Brechin HealthWatch project at Brechin High School

The HealthWatch project was originally conceived by the pupils at the Brechin HighSchool in response to the changes in local health Services, both the local practice which has chamged the appointment system and reduced the Family planning service and the local Minor injury Service which used to be the easiest way to access Emergency contraception and then the child & adolescent MH service which reduced the Angus Counselling service to Nil by withdrawing the nurses. The students recognised the principle that the community should have a view about health services and how easy or not they are to access and the overall experience and out come. They designed and validated a questionnaire to audit the views of pupils about access to local health Services; they did a Dummy patient phone-call to the practice and audited the results; they organised enquiries of the local Probus group; Mother & Toddler Groups and Families with English as a Second language as these 3 groups were perceived as being more likely to need to contact the HealthCentre and the students thought they might produce more results than they had from their own age groups who appeared either to use their parents to phone or did not need to phone the Health Centre.

The results of the questionaire showed those who phoned the health centre faced several barriers especially the fact that the centre wanted to phone them back but they are not allowed to use phones in school. The dummy patient rang out twice -that is it rang for so long it eventually stopped ringing. Clearly students from Rural areas had greater problems accessing the services especially if they caught the school bus from home to school and back.

Probus were interviewed on camera with notes being taken whilst they answered 3 questions designed by the students to best engage them. The interviewer aged 16 developed a rapport and as a result the session took 90 mins not the <30 expected. It became clear that the generations may be separated by years but they share values and both felt they “needed to be able to trust the person on the other side of the desk”. So frustrations about not being able to see the same person twice.

Thereafter the group have focussed on Mental Health issues and done an audit of the pupils to establish the prevalence of Mental Health problems in the pupil community; followed swiftly by the realisation that they also needed to know what the teachers felt as well. They plan a Health and Wellbeing Day and numerous other events to raise the profile of Mental health issues. The pupils plan to become MH First aiders and to use a Chameleon model to allow students and staff to decorate the model to reflect how they feel on the day. The chameleon with of course change colour depending on other features.


LGBT Youth Scotland

Work to change culture and attitudes, so that Dumfries and Galloway is a safer and more inclusive place for LGBT people to live, work and study.

In a rural setting, young LGBT people can be more isolated due to lack of transport to youth services – and often there is a lack of visible role models within their community. LGBT Youth provides these links as well as engaging with the local authority to through influencing the budget setting.

To find out more, watch this short video which hears from service users and the wider community.

All categories are now open for a public vote – take part by clicking here.

Paul Daly

Paul Daly

Paul has an MSc in Environmental Studies, and a BA (Hons) in Psychology.

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