Last Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Dundee family learning - Family Fresh Air Club

What is this?

This exemplar describes an approach to engaging families in health and wellbeing using outdoor activities.

Who is this for?

This exemplar is relevant to practitioners and multi-agency partners who work with children and families.

Families from the Strathmartine area were invited to take part in the Family Fresh Air Club with countryside rangers. Mums, dads, grannies and grandpas, and their children/grandchildren enjoyed the experience of a short walk and a themed activity in a different setting each week.

The aim was to show that families can enjoy the outdoors, at locations which are within reach of their own homes, for very little cost. This was a particularly good engagement tool for engaging the significant male member of the family.

How to use this exemplar

This exemplar could be used by practitioners wishing to develop multi-agency programmes and engage families in health and wellbeing outcomes.

It will provide insight into how a family learning programme can be developed and implemented with a particular focus on the significant male role model in the family.

Using these reflective questions will support you to consider your own approach to engaging and supporting children and their families:

  • How effectively do we use current, available data about levels of poverty in our community to help us target our interventions?
  • To what extent do staff understand Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC), the wellbeing indicators and how these can have a positive impact on children and families?
  • How effectively do we monitor programmes?
  • What evidence do we have that family learning is improving the life chances of the families involved?
  • Are outcomes for children improving as a result of their participation in family learning? How do we know this?

Explore this exemplar

What was done?

Staff used local knowledge and data to identify areas that would benefit from a family learning health and wellbeing group. This family learning group was based within the Strathmartine area, in Dundee North.

Staff then worked in partnership with park rangers to develop a programme. The primary focus was to increase the physical ability of family members as well as to increase their knowledge of local parks and woods.

Families were invited to take part in the programme by staff who had built up a positive relationship with them through outreach work.

Why was it done?

Family learning is a key priority for Dundee City Council, as set out in their Adult Learning Annual Report 2014-15. The Dundee Healthy Living Initiative Mission was set up to promote positive health and wellbeing by delivering health improvement activities, as identified by local people in areas of deprivation, using a community development approach.


At the start of the programme, families were asked about their current outdoor activities and exercise. On the whole, exercise and use of the outdoors were low. They were also asked what attracted them to come to the group - this allowed staff to evaluate their engagement strategy for the next programme.

At the programme's end of, staff completed an evaluation questionnaire alongside a series of open dialogue sessions with the families to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme. Families were positive, overall, about their experiences. As well as increasing their physical activity, families displayed increased knowledge and understanding of wildlife, and improved mental health. Positive relationships were built between families and partnership staff.

Download the full exemplar

Download the full exemplar to learn more about this project, view the programme of themed activities and read comments from participants.

PDF file: Dundee family learning - Family Fresh Air Club (142 KB)