Hard Edges Scotland full report

24th June 2019, words by Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Glen Bramley

Hard Edges Scotland which has been commissioned by Lankelly Chase and The Robertson Trust and authored by Heriot-Watt University.

The research highlights the complexity of the lives of people facing multiple disadvantage north of the border. It also details the challenges that charitable services and the public sector are facing. In particular, the report illustrates the mismatch between the multiple disadvantages people face and the fact that services are often set up to address ‘single issues’.

This builds directly on Hard Edges, Mapping Severe and Multiple Disadvantage (England) which was published in 2015. That research focused on the key manifestation of SMD involving adults facing issues of homelessness, offending and/or substance dependency.

Key findings – each year in Scotland:

  • 5,700 adults experience three ‘core’ forms of severe and multiple disadvantage (homelessness, offending and substance dependency)
  • 28,800 experience two out of these three
  • 156,700 experience one of these three
  • Higher rates of extreme disadvantage are found in urban compared to rural areas
  • Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, North Ayrshire and Aberdeen City show high prevalence of people experiencing ‘core’ forms of severe and multiple disadvantage
  • Affluent, suburban towns and the Highlands and Islands have lower rates.

For the summary report go here.

Here’s the printer-friendly version.

For the technical report please download here.



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