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Link Up

We believe in the strength of people and communities.

Through Link Up, people living in some of Scotland’s most deprived communities are working together to end generations of disadvantage and stop the cycle of poverty.

Your donation can help us make this a reality.

We do not accept the status quo.

We want to improve the lives of people living in Scotland’s most deprived communities and end, once and for all, the disparity of opportunity that continues to exist in too many of our cities and towns. Link Up is bringing people together to make this happen in their own communities.

Link Up was established in 2012 without a set model or framework, just the premise that the ingredients for lasting change already lie in our communities in the shape of the passion, strengths, skills, knowledge and interests of local people, and when people are connected and energised, radical change can and does happen.

Our Link Up workers are embedded in the community and work directly with local people to harness these existing resources. The community establishes activities that local people want to take part in and help run.

But these are not just activities; they help people to build relationships with their fellow residents, creating new social connections where they look out for each other.

They create positive and caring environments, giving people the confidence and skills to effect positive change for themselves, their family and the community they live in.

Because Link Up is for the community, by the community and takes the time to work with anyone in the community, it can engage the most marginalised and vulnerable people who have for so long been left behind.

By connecting people, championing ability, inspiring and encouraging ideas, and by listening to people in the community, Link Up breeds confidence and self-belief. It gives people choices and helps them create their own opportunities. It allows them to rediscover a sense of purpose and find their own way to a happier life.

And that is how we put an end to poverty and disadvantage in Scotland’s communities.


people participating in activities


people have run local activities


communities across Scotland


of community-led activities


Link Up: Working Together Better in Place

The Place-based Programme Learning Exchange, a collaboration of national organisations that champion ‘place’ in their practices, has released a report highlighting what works and what doesn’t in place-based approaches. This report aims to share these key learnings to enhance both the scale and quality of place-based working across Scotland, and draws on over 50 years of combined organisational experience and learning across dozens of urban and rural place settings.


Link Up: Transforming Relationships

Link Up is among the largest and longest-running programmes of its kind in Scotland, bringing people together to create activities and events by and for the community.

Our new collaborative report for 2020 illustrates the work of Link Up, and the special contributions the Link Up teams make to communities across Scotland, showing how lives are being improved through positive relationships, shared purpose, and kindness.

A range of testimony from our local host organisations further illuminate why Link Up was so effective in its response during 2020. These statements also spell-out why Link Up’s continued presence will be fundamental to the recovery and renewal of these communities.


Local People Building Flourishing Communities

For people to thrive, three things really matter: supportive relationships, confidence and self-esteem. Find out about what Link Up does and how its approach works in our Link Up: Local People Building Flourishing Communities Document.

Read the report
Chris' Link Up experience

"People helping People"

Chris talks about his experiences with Link Up and the impact it’s made on improving his wellbeing.

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Anna's Link Up Experience

"Link Up has been Life Changing"

Anna explains the crucial difference Link Up made to her life, employability, and wellbeing.

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Case study

Tammie's story: "I know that Link Up are there to help me"

Link Up has had a huge role on Tammie’s life, helping her to move past addiction and become more involved in her local community.

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What makes a Link Up worker effective?

Tackling societies biggest issues depends on very special types of people.

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Link Up’s relevance to a Healthier Scotland

Find out how Link Up contributes to Scottish Government’s commitment to reduce health inequalities and improve health

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Link Up’s Relevance in a Justice Context

Find out how Link Up contributes to to the delivery of Scottish Government’s Justice Strategy

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Link Up

Portfolio of projects

Craigmillar, Edinburgh (Thistle Foundation)
Link Up

Craigmillar, Edinburgh (Thistle Foundation)

The Thistle Foundation is the host organisation in Craigmillar.  Link Up started in Craigmillar in 2016.

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Gallatown, Kirkcaldy (Kirkcaldy YMCA)
Link Up

Gallatown, Kirkcaldy (Kirkcaldy YMCA)

  Kirkcaldy YMCA is the host organisation for the Link Up worker. Gary Hughes started as the Link Up Worker early in March 2012.     Gallatown is a suburb in north east Kirkcaldy near Dysart in coastal Fife. Originally called Gallowstown, (from the frequent execution of criminals in feudal times, or from the special

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Gorbals (Crossroads Youth and Community Association)
Link Up

Gorbals (Crossroads Youth and Community Association)

Community: Gorbals (Laurieston).    Crossroads Youth and Community Association is the host organisation partnering with Inspiring Scotland on Link Up.  The Gorbals is an area on the south bank of the river Clyde in Glasgow made up of the districts of Laurieston, Tradeston, Kingston, and Hutchesontown.  

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Contact us

We work with experts from the voluntary, public, private and academic sectors. Get in touch if you want to help us build a better Scotland.

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