HappynHealthyCDT logo

Healthy ’n’ Happy Community Development Trust 

Healthy ’n’ Happy Community Development Trust is a community-led health organisation which engages with local communities and responds to the issues they identify as priorities. Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust is an umbrella organisation which hosts a range of innovative and creative activities, projects and programmes to support local people with issues such as poor health, poverty, isolation and lack of aspiration and opportunity. 

Healthy N Happy image

What are the aims and objectives?

The aim of the Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust is to provide local people with opportunities to take an active part in improving their lives and ensuring their own, their family’s and their community’s health and wellbeing. 

The organisation is based on a social model of health and takes a community development approach to understanding and responding to health issues and needs identified by the local communities of Cambuslang and Rutherglen. By doing so it works with local people to improve lives and to support the development of personal capacity and resources.

The Community Development Trust is working towards achieving a number of strategic aims. These have been developed and agreed through a broad strategic business planning process which included consultation with local people.

  • Healthy and resilient individuals, families and communities.
  • Increased social capital and capacity.
  • Skilled, knowledgeable and informed people, communities and businesses.
  • Confident motivated, productive communities and responsive services and agencies.
  • Sustainable, independent, fresh and creative activities and services.
  • Inclusive and comprehensive local service provision and approaches which are responsive, relevant and efficient.

Why was the initiative set up? How has the approach changed over time?

Cambuslang and Rutherglen Community Health Initiative (CHI) was established in 2004 as a result of a merger of the Healthy Living Initiative and the Cambuslang and Rutherglen Health and Food Project (CHAF). The following year they formally changed their name to Healthy ‘n’ Happy Ltd although still trading as CHI locally. The merged organisation has operated as a development trust since its inception and this year has re-branded as Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust, an umbrella organisation comprising the current CHI, Camglen Community Radio and Healthy ‘n’ Happy Enterprises.

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust was one of Scotland’s original 46 Healthy Living Centres funded by the New Opportunities Fund and key local partners. The Community Development Trust works strategically and operationally in response to both locally identified need and national policy priorities.

The Community Development Trust has developed through 12 years of experience gained from the original two local organisations and continues to respond to the health issues, needs and areas of interest of local people. 

Who are the participants and the partners?

Working with and for the residents of Cambuslang and Rutherglen, a population of 57,000 people, the Community Development Trust takes a whole community approach and involvement is not constrained by geography or eligibility criteria. The Community Development Trust has partnership working at the centre and works with everybody across the community on every aspect of life.

 “They work with everybody across the community on all aspects of life”.

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust currently has 11 full time and two part time members of staff, around 42 sessional workers and over 100 active volunteers. Between April 2010 and March 2011, Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust worked with over 12,000 people across the whole organisation, with numbers growing annually.

Working in partnership with local people, existing community, voluntary and statutory organisations including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, South Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership and South Lanarkshire Council, the Community Development Trust is overseen by a dedicated and committed Board of Directors all of whom live within the local community. 

What does the initiative do?

Working with people from the local communities of Cambuslang and Rutherglen, and taking a community development approach to health improvement, the Community Development Trust seeks to complement and add to existing local strategies and services. The Community Development Trust “acts as the glue” which brings local people, services and agencies together. This purpose is to ensure local participation in and influence on decision-making, and leading to more responsive services. Local people’s involvement in all aspects of the organisation, combined with ongoing stakeholder engagement, is key to maintaining a responsive and successful community led health improvement organisation.

“We are by and for local people. We have roots in the community going back generations.”

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust is underpinned by the values:

  • People are the experts on the health and wellbeing of their communities and our services and support are based on needs identified by local people. 
  • We need to work together to achieve change.
  • Active and non-judgemental listening.
  • Everyone should have the opportunity to improve their health.
  • Poverty is not just material.

The Community Development Trust works with the community by encouraging local people to build and develop confidence, experience and skills; by raising awareness about the choices available to people; supporting individuals and community groups to exercise power and influence; working in partnership with other agencies on behalf of the community; facilitating links between individuals, community groups and statutory agencies; supporting continuous learning and development; and working to make a lasting difference.

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust provides a diverse range of programmes to ensure that local people have a choice in what they get involved in and how they get involved. The work of the organisation is delivered strategically and operationally through a range of activities and services within six service areas. These areas of work are based on needs that have been identified through extensive work with stakeholders.

  1. Supporting Communities – Consultation, Engagement and Development
  2. Mental and Emotional Health and Wellbeing
  3. Promoting Healthy Choices
  4. Community Broadcasting and Digital Media
  5. Volunteering Opportunities and Supported Placements
  6. Family Health and Resilience.

Activities under these six themes include, as a minimum, fitness and nutrition programmes; mental and emotional health and wellbeing programmes; stress management services; group activities that help build productive and supportive social networks to maintain good health and wellbeing; community development programmes that contribute to community wellbeing, increased intergenerational understanding, improved social and family relationships; family fun days; weekly fruit barras and gardening projects; and open doors days where local adults can learn about and access the range of opportunities and services provided by the Community Development Trust.

The organisation’s extensive volunteering programme allows local people to become more involved, skilled, confident and less stigmatised, through a range of activities which support and build local involvement and promote health and wellbeing. The Community Development Trust strives to empower local people and encourages the volunteers to take ownership of the projects that they are involved in.  Volunteers are also recognised as a valuable asset to the wider organisation. 

“I wanted to be able to help somebody else to feel better. It’s nice to give something back.”

Camglen Community Radio is a volunteer-led community radio station, ‘made by the community for the community’ and is one of the volunteering opportunities offered by Community Development Trust. The radio station has over 80 volunteers, aged from 10 to 70 years old, and is supported by a small number of staff. Volunteers are involved in key positions of responsibility including supervising other volunteers, script writing, audio editing, radio presenting, broadcasting and hosting road shows. This approach has built local ownership of the radio station and has increased confidence and sense of belonging and supported the development of new skills for local people whilst recognising their collective abilities. The station further demonstrates the willingness of local organisations and families to be involved in community activity. In conjunction with North Glasgow College, Camglen Community Radio also delivers a schools training programme and the opportunity to study for a certified qualification in Radio Production. 

Led successfully by local residents and supported fully by local stakeholders, Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust has achieved national and international recognition of its progress and success in reaching out to those in the community who are most in need.


In what way is the approach ‘asset based’? 

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust provides a range of activities, resources and information, workshops, and volunteering opportunities through a number of themes of work. The work of the organisation spans all ages and is based on locally identified priorities. Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust offers choice both in terms of what is available for local people to get involved in and also how they can get involved. The approach is flexible, responsive, friendly and wide reaching. Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust aims to inspire and empower local people and their families to control their futures. The Community Development Trust sets out to increase the confidence and self esteem of local people, enhance individual and community connections, equip local people with core skills to cope better, manage stress and anxiety, reduce stigma, improve and sustain health and wellbeing, and ensure that structures and networks are in place to enable people to have a stronger voice in local decision making.

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust takes a whole community approach for the benefit of the residents of Cambuslang and Rutherglen through the provision of recreation and leisure opportunities, by offering a range of volunteering opportunities and initiatives, and by providing educational and work orientated skills development and links to training and education. Activities also include a range of social activities and fun family events to bring the community together to encourage social interaction, physical and mental wellbeing and promote community cohesion.

By utilising and building on the energy, skills, strengths and experiences of local people, Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust has established a large group of volunteers of all ages. The volunteers have reported multiple benefits from their involvement including better relationships, improved sense of community and local participation, better outlook on life and improved health and wellbeing. The enthusiasm of the volunteers is encouraging to new volunteer team members and also to their families and the wider communty.

How has success been measured?

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust has comprehensive monitoring and evaluation systems in place. Internal evaluation using LEAP (Learning, Evaluation and Planning) for Health enables planning and evaluation in partnership with communities. Indicators of success have been agreed and established and evidence is gathered on an ongoing basis. Using a number of different techniques to collect feedback from participants (including tailored questionnaires, participatory appraisal techniques, and story gathering) the organisation regularly reviews and monitors its work and responds with ongoing adjustments as required. Feedback to participants and the wider community is provided through newsletter updates and publications, focus groups and events, and ongoing two-way engagement.

“It really makes a difference having something locally that can help with so many things.”

Independent evaluation of the organisation was carried in December 2006 and an external interim evaluation was carried out in September 2007. External evaluation has recently been completed on one of CHI’s Healthy Choices programmes funded by NHS Lanarkshire’s Tobacco Prevention and Education programme. The “It’s Your Choice” partnership has been externallly evaluated and also won a “Champ” Award in recognistion of its successes. The organisation has also been recently involved in an external economic and health impact analysis.

What are the strengths and challenges? 

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust is a locally based service which is active throughout the community across a wide range of life improvement, health and wellbeing areas of work, reaching and engaging with local people in over 50 local outreach venues each year. A wide range of subject matters are covered, 84 different volunteering opportunities are offered and people are engaged where they are and how they want to be. Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust works ‘with’ people to develop a range of tangible skills and qualifications, alongside the softer skills of confidence, resilience, relationship building and social skills.

The organisation also works with community groups, organisations and individuals to support local voices in local decision making and planning and to help to improve services. Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust has taken a joint lead role in the development of a local Health Improvement Action Plan and the delivery of subsequent actions. Further, the organisation has brought over £2million of funding into the local area over the last five years. 

Over the two year period from October 2009 to September 2011 Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust provided information and education on alcohol awareness to 2,911 individuals and 63 businesses across the area, provided stress management support provided to 1,758 people through one-to-one sessions and group work, delivered training in mental health awareness and mental health first aid to 551 people and enabled access to quality affordable and healthy food through the ongoing development of volunteer led fruit barras.

Income and funding has been identified as an ongoing challenge for Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust. Staff expressed frustration at the short term nature of funding cycles but the need for a long term vision for the community. The Community Development Trust’s whole community approach means the funding streams open to the Initiative are limited as funders often wish to target specific population groups based on need. Staff feel this approach to funding provision is “backward looking”. In response, the organisation has diversified its income sources to ensure that all that all activities and services offered are open to everyone. To further complement grant funding, the Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust have initiated a social enterprise trading subsidiary, Healthy and Happy Enterprises Ltd – a new approach to fundraising which aims to generate income for the benefit of the wider community.

Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust acknowledges that challenges do present themselves through their model of working. The organisation aims to work alongside the local community which for many local people is a new approach and some do not fully appreciate that they have a key role to play and important contribution to make in their involvement with Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust.

On a personal level, staff expressed a high level of job satisfaction and pride in working for the local community. They felt positive about the Community Development Trust’s approach, were committed and gained personal fulfilment from their work. The energy and enthusiasm of the local community to get involved was also discussed as was the value of working with mainstream services on behalf of the community.

Participants expressed high levels of appreciation and gratitude for the Initiative – the encouragement, help and support they had received through their involvement with Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust had been greatly beneficial. Participants also highlighted the new skills and hope that they had developed particularly in relation to stress, anxiety and coping, and the improved family relationships and new friendships formed.

Relevant links to other parts of the Understanding Glasgow site:  health, social capital and Understanding Glasgow film series: Sense of Place