Govan cafe to to help boost local health

AN initiative aimed at boosting Scottish health is targeting Govan.

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Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University will hold a Community Café in Govan's Pearce Institute on Friday to talk to people about the issue.

Dr Laura Williamson will host the event.

She said: "We will be working with local groups – like Galgael and Sunny Govan – who have taken this area's proud history and have used it as a real catalyst for positive change.

"The history of ship building in Govan provides a great place to start discussions about the role of ethics and values and how they could improve public health.

"Academics have talked a lot about the importance of inequality to poor health but they have not been very good at talking to and equipping communities with tools to help them challenge such injustice."

Dr Williamson is developing ways to connect communities with debates about the social challenges that undermine good health.

She believes Govan is the perfect place to get feedback on her work and to start a new community discussion.

Tam McGarvey, of Govan-based social enterprise Galgael, which promotes traditional skills, will speak at the café event.

He said: "People on the scrapheap for many years can regain a work ethic quickly if given the opportunity.

"People want to contribute and initiatives like Galgael give them that opportunity.

"When people walk through the Galgael door they encounter a different set of positive values and principles to the negative ones that have pushed them down for so long."

Dr Williamson is a Senior Research Fellow in Health Ethics and Wellcome Trust Fellow within the Institute for Applied Health Research at GCU.

Her study is entitled 'Health ethics in the age of autonomy: public engagement with the social challenges of health policy'.

Dr Daniel Glaser, of the Wellcome Trust, added: "Projects that engage directly with communities are vital for giving the public an informed voice on the issues of healthcare."

The Community Café will be held in the Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Road, on Friday from noon-4pm.



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