Wellbeing Activities for Young People

Wellbeing Activities for Young People

Health and wellbeing programmes for young people

ELGT has developed collaborative partnerships to help tackle the increasing need to support the mental health of young people and their families through programmes of outdoor activities.

Southeast Partnership

The SE collaboration involves working with Canongate Youth (CY), Edinburgh Old Town Trust (EOTT) and U-evolve.

Working in collaboration we will develop, deliver, and co-produce a holistic and inclusive wellbeing service for CYP aged 5 – 24 years within the South East Locality, in particular the areas within the catchment of James Gillespies and Boroughmuir High School.

We aim to provide accessible safe spaces within the area and opportunities for CYP to connect with nature, experience new things, and get outdoors as a means of supporting good mental health and building resilience. We will co-produce and involve children and young people in all aspects of service design, delivery, and evaluation.

There will be a focus on outdoor activities, nature and exploring as one of our key tools for supporting wellbeing. We will use a range of outdoor spaces as much as possible to facilitate both individual and groupwork sessions. We will provide and develop physical activity outdoors as well as conservation and environmental projects. Outdoor spaces we have access to include, Holyrood Park, Inch Park, Dunbars Close, Ellens Glen Woods, Dumbiedykes park and Moredun greenspace.

P7 James Gillespie’s High School transition activities at Holyrood Park

Northeast Partnership

The NE collaboration involved working with Lets Talk, Tinderbox and Edinburgh Community Yoga.

The programme involved the creation of a new urban, sensory, community garden for participants to use to meet, learn about gardening, grow vegetables and plants, take part in outdoor activities, find a sense of calm and learn how to deal with difficult emotions.  LT’s and ELGT’s workers ran developed the programme to utilise participatory gardening and outdoor activities.

One mixed gender, open access group was delivered each week, in three 12-week blocks.  Each session lasted for half a day. Planning and review sessions took place before and after each block for evaluation, sharing learning, and adapting.

We aim was to collaborate with Castlebrae, Holyrood and Portobello High schools, their feeder primary schools, Jack Kane, Venchie and Sandy’s Community Centres, Richmond Hope, Health in Mind, Carr Gomm, Moving Music and other third sector agencies, Edinburgh Secure Services, CAMHS, GPs, Edinburgh College, Queen Margaret and Edinburgh Universities, police and social work.

Halloween Outdoor Activities

Young people enjoyed creating Halloween pumpkins to decorate the outdoor space at Craigmillar.

ASCUS Partnership

ELGT teamed up with ASCUS Art & Science which is a non-profit organisation with values in topics of health, climate and the environment. They developed the Unearthing Microlife programme which promotes learning through different disciplines (art, science and outdoor exploration) and in unique ways that might not be possible in the normal classroom setting. To find out more see here

Unearthing Micro Life is designed for teens who may be socially isolated or find traditional learning environments challenging. The aim is to enable participants to engage creatively with their local greenspaces through outdoor interaction and sample collection, supported by hands-on experimentation in ASCUS Lab by looking at these samples under a microscope, learning about microbiology, DNA and scientific techniques. The programme involves the delivery of 8 half day sessions with groups of 8-10 young people from the Youth Vision Staying on Track programme.

Holyrood Park


Funded by: Community Mental Health Fund


  • 8 Outdoor science activities with young people
  • Creation of an outdoor garden in Craigmillar with the help from older age group young people
  • Outdoor activity gardening programme for between 8-15 children of 3 different age groups
  • Outdoor play sessions – opportunities for unstructured, outdoor play
  • Branching Out programme. These are delivered in local woodlands and involves a range of activities including tree I.D., environmental art, green exercise, and relaxation.
  • Physical activity “out and about” sessions/programmes including hula hooping, circus skills, exercise sessions, walking, parkour


  • Improve knowledge of the local environment
  • Improved lifelong resilience for young people
  • Help reduce anger and bring focus for young people
  • Increase confidence for young people
  • Restore mental health and positive mood for young people
  • Improve stamina and levels of physical activity for young people
  • Improved perception of neighbourhood and sense of place
  • Improved mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people
  • Increased capacity of parents/carers in supporting the emotional needs of their young people
  • Increased satisfaction of young people and their families in relation to mental health supports and supports for distress