SCPHRP Has Moved!

Many of you may know that SCPHRP was funded for ten years until June 2018 by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO). After five years based within the Usher Institute, we are delighted to announce that SCPHRP will continue to operate as a research centre within The University of Edinburgh at the School of Health in Social Sciences. 

The structure of SCPHRP will change from 1st July.  Going forward, 
Dr Ruth Jepson will be the Director and Dr John McAteer will be the Deputy Director. Dr Yvonne LairdDr Larry DoiDr Jan Pringle, and Dr Glenna Nightingale will continue as Research Fellows. Jillian Manner and Kathleen Morrison will continue as Research Assistants and Audrey Buelo will continue her PhD studies with us.  

Our new address as of the 1st July is 2M7, in Doorway 6, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG.


Cathy’s Relaxation Story

SCPHRPs Jane Hartley, John McAteer and Sam Bain have recently designed a support resource for kinship carers. Kinship carers are family members (often grandparents) who take care of children when the birth-parents are no longer able to care for them due to circumstances such as ill-health, addiction, abuse or bereavement. It is a current Scottish Government priority that this under-served population are provided with more support. It is important that we are clear that this support resource should be offered in addition to, not instead of, financial, childcare and respite support.

The kinship carers we worked with reported that they were experiencing extremely high levels of stress due to their often traumatic circumstances. We co-designed a set of safe and effective relaxation skills with them. Our premise was that by improving the wellbeing of the kinship carers, their capacity to care for the children they look after would improve, thereby enhancing the wellbeing of both. The kinship carers reported that the relaxation skills had a positive stress-reduction effect on them and a positive impact on their relationship with the children.

The resource is in the form of a free comic and an accompanying audio CD, in hard and online versions. The comic tells the story of a kinship carer called Cathy and her grandson Jordan. Cathy feels extremely stressed out. She learns relaxation skills at her local kinship support group after which she practices regularly and then notices that her relationship with her grandson improves. We hope that the comic and CD format will allow this relaxation resource to be widely accessed across the country.

You can access the comic here and if you would like to know more about the project, please contact Jane Hartley or Sam Bain

The work is funded by The Robertson Trust.

The comic was printed by Comic Printing UK


Our Outdoors

A new citizen science project exploring how shared (public) outdoor spaces affect health and wellbeing. This project is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) who in the summer of 2017 selected the project as their citizen science project.

The project aims to

  • understand the impact shared (e.g. public) outdoor spaces have on the health and wellbeing of the public.
  • Investigate whether shared outdoor spaces affect people differently and if so, why and in what ways?
  • Identify the best methods for engaging members of the public in citizen science for public health.

The project has four phases: 1. Developing, validating and refining the questionnaire. 2. Piloting the questionnaire in Edinburgh and the Lothians. 3. Analysis, reporting and dissemination of questionnaire data. 4. Roll out of Our Outdoors across the UK.

Several methods of engagement have been used to collaborate with the public to learn about health and wellbeing in specific shared outdoor spaces. To find out more about these method please go to

The About Our Outdoors poster

Findings from Community Workshops

Our Outdoors at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Science Bus


Draft questionnaire: The information gathered from public engagement activities is being used to draft a questionnaire to measure people’s health and wellbeing in specific shared outdoor spaces. Validating and testing questionnaire: Once the questionnaire is complete citizen scientists will be engaged to conduct cognitive testing of the questionnaire items.

This will inform a final questionnaire. Questionnaire piloting and public engagement activities will take place in Edinburgh and the Lothians before being rolled out across the UK.

Please contact for further information.


Latest Projects

January 2019 Bulletin! (February 3, 2019)

View this email in your browser Happy New Year! Welcome to our first bulletin of 2019. Bringing you our usual mix of news, publications, project updates and more. This has been an exciting start to the year for SCPHRP, with lots to look forward to. In this issue you can read about: Antimicrobial resistance in West Africa […]

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December Bulletin 2018 (January 13, 2019)

  View this in your browser Hello and welcome to our last bulletin of 2018. Bringing you our usual mix of news, publications, project updates and more. This has been a busy year for us at SCPHRP with lots to celebrate and look back on, including our move to our new home in the School of Health in […]

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September Bulletin 2018 (September 28, 2018)

Hello and welcome to our September bulletin. Bringing you our usual mix of news, publications, project updates and more. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to all new and existing students who joined us at the University of Edinburgh this month! Autumn is now upon us and September has been a busy month welcoming students […]

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Recent Projects

Early Years Projects

Adolescence and Young Adulthood Projects

Working Age/Adult Life Projects

Later Life Projects

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