Nicola Sturgeon’s visit to Dr Bell’s Family Centre: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  1. The Scottish Government is included as one of the ‘Funders’ of ‘Dr Bell’s Family Centre’ in Leith (details included on their website). Please provide information of all funding and grants that have been awarded to ‘Dr Bell’s Family Centre’ during the period April 2015 until April 2023.
  2. On September 5th 2022 First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon launched the Scottish Government’s ‘Programme for Government’ during a visit to Dr Bell’s Family Centre. Please provide information on whether any fee was paid to this ‘Charity Organisation’ for hosting this official government launch event held at their ‘child friendly’ Family Centre in Leith, Edinburgh.
  3. On February 28th 2023, Humza Yousaf, Minister for Health and Social care unveiled his ‘Plan for Childcare’ during a visit to Dr Bell’s Family Centre in Leith. Please provide information on whether any Scottish Government employees were involved in arranging this event or were involved with providing advice on the suitability of using this location, which receives funding from the Scottish Government, for a publicity event
  4. According to NSPCC Learning ‘Schools, clubs and organisations should have a written photography policy statement that sets out your overall approach to images taken of children and young people during events and activities. This policy statement should be used alongside a more detailed set of procedures that explain how your organisation uses images of children and young people in publications, on websites and on social networking sites, and what actions you take to keep children safe’. Please provide information on whether the Ministerial staff organising events at Dr Bell’s Family Centre have ensured that there is written photography policy statement in place at Dr Bell’s Family Centre and whether the two events held there by the First Minister and Scottish Minister Humza Yousaf adhere to best practice guidance in relation to protecting children and young people who take part in organisation’s services, events and activities, specifically those where photographs and videos may be taken.
  5. Please provide information on any procedures which are in place for Ministerial and Scottish Government staff involved with organising events where Ministers are visiting early years, school or other educational settings. Please also provide information on what procedures are in place which ensure that the parents and/or guardians of young children are made fully aware of the fact that all pictures taken at these events, involving the First Minister and other Government Ministers, will be available to purchase online on various stock photography websites following the event.


This response will primarily focus on the former First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon’s visit to Dr Bell’s Family Centre on 5th September 2022. The visit by Mr Yousaf was not organised by the Scottish Government.

Question 1

Dr Bell’s Family Centre has received four years of Investing in Communities Fund (ICF) Round 1 funding from 2019 – 2023 inclusive (total £306,377) to support their Healthier Futures for Families in Leith project. This enabled them to deliver a programme of family learning and family support; individual and group-based therapeutic services; food and nutrition resources; early-education and childcare; and volunteer and student placements. Funding provided is as follows:

2019/2020 - £38,657

2020/2021 - £89,240

2021/2022 - £89,240

2022/2023 - £89,240

Question 2

Scottish Government records show that no fee was paid to Dr Bell’s Family Centre to host this event. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

Question 3

The event you refer to for Mr Yousaf has been publicised in the media as a Scottish National Party campaign event for Mr Yousaf. The Scottish Government had no involvement in the leadership campaign. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

Question 4

When organising events which involve children or vulnerable people Scottish Government staff work closely with the event host, in this case Dr Bell’s Family Centre staff, to ensure all necessary permissions are in place. The event you refer to on September 5 was a parents and babies group so all young children had a parent and or guardian present with them who had given consent to take part in filming and photography.

Question 5

The Scottish Government doesn’t collect bespoke media permissions for individual events, media permissions are sought by the host organisation (usually an individual organisation or charity or through the local authority for nursery or school settings) as part of their routine duty of care. This is standard practice.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top