Delivering Positive Impact for Society
Initiatives to support local organisations, homeless people and social enterprises are included in the University's most recent commitment to local communities.
Prof Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, has renewed the University’s Social Impact Pledge. This government initiative encourages organisations to deliver projects of public benefit.
More students will be trained to work with community groups to enhance digital literacy and support employability, in an extension of the University’s current Digital Ambassadors programme.
As part of the previous Pledge, the programme worked successfully with older people unfamiliar with digital devices. Outreach will be extended to include the Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre in Greyfriars Charteris Centre and the People Know How organisation in St Margaret’s House, London Road.
The University aims to increase the number of sustainable start-up social enterprises it generates. Enhanced infrastructure and support mechanisms will build on a pilot, run as part of the previous Pledge, which established several social enterprises.
Social enterprises offer goods and services which meet a need in local communities, and any surpluses from the schemes are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or community, rather than given to shareholders and owners.
The University has worked hard over several years to embed entrepreneurialism in its study programmes and activities.
Embedded in the University’s strategic plan is a strong commitment to contributing locally. We already do much for local benefit through our research and learning and through our economic impact, but we wish to do more. I am very pleased that the three elements in this Social Impact Pledge will contribute further to our work in promoting health and education, as well as economic and social wellbeing.
Helping homeless people
The University will support the establishment of a Centre for Homeless Health and Inclusion within the NHS Access Practice for Homeless People in Edinburgh’s city centre. Working with the NHS, the City of Edinburgh Council and other partners, the University will assist in building the capacity of the practice to support pathways out of homelessness.
It will also seek to develop a range of research initiatives and student-led services to help strengthen the physical and mental health and wellbeing of homeless people.
Signing the Pledge
The Pledge was signed by the University Principal, Professor Peter Mathieson.