The role of chocolate!

(adapted form an email from a PhD student)

I am a nutrition PhD student and I am researching nutrition and healthy ageing, with a particular focus on chocolate’s role. The study is looking for volunteers from in and around the Lothian area aged between 50 to 60 years. Approval from the Research Ethics Committee at Queen Margaret University has been obtained.

Here is a link for some more information on the study:

If you would like any further information about the nature of this study please do not hesitate to get in touch and I will be more than happy to help.

Ruth Ashaye, MSc, ANutr
PhD Research Student
Queen Margaret University
EH21 6UU


Healthy Ageing Research Study

(adapted from an email from researchers at Heriot-Watt University)

Are you aged 65 or over? Do you want to take up a new activity?

As we get older, some of us might experience changes in our thinking or memory skills. Research has suggested that taking up a new activity, especially one we’ve never done before, might help maintain our thinking skills.

We are a research team at Heriot-Watt University exploring how taking up a new activity might benefit our thinking skills and wellbeing. We are looking for people aged 65 and over in Edinburgh and the Lothians to take part.

If you or someone you know might be interested, or you would like some more information, please contact us on 0131 451 8009 or We’ll give you full details about the study and answer any questions you might have.

You can also find some more information about the research at Or click the thumbnail to download an information leaflet.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Age-friendly cities and communities

(Adapted from an email from Dr Ryan Woolrych)

Click the thumbnails to read more:

A study has commenced exploring how neighourhood can better support older adults to live at home and in their communities.

Give the rapid growth of ageing populations in many cities, the importance of developing appropriate design interventions to enable active and healthy lifestyles for older residents is more urgent than ever.

Place-making with older adults: Towards age-friendly communities is a three year project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and will be exploring how older adults experience the communities they live in.

We will be working closely with older adults, local government, service providers, community organisations and pracitioners to deliver policy and practice recommendations to support the delivery of age-friendly cities and communities.

As part of the work we are looking to speak to anybody over the age of 60 who  currently lives in Leith. Please contact Dr Ryan Woolrych on or by telephone on 0131 451 3899 or 07957 406677 to hear more about the project or to participate in the research.

Please also visit our website on or join us on Twitter @placeage.

What matters to YOU?

(with thanks to the Scottish Community Alliance for permission to re-use their text in this post)

The idea to crowdsource a Fairer Scotland policy comes from a Government that says it wants to be more open and transparent than ever before. But that’s going to be easier said than done. There’s a whole series of local events being run – as you’d expect – but the hope is that communities will really take it upon themselves to have these conversations. Small grants are available to help with that if needed.

Continue reading

Leith harbour: potential transformation

STV has published Scottish Enterprise’s wishlist for Leith Harbour. This includes a new berth for large ships, demolishing of listed buildings such as the Imperial grain Silo and dredging the Firth of Forth. But just now there is no funding for this proposed set of developments.

There’s further detail in the Redacted Port of Leith Development Framework.

Please read and comment!


Conservation Area character appraisals

(adapted from an email from Edinburgh Council)

Edinburgh Council is currently reviewing its character appraisals for Edinburgh’s conservation areas.

Character appraisals guide the local planning authority in making planning decisions and, where opportunities arise, in preparing enhancement proposals.

The current character appraisal for Leith can be viewed here:

The intention is to make the appraisals more interactive and the first of these has been completed for the Grange Conservation Area:

A draft revised character appraisal is programmed for presentation to the Planning Committee in February 2015. Following this there will be a comprehensive consultation on the appraisal.

At this stage, we would be pleased to know if there are any issues you would like to see included in the draft appraisal.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss this or arrange a meeting.

Jack Gillon, Principal Practitioner, Built & Natural Heritage, Services for Communities, The City of Edinburgh Council, Waverley Court, Level G3, 4 East Market Street Edinburgh, EH8 8BG. Tel 0131 469 3634.