Social Enterprise Champion and alumnus develops free course to support wellbeing, health and resilience

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A free course offering participants useful, hands-on support for wellbeing, health and resilience during this difficult time has been developed by alumnus Paul McColgan in partnership with Dr David Reilly.

Paul who studied at the University of the West of Scotland Paisley Campus and was named Social Enterprise Champion in 2019, explained: “Last year I worked with Dr David Reilly, an internationally renowned doctor and researcher, to develop a programme called COVIDWEL for front line health and social care workers to support them maintain and improve their wellness during the pandemic. This free online course was distilled from David’s award winning programme TheWEL (Wellness Enhancement Learning).

Paul McColgan

“The course is free to anyone who wishes to enhance their wellness to boost their resilience and help them recover physically and mentally from the pandemic. I’m pleased to invite the UWS alumni community to access the course via our online learning platform and share with others who would benefit from it.”

Paul McColgan, CEO Community Renewal

Following graduation in 1991 with a BA (Hons) in Business Economics, Paul went to live in Barcelona where he spent three years volunteering in the soup kitchens in the mornings whilst teaching in the prestigious EADA business school in the evenings. He returned to Scotland in 1994 and began working for SCIAF, Scotland’s Aid Agency and later trained as a consultant to social enterprises at CEIS.

From 1996-2000 Paul completed a Masters degree where he deepened his understanding of poverty and marginalisation among disabled people and those living in areas of deprivation. This laid the foundations for his development of the Community Renewal methodologies, all of which are based on a Critical Reflection Process with compassionate listening at the core.

Paul has spent the past 20 years at the frontline of tackling health inequalities in Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhoods. He pioneered a range of holistic approaches resulting in sustained transformation for individuals and communities.

In 2003 Paul authored Disability Equality in Scottish Schools – (a training programme to support the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream schools), and he co-founded Community Renewal where he is currently CEO.

Community Renewal was set-up with just 4 staff in Foxbar, near Paisley, to test a new, more holistic way of transforming neighbourhoods by empowering people to get involved in community activity, improve wellbeing and get them into fair work. In just over 3 years they increased the employment rate in Foxbar by 6% and now have over 50 staff and volunteers working across six Scottish neighbourhoods. View the full report in pdf.

In November 2019, Paul was named Social Enterprise Champion at the Social Enterprise Scotland Awards.

Visit to access the online course and find out more.

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