Our history

The Action Group was set up in 1976 by a group of parents and carers of people who had learning disabilities and other support needs. They began by campaigning for better services for the people they cared about in the local area of Leith and Restalrig. This group, who all lived in the north east of Edinburgh, took the name Area 5 Action Group from the Social Work Department’s area in which they lived.


The Action Group was, and continues to be, a membership organisation with the twin aims of campaigning for, and providing, good community care services. In 1976, services and supports in the community were few and far between and large institutions and hospitals, like Gogarburn in Edinburgh, were the main service for children and adults.

Locally, The Area 5 Action Group ran a high profile political and media campaign to get learning disability and support needs on the agenda. It also explored ways to develop service-provision

By 1985, now called The North Edinburgh Action Group, membership had grown and service users came from all over Edinburgh, East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian. By 1992, with development plans focussing across an even wider area, a further name change to The Action Group was made.

Over the years the Action Group has been at the forefront of campaigning for and providing high quality community services.

Our timeline of events


Area 5 Action Group is founded


The first Action Group housing project begins


Name is changed to The North Edinburgh Action Group


The Action Group becomes a company limited by guarantee


Real Jobs employment service is launched


Name is changed to The Action Group


The Action Group moves to it’s current premises at Norton Park


Black and Ethnic Minority Advice Service (BEMAS) is launched


Real Jobs Falkirk is started


The Action Group’s charity shop closes after more than two decades of fundraising


The Action Group achieves Investors in People Gold status

Start typing and press Enter to search