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.

Health Awards for the Western Isles

HWL logoThree workplaces in Stornoway picked up awards for their efforts to raise awareness of health and wellbeing in their workplaces.

Western Isles Foyer and MG Alba achieved the Bronze award while the D.W.P. office in Stornoway achieved the Gold award.

These workplaces have achieved Awards for taking a number of steps to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff, such as promoting healthy eating and exercise programmes, mental health and well-being promotion, on-site smoking cessation and health and lifestyle checks.

The Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force

The creation of the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force was the result of an action point arising from the Scottish Housing Event held on 18th November 2014.

One of the action points in the Joint Delivery Plan for Housing in Scotland was for the Scottish Government to set up a specific Task Force with a remit to develop a specific set of actions relevant to rural/remote and off-gas grid properties.  Continue reading

Macaulay Farm’s “Berry Good for You!”

Fas Fallain imageThe Macaulay Farm’s  “Berry Good for You!” growing initiative will encourage members to engage in the expansion of an already successful outdoor vegetable growing project, which benefits both their physical and mental health and development.

The project will also feed-in to healthy eating classes, which will encourage students to eat the produce they have grown themselves.  The addition of the berry produce would further increase the College’s earned income, supporting the day to day programme of activities. All monies raised from the sale of produce will be invested directly back into the College, with the hope that further tunnels can be purchased. Continue reading

Solas Gardening Project for Western Isles Alzheimers Scotland

Fas Fallain imageFunding has been allocated to Western Isles Alzheimers Scotland by the NHSWI Fas Fallain project to establish a ‘grow your own’ project.  The gardening project will be in partnership with Lews Castle College and will deliver activities to users of the Solas day service and the wider community.

It is estimated that they will deliver monthly sessions from 12pm-4pm for up to 6 people and each session will be supported by an Alzheimers Scotland member of staff and 3 volunteer workers.  The sessions will take the form of a social event with a light lunch/feedback session held in the college.

Stimulating Memories in Solas Day Centre

The Solas Day Centre, in collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland (Lewis & Harris) and NHSWI Health Promotion Department, recently ran an event which saw Councillors Alistair Maclennan, Alasdair Macleod and Maggie Mackenzie, Hebridean Connections, Ness Historical Society and An Lanntair, all come together to provide activities to stimulate memories for the Centre’s dementia clients.

Maggie Smith offered some Gaelic conversation, gaelic songs and melodeon playing whilst Jon Macleod provided a slide show of  food-related images – and some carrageen pudding! Continue reading

Learn to Grow in Barra

barra1The Barra and Vatersay Agricultural and Horticultural Association last year developed and piloted a garden starter pack, which gave people step by step instructions on how to grow fresh, affordable fruit and vegetables.

It was extremely well received and so, therefore, it is to be further developed and the packs made available to the most vulnerable groups in the community – single parents and those on a low income. The packs will be accompanied by ‘learning to grow’ workshops to help people get maximum benefit from the packs.