Alcohol & Drug Partnership teamed up with Action for Children to hold a ‘Safe Space’ tent for festival-goers.

The ‘Safe Space’ tent, a regular feature at the Festival, offers an area for young people to receive emergency interventions and obtain information on local support services.  Staff would like to thank Hebridean Celtic Festival organisers for their support.

Festival safety messages aboard MV Loch Seafort

With the large arrival of visitors attending last week’s Hebridean Celtic Festival, staff from the Outer Hebrides Alcohol & Drug Partnership and Health Promotion Department took to the seas offering substance misuse/safety advice and health and wellbeing information to travellers aboard the MV Loch Seaforth.

Staff would like to thank Caledonian MacBraynes for hosting them.

THINKUKNOW? The world changes… children don’t

ThinkUKnowWhat would the story of Romeo & Juliet look like in the present day? Star-crossed teens messaging, sending snaps and taking risks – all without their parents being aware.

That’s why it’s important to talk to your child about sex, relationships and the internet.THINKUKNOW offers information suitable for different age groups such as 5-7 years, 8-10 years, 11-13 years and 14+years. There is also useful information for parents and carers as well as teachers and trainers.

Visit for further information and advice.

Don’t Let Alcohol Spoil Your Festival Memories

HCF PosterNHS Western Isles in conjunction with the Outer Hebrides Alcohol & Drug Partnership and Hebridean Celtic Festival have produced a poster to be advertised in this year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival publications.

The poster is aimed at raising awareness of remembering Heb Celt for the music, not the hangover – and promoting a safe and enjoyable experience for all those attending this year’s Festival.

Images used are courtesy of Hebridean Celtic Festival taken at their previous events.

Poverty Awareness Training: 11th August Course

WI Poverty Action Group imageDue to demand another Poverty Awareness Training course will be run on Thursday 11th August in The Shed, Francis Street, Stornoway, from 9.30am-4.30pm.

Refreshments will be provided but participants are asked to bring their own lunch.

The Poverty Awareness Training course, which is KSF matched, is delivered by NHSWI and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff who draw heavily on their knowledge of poverty issues and on their direct experience of working with individuals and groups who are experiencing poverty.  This one-day course aims to: Continue reading

Father’s Day Treasure Hunt

Treasure HuntCelebrating this year’s ‘Year of the Dad’ and Men’s Health Week, a Father’s Day Treasure Hunt will be held on Saturday 18th June, starting 10am with registration from 9.30am at the Bridge Centre, Bayhead, Stornoway.

The treasure hunt will take the form of using clever pictures to scavenge for clues and is open to fathers and adult male role models with children under 10 years. Although aimed at father figures and male role models, women will also be welcome to participate

Limited spaces available – register in advance to avoid disappointment. Register by telephone: (01851) 762017 or email:

Baby Massage Classes

Baby MassageAre you interested in free baby massage classes in your area?

Classes will be held over a 5 week period by IAIM trained baby massage instructors and babies must be aged under 12 months.

To register your interest please contact Alison Macdonald, Senior Health Promotion Officer, (01870 602588) or email:

Male 7-a-side Works/Trades Football Competition

Football CompAs part of the annual Men’s Health Week, a Male 7-a-side Works/Trades Football Competition has been organised to take place on Wednesday 15th June 2016 at the All Weather Pitch, Stornoway, from 6.30pm-10pm.

All players must be 16 + and currently working in the same trade or company. No more than 3 Lewis and Harris Football Association Players in One team. Cost: £10 per team, age: 16+, Max no of teams: 16 teams only.

For further information or a booking form please contact Community Sports Development Officer on 01851 822785 or email

Western Isles Financial Inclusion Pilot

OHCPP Financial Inclusion Advice Services - Referral Pathway

Funding was received from the Scottish Government Health and Welfare Reform Development Fund to run a pilot in the Western Isles to increase front-line staff understanding of welfare reform and health inequalities and to develop their role in mitigating against the negative impact of poverty on health outcomes.

The project aims to challenge stigma and increase awareness and knowledge of poverty issues and welfare reform amongst front-line staff. Additionally the pilot wanted to introduce routine enquiry by health staff about money worries to help them identify individuals experiencing financial hardship or crisis and to facilitate their onward referral for specialist money and welfare advice, through the introduction of a Universal Referral Form. Continue reading

Poverty Awareness Training

The Poverty Awareness Training course, which is KSF matched, is delivered by NHSWI and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff who draw heavily on their knowledge of poverty issues and on their direct experience of working with individuals and groups who are experiencing poverty.  This one-day course aims to

  • increase participants knowledge and understanding of the relationship between poverty and inequality and how poverty impacts on individuals lives,
  • enable participants to identify ways in which they can provide an effective service to people who experience poverty.

The course has been well attended each time it has been previously run with participants from the NHSWI, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Action for Children, Hebridean Housing Partnership and Tighean Innse Gall.

For further information please contact Mary Maclean, Health Promotion on 762014 or

Men’s Health Week: 13th-19th June

HPD ButtonWe all get stressed. The question is: what do you do about it?  This is the theme of Men’s Health Week 2016.

It matters because if we don’t release stress, it can turn into something more serious.

This year, one in four of us will develop a mental health problem. That is odds of 3 to 1. Or about the same as France or Germany winning the Euro 2016 football. In other words, it’s likely to happen sooner or later if we let stress build.

There are many things we can do to beat stress: exercise, sing, dance, laugh, play or listen to music, paint, write, volunteer, learn something new and lots more.

Our message to men: talk about how you beat stress, talk about what causes it. Talk to your mates, talk to your family.

Health Promoting Health Service (HPHS)

HPD ButtonThe CMO (2015) 19 letter was issued in October 2015 to replace CEL (01) 2012 Health Promoting Health Service.

This followed the framework of measures communicated through 2 Chief Executive Letters (2008 and 2012) which have brought forward significant change throughout Scotland and the Western Isles.

These included the achievement of Healthy Living and Healthy Working Lives Awards, introduction of Smoke-free grounds, increased referrals to smoking cessation support and the attainment of Baby Friendly accreditation. Continue reading

Mental Health Training

HWL logoTraining in mental health is continuing with sessions run for MG Alba in Stornoway and Qinetiq in Uist.  Two sessions have taken place at MG Alba and three in Qinetiq with others planned.

Line managers have a crucial role in supporting the health and wellbeing of employees, from communication, to clarity of job role, line Managers can influence the success of a team.