Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Kenny Smith

Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang’s com­mu­nity health ini­tia­tive is show­ing the world how to im­prove its com­mu­ni­ties.

The Healthy ‘ n’ Happy Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Trust is be­com­ing well known across the world, as, over the last few months, vis­i­tors from Canada, Den­mark and North­ern Ire­land have met staff in the new premises in Ruther­glen.

They have spent time talk­ing to lo­cal peo­ple and find­ing out about the many ac­tiv­i­ties, ser­vices and de­vel­op­ments which are de­liv­ered across Cam­bus­lang and Ruther­glen.

The six Cana­dian vis­i­tors were very im­pressed with the com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment work Healthy ‘n’ Happy is car­ry­ing out with res­i­dents in some of the lo­cal neigh­bour­hoods.

They were also par­tic­u­larly ex­cited by the va­ri­ety of ways in which the char­ity suc­cess­fully works with and in­volves in­di­vid­u­als with men­tal health is­sues.

The vis­i­tors made time to ap­pre­ci­ate the anti-stigma com­mu­nity art work which en­gaged over 500 lo­cal peo­ple dur­ing Scot­tish Men­tal Health Arts and Film Fes­ti­val. They ex­tended their visit by over an hour to al­low them to hear more about Healthy ‘n’ Happy.

A mem­ber of staff from the Scot­tish Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre com­mented that: “Safe to say the vis­i­tors were blown away by what you are all do­ing out there!”

One of the vis­i­tors summed it up, say­ing: “Healthy ‘n’ Happy was the high point of our visit to Scot­land... I ap­pre­ci­ated very much the fact that – as an area based group – you were able to in­clude men­tal health in your di­verse ac­tiv­i­ties. I think, as such, it is very in­clu­sive.”

The leader of the team of three ex­pe­ri­enced com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment staff from Den­mark was over­whelmed by the range and di­ver­sity of the work un­der­taken by Healthy ‘n’ Happy. He con­cluded that Healthy ‘n’ Happy would be a great model for the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of so­cial ser­vices in Den­mark.

He com­mented: “There is so much to be learned from Healthy ‘n’ Happy from the hands-on ap­proach to your ethos and em­pow­er­ment agenda! We will be build­ing the work of Health n Happy into our ‘scal­ing sto­ries’ to as­sist with learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment in Den­mark.”

Healthy ‘n’ Happy has es­tab­lished strong re­la­tion­ships with the Healthy Liv­ing Cen­tre Net­work in North­ern Ire­land and in a re­cent visit by mem­bers of the NI Gov­ern­ment, the Healthy Liv­ing Cen­tre Net­work and so­cial ser­vices staff, the leader of the del­e­ga­tion con­grat­u­lated Healthy ‘n’ Happy on their ex­cel­lent work and sum­marised their visit by say­ing: “It cer­tainly sur­passed my ex­pec­ta­tion and I wish you ev­ery suc­cess in your amaz­ing work. The pos­i­tiv­ity in your or­ga­ni­za­tion was pal­pa­ble.”

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for Healthy ‘n’ Happy, Bren­dan Rooney said: “Healthy ‘n’ Happy has gained a very pos­i­tive rep­u­ta­tion lo­cally for de­liv­er­ing high qual­ity, pro­fes­sional ser­vices and ac­tiv­i­ties. It is very heart­en­ing to see that our work is also be­ing recog­nised and ap­pre­ci­ated across many coun­tries.

“We are truly be­com­ing a world class or­gan­i­sa­tion thanks to the hard work of the staff team and the pos­i­tive support from the peo­ple of Cam­bus­lang and Ruther­glen”.

Guests Healthy ‘n’ Happy in Ruther­glen wel­come their in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors

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