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.



Forest School Project

Nature Unlimited provides Forest School based sessions across the Scottish Borders. Forest School and outdoor learning programmes have been shown to play a significant role in improving mental and physical health. Participants take part in weekly sessions run in the Forest School woodland area, where they participate in nature based activities based upon their interests, such as craft, traditional skills, and photography.

This project will contribute to the growing literature on Forest Schools and outdoor learning as a therapeutic method for treating mental health and self-esteem issues. Teenage girls have been shown to being especially likely to experience mental health and self-esteem issues during adolescence. The findings from this study could demonstrate the value of Forest School Programs in reducing the mental health burden in the teenage population and serve as an early intervention strategy to be applied in different contexts. Such interventions hold significant potential to ameliorate the mental health and wellbeing of young people, at a formative and impressionable age. It will particularly focus on examining the three main aims of Nature Unlimited; well-being, resilience, and community, factors likely to have a long-term effect on the young people following the programme.

The study has been designed in collaboration with the Nature Unlimited staff, who requested the data collection and study in order to rigorously evaluate their programme and intervention. Adolescent girls who are taking part in the Forest School development program will be interviewed by the primary researcher, Jillian Manner. SCPHRPs Larry DoiRuth Jepson and Yvonne Laird are also involved with the study.

Nature Unlimited Website:


Nature Unlimited Facebook page:




SCPHRP Summer eMag 2017

Welcome to the Summer edition of the SCPHRP magazine, our second edition of 2017

We have had a busy 2017 so far at SCPHRP, we’ve said hello to a whole load of new people and said goodbye to a few. In this edition of the magazine we are sharing updates on some of the exciting projects we’ve been working on including our Citizen Science project, the 20mph Research Study, an Obesity Landscape project, and our Stand Up for Health project (which comes with a creative video from film-maker Felix Adamson). Hope you enjoy.

We would appreciate any feedback you have on what you like or what we could improve. If you have any, please send it to Sam at samantha.bain@ed.ac.uk. Thanks


NOTE: We recommend using browsers other than Firefox, as some funtions do not appear in this browser. If you are unable to access the magazine, there is a pdf version here