UPDATE: The ‘Healthy University of the Future’ hackathon


In partnership with University Sport and Exercise and the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC), SCPHRP ran an event during the Festival of Creative Learning to get students to think about health in the university setting and to design solutions to health challenges facing students.
Two teams of students worked on diverse health topics. One team focused on provision of affordable, convenient and healthy food options and the other team focused on targeting computer-related health. Both teams delivered excellent presentations in front of a panel of university and national leaders in public health and student wellbeing and prizes were awarded for innovation, potential for implementation, team work, and quality of presentation.
For further information about the event please email Yvonne Laird at yvonne.laird@ed.ac.uk
A hackathon is a timed competition-style event where teams are expected to get creative and work collaboratively and come up with a design or idea.

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A relaxation resource for kinship carers

Our goal

Our goal was to design a support resource for kinship carers. Kinship carers – often grandparents – are family members 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. The kinship carers are often from deprived communities and face numerous hardships, both generally and as a result of their role as kinship carers.

The resource

We worked closely with kinship carers and with organisation Mentor (http://mentoruk.org.uk/mentor-scotland/ ) to design the resource. We learned about the kinship carers’ lives and what issues they faced. A main issue reported was stress. Therefore we designed tailored stress-relief relaxation techniques.   By reducing stress and improving the wellbeing of the carers we hoped that both the relationship between the carer and the teenager, as well as the wellbeing of the teenager, would improve.

The benefits of the resource

The kinship carers have reported that the relaxation skills had a positive stress-reduction effect on them and a positive impact on their relationship with their teenager.

Summary of the relaxation process

  1. Focus the mind here and now
  2. Release tension in the body
  3. Relax with deep steady breathing

Format of the resource

Cathy’s Relaxation Story – A comic and audio CD, both hard copy and online version

Next steps

So far the work has been exploratory and small-scale. Three future steps are:

  1. Develop this programme to include the teenagers directly. Interview the teenagers, and, if appropriate, design tailored relaxation skills
  2. Expand to include different types of families, using the same cyclical and relational model of: improved individual wellbeing = improved relationship = even better wellbeing
  3. Evaluate the resource in order to scale-up and deliver the programme at a national level

If you would like to learn more about the project please email Jane: jane.hartley@ed.ac.uk
 

 
The project is funded by The Robertson Trust

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A new Citizen Science project

A new citizen science project

This month SCPHRP is beginning 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.
 

About the project

Good quality outdoor spaces are important assets for fostering health and wellbeing and people are becoming increasingly aware of the link between the places we live and spend time and our health. While there is a growing body of research that highlight the link between green spaces and health, there is still a lot we don’t know.
This citizen science project will work with the public to gain a better understanding of the impact urban and rural shared outdoor spaces have on health and wellbeing. The project will also explore whether spaces impact people’s health and wellbeing differently and if so, why?

What is citizen science?

Citizen science is about engaging the public and putting them at the centre of scientific research to help build new ideas and knowledge. There are varying degrees to which the public can be involved in citizen science ranging from identifying the research question and research population, collecting data, to full co-creation in the design, experiment and evaluation of research. This project will be looking to work closely with the public at every stage.

What’s happening now?

We are at the very start of this project. In the next couple of months SCPHRP will be engaging with members of the public to inform the development of a survey and the project as a whole. Later in the year we will be hoping to engage more members of the public to collect data in a whole range of local outdoor spaces, from streets and town squares to beaches, public parks and beyond. Any spaces will be included as long as they are outside and anyone can use them (e.g. it is not a private garden that only the owner uses).
If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact hannah.biggs@ed.ac.uk or Ruth.jepson@ed.ac.uk

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Latest Projects

UPDATE: The ‘Healthy University of the Future’ hackathon (March 12, 2018)

In partnership with University Sport and Exercise and the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC), SCPHRP ran an event during the Festival of Creative Learning to get students to think about health in the university setting and to design solutions to health challenges facing students. Two teams of students worked on diverse health topics. […]

Read More


A relaxation resource for kinship carers (October 18, 2017)

Our goal Our goal was to design a support resource for kinship carers. Kinship carers – often grandparents – are family members 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. The kinship carers are often from deprived communities […]

Read More


A new Citizen Science project (October 18, 2017)

A new citizen science project This month SCPHRP is beginning 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.   About the project Good quality […]

Read More


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