"So much history, and so much history in the making" Doors Open Day 2023

Published: 21 September 2023

On Saturday 16 September 2023, Public Health's Sharon Greenwood and Simon Walker helped to celebrate the "rich tapestry of culture and heritage" that's on our very doorstep and shared their knowledge of the relationship between UofG and Glasgow's health...

Doors Open Day is Scotland’s biggest festival, inviting people to come together to celebrate the rich tapestry of culture and heritage on our doorstep. Glasgow hosted a Doors Open Day Festival between 11 and 17 September 2023, with the core theme of "The Sensory City", inspired by Liz Lochhead’s poem, "A Glasgow nonsense rhyme for Molly"

Health walk at Doors Open Day 2023 outside Clarice Pears

School of Health and Wellbeing ran a series of events led by SHW's Community Engagement Coordinator Susan Grant, one of which was a guided trail exploring the Western Campus.

Dr Sharon Greenwood and Dr Simon Walker led the walk, highlighting the relationship between one of Scotland’s oldest universities and the Western Infirmary. Starting at SHW's Clarice Pears Building, walkers explored the history of the site, charting some of the notable ways the hospital and university helped to improve the health of Glaswegians until the hospital’s closure in 2015 and relocation to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Health walk at Doors Open Day 2023 outside Clarice Pears

On returning to Clarice Pears, walkers were invited to share their thoughts and memories about the Western Infirmary and Public Health in Glasgow, facilitated by Barry Pringle, a member of our local community who became a Doors Open Day volunteer for the school.

Health walk at Doors Open Day 2023 outside Clarice Pears

Many of the people who attended the walk had fond memories of the area or had worked in the Western for several years. One of the participants stated:

"I learned so much about the values, history and innovation of this incredible city – I felt at the juncture of the past and future with the old buildings ushering in the new buildings. So much history and so much history in the making to be proud of."

Health walk at Doors Open Day 2023 outside Clarice Pears

There are plans to re-run the walk in different forms in the future – for community groups, to help them explore parts of the city they have less knowledge about, and for students, as a pedagogical tool to help them understand the relationship between the university and Glasgow’s health.

This trail was run as a Health Walk, and Simon, Sharon, and Susan undertook Health Walk Leader training provided by Paths for All, a Scottish charity promoting the importance of walking for everyone, everywhere, every day.

The walk was kindly supported by Jacqueline Kent, Walking for Health Coordinator for Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. The charity has a Health Defence Hub based in Maryhill, supporting those living with a chest, heart, or stroke condition.

Two staff standing next to the sign for Clarice Pears building

Sharon Greenwood
Lecturer in Public Health

Simon Walker
Research Associate in Public Health

Find out more about Health Walks

Find out more about becoming a Health Walk Provider

Find out more about the Byres Community Hub

First published: 21 September 2023