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Building Healthier and Happier Communities (BHHC) is a fresh approach to improving the health and quality of life of people and communities across Scotland. It is national programme that is delivered locally.

Charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations of all shapes and sizes already make significant impacts in areas like early intervention, prevention and care, and support for people with complex and multiple conditions. With the right support, there is scope for them to make even more of a difference.

The story so far

BHHC sought to improve understanding of how a strategic investment in the capacity of the third sector can manage demand for statutory services and improve the quality of life for people in their own communities.

A pathfinder (pilot) for the national programme took place in East Dunbartonshire between October 2013 and March 2015. Its aim was to understand how a change in community capacity can enable prevention at the locality and primary care levels.

The learning and experience of the pathfinder is documented in a series of reports, all of which present compelling evidence to demonstrate that the objective was achieved, and as such will now inform future developments.


What’s happening now?

Our Outcomes Evaluation Report from the pathfinder work is now available. You can access it by following the link below.

pdfDownload the Outcomes Evaluation Report

What’s next?

The BHHC pathfinder has:

“…built a movement of people from all sectors who are committed to working together to develop health and happiness in a different way.”

The learning from the BHHC approach in East Dunbartonshire now provides a timely offer to integration authorities as they consider how community-based approaches and the third sector offer can support the delivery of the national health and wellbeing outcomes.

The learning from BHHC has been included in our Learning about Capacity Building report (see below) which captures learning from a range of partnership programmes, supported by the Joint Improvement Team (JIT), to build third sector capacity to contribute towards Reshaping Care for Older People and the integration of adult health and social care. Each of these programmes achieved a range of excellent outcomes and generated learning about what works and what doesn’t in relation to capacity building.

We hope these major lessons will help to improve our knowledge and understanding of what works and inform future design, commissioning, delivery and policy-making on capacity building.

Understanding asset mapping and partnership

SCVO’s ambition is for the third sector to play an increasing role in improving health and social care, and in supporting individuals to support themselves and others. It is important that this role is recognised by all partners and that the third sector is acknowledged as an equal partner in delivering quality health and social care in contributing to addressing health inequalities within communities.

Following receipt of Scottish Government funding to bring community assets to the health and social care community planning table, SCVO commissioned the Employment Research Institute of Edinburgh Napier University to review asset based approaches, how these relate to health and social care integration and the opportunities for third sector partnering. In collaboration with the local third sector interfaces, and building on the pilot work in East Dunbartonshire, the report focuses on three pilot areas: Falkirk, Aberdeen City, and Argyll and Bute. The report is now available and SCVO is working with partners to assess its conclusions and consider how to take forward the recommendations at both local and national level.


Download ‘Understanding Asset-Mapping and Partnering in Scotland: a report into the activities and resources of Scottish voluntary organisations’.

Get involved

If you’d like to get involved, please contact a member of the team using the contact details at the bottom of the page.

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BHHC blogs


Getting better doesn’t always happen in hospital

How we're showcasing the unique ability of third sector organisations to improve health and wellbeing... more >


We came, we saw & we (are trying to) conquer health inequalities

Communities in East Dunbartonshire are making connections to tackle health inequalities in their area... more >


Healthier & happier communities are coming

Charities in East Dunbartonshire are getting the help they need to provide more health and social... more >

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East Dunbartonshire project updates

Find out about nine fantastic projects funded to take forward their new ideas for improving the health and wellbeing of East Dunbartonshire communities, including an allotment for people with limited mobility and drama and digital workshops for those affected by life traumas.


Health and social care news

We need more than warm words to beat fuel poverty

Lori McElroy argues as temperatures plunge the Scottish Government must use its winter budget to commit to essential energy efficiency measures

Thousands of volunteers prepared to listen this Christmas

More than 11,000 helpers will offer support through the Samaritans

Walking football charity kicks off

The slowed down version of the beautiful game is aimed at older people and those recovering from injury

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Contact the team

Sarah Currie | BHHC Programme Manager, SCVO  | 0141 559 5071 |

Alana McDicken | BHHC Development Officer, SCVO | 0141 559 5037 |