People Know How

People Know How

At a glance


  • Campaigning
  • Children / families
  • Counselling / advice
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Human rights
  • Poverty relief
  • Substance misuse
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Scotland


People Know How is a Scottish charity that aims to improve wellbeing across communities by supporting people to overcome barriers and thrive. We deliver services locally in Edinburgh and the Lothians, and engage in research and campaigning to effect change on a national scale. We also provide a national digital support helpline.

Our work supports all parts of the community including children, young people, families and adults. Our services recognise the varied and intersectional experiences and needs of each individual. This is why we take a hybrid approach to our service delivery, combining a holistic model with tailor-made support while also making use of partnerships to signpost to other appropriate interventions in addition to our own service offerings.

These partnerships play a key role in placing the voices of those we support at the centre of our work to effect social change. By collaborating across the four sectors (third, public, business and academic) we are not only able to work together to deliver local support, but also engage in research, and campaign for policy change nationally.

Since our foundation in 2013 we have formed a People Know How community made up of staff, trustees, volunteers, interns, placement students, the people we support and stakeholders across the sectors. We’re committed to inclusion and value the diverse experiences of every member of this community.


What do we do?

Our services include Positive Transitions, supporting children, young people and families; Reconnect, improving wellbeing through increasing social and digital inclusion; and All Aboard, a canal boat providing a unique space in the community to gather, collaborate, share learning, exchange ideas and improve wellbeing. Underpinning all of this is our passion for driving social innovation through collaboration and sharing our learning. 

At the core of our work are our strategic aims:

  • To provide spaces for people to gather, collaborate, exchange ideas and improve wellbeing, both in person and remotely.
  • To improve digital inclusion in Scotland by providing support and campaigning for everyone to have access to digital skills, affordable data and devices, to safely communicate, connect and engage with opportunities.
  • To improve school transitions for all children and young people across Scotland by providing support and campaigning for children, young people and families to have access to the support they need in the transition from primary to secondary school.

Why do we do it?

Our mission is to support people to overcome barriers so that their wellbeing can be improved, effecting positive change at its root.

Our vision is for those who need support to be heard by decision makers and placed at the centre of solving social issues.

Our values are to be people-centred & people-led, collaborative, inclusive, innovative and action-orientated.

How do we do it?

All of our work is formed and developed using our social innovation model. We ask, evidence, do, share, and repeat. We then use our learning to effect change on a national scale through research, campaigning and influencing.

We begin projects by asking people to share ideas, needs, strengths and assets. We believe people know how to identify their needs and the solutions to help them to fulfil their potential and solve social issues.

We review literature and best practice, collaborate to inform people’s ideas and ensure an evidence base before proceeding with a project. We never duplicate existing services and offer truly unique solutions.

We run projects and deliver activities, putting ideas into practice, testing, and refining as we progress. A robust framework of monitoring and evaluation is built into our projects, constantly gathering data to assess our progress and performance. See Positive Transitions and Reconnect.

We share the approaches and impact of our work to recognise and celebrate the positive outcomes whilst identifying where improvements can be made. We then ask people for feedback on what we have shared, thus creating a cycle which drives continuous improvement.

In collaboration with academic institutions, private enterprise, third and public sector partners and government, we initiate research to test innovative solutions to entrenched social problems. This ranges from multiyear longitudinal studies to nationwide mass participation, all the way to small locality-based surveys.

We are currently running two PhD research projects with the University of Edinburgh, one on positive school transitions and the other on digital inclusion.

Campaign & influence
We design and run nationwide campaigns that aim to influence government policy, enhancing community development and acting as a catalyst for systems change across Scotland. We are currently campaigning to end data poverty through Connectivity Now.

No current opportunities

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