Our Health Improvement Team support local organisations to address health and economic food issues, particularly with staff who work with vulnerable individuals and families. Our approach has a strong emphasis on engagement and a focus on sustainability. Enabling organisations to be the catalyst and lead in their own communities to use food activities as a mechanism or vehicle to promote positive changes in health.
Areas of work include:
- Developing resources and toolkits -To support delivery of national nutrition messages at a local level.
- Training – For staff and volunteers within NHS, local authority and 3rd sector organisations.
- Funding – Providing opportunities for organisations to host their own food activities.
- Campaigns – Raise awareness of key nutrition messages through a variety of marketing and social media strategies.
Current programmes include: Mini Steps, Make and Taste, Cooking Skills, Food Waste and Budgeting.
Inequalities – Resources and Toolkits
Everyone needs to eat and food activities can be a non threatening vehicle for engaging with people and can help address a range of issues not only health related. For example building self confidence, help with budgeting and social interaction. A range of resources and toolkits have been developed to empower staff to deliver basic food messages and interactive activities. For more information visit
Community Food Activity Grants
Our Health Improvement team are pleased to open this years small grant scheme. Grants of up to £200 are available for short term pieces of work and £400 for larger projects.
Closing Dates for Applications : 15th May 2019, 15th September 2019, 15th December 2019, 15th February 2020.
These grants are to support local food activities and initiatives across Forth Valley.
Community Food Development
Community Food Development Workers (CFDW’s) are part of NHS Forth Valley’s Nutrition and Dietetic Health Improvement Team. We work in partnership with NHS Forth Valley Oral Health Team and partners in local authorities and third sector organisations. Community Food Development Workers role significantly contributes to supporting food activity with local organisations, building capacity using existing and developing community assets. Our team of Community Food Development Workers are expert in creating strong partnerships with 3rd sector organisations empowering communities to be active in food initiatives that that are right for them and their community. For example rather than Community Food Development Workers delivering an activity, organisations are empowered to run their own food activities.
This new guidance, produced by Food Standards Scotland, is intended for those having a charity or community event such as a street party, a school fair or fundraiser barbeque and is not intended for registered food businesses. When preparing and providing food it is important that you consider all the food safety implications of that event to keep everyone as safe as you can.
Food Poverty and Food Banks
Food poverty in the UK has been increasing over recent times. Due to a number of factors such as rising food prices and financial restraints, some families are finding it difficult to afford a healthy, well balanced diet. According to The Trussell Trust 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK. The Trussell Trust have launched over 420 food banks throughout the UK and can provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK. Food bank availability varies across the country, your GP, social worker or Citizens Advice Bureau, who may have more information on the referral process.
- Find out more about Foodbanks in the UK.
- Find your nearset Foodbank.
- Find out more about Forth Valley Foodbanks – August 2019.
New research into Food Poverty and Food Insecurity
A three-year study, focusing on more than 1,000 food-bank users across the UK was commissioned by the Trussell Trust, and conducted by Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. Over the last five years, the number of emergency food parcels provided to people in crisis by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network has increased by 73%.
Emergency Contacts Leaflet – Stirling Area
This leaflet provides information about a wide range of organisations that offer support in times of a crisis and guidance at other times. The development of the leaflet was supported by the Raploch Frontline Workers Network.
- British Dietetic Association – Food Facts
- Community Food and Health Scotland
- Eat Better Feel Better
- Forth Environment Link
- Food Standards Scotland
- Love Food, Hate Waste
- NHS Other Links: Healthy Eating | Food and Diet | Food Hygiene | Tips to eat well for less
Health Improvement Staff
Fidelma Guest, Health Improvement Specialist – Dietitian,
Based at Admin Offices, Falkirk Community Hospital, Westburn Avenue, Falkirk, FK1 5SU.