about us

account_balance  Reg. Scottish Charity SC 034826  ●  Reg. Company SC 257126

People are our passion, the Earth our reason.

About us

Our charitable aim

account_balance  The aims and objectives of our charity revolve around three key pillars: promoting holistic wellbeing, connection with nature, and community empowerment.

Our charity's primary aim is to help individuals overcome health and wellbeing challenges by connecting them with nature and community. Through our community woodland in Balerno, we offer a diverse range of programs, activities, workshops, and interventions that address various dimensions of wellbeing, including physical, emotional, and mental aspects. Our goal is to support individuals in their personal journeys towards empowerment, inner harmony, and overall wellness.

Environmental stewardship is a core objective of our organization. We recognize the deep interconnection between human wellbeing and the health of the planet. By promoting eco-friendly practices, environmental education, and initiatives that foster a harmonious relationship between people and nature, we aim to contribute to the collective healing of both humanity and the Earth. We believe that by engaging our community in environmental sustainability, we can create a positive impact on the planet.

Community empowerment is another fundamental objective of our charity. We strive to create an inclusive and nurturing space where individuals from diverse backgrounds can come together, share their wisdom, and support each other. Through collaborative projects, skill-sharing and development, and community events, we foster a sense of belonging and co-creation. Our aim is to empower individuals to recognize and harness their unique gifts, contributing positively to their communities and the world at large.

Our chairty is making a difference by providing a safe space for individuals and families to connect with nature and participate in transformative activities for positive mental health and wellbeing. We offer a holistic approach to wellbeing, recognizing the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, and mental aspects. By promoting environmental stewardship, we inspire our community to take action towards a sustainable future. Through community empowerment, we create an environment where individuals feel supported and empowered to make a positive impact.

Through our work, we strive to make a lasting difference in the lives of individuals, the health of the planet, and to strength our community.

Our story 

today In Oct 2003, Claudia Goncaves and Mark Halliday co-founded our charity. They had the desire to help others in our community who were struggling with their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, often as a result of trauma and socio-economic disadvantages. Today we are a team of 1 part time staff member, 20 sessional facilitators, 2 admin volunteers, 12 general volunteers, 10 trustees. Nearly 400 people are supported by our charity on a regular basis every year.

Our work is rooted in, and promotes, connection to nature and community for wellbeing. We recognise that an empowered individual with greater awareness and understanding of themselves can positively impact awareness and understanding of their surrounding community and the Planet Earth.  


today In Oct 2006, we started the Holistic Health Project . This project was a call for the community to come together in alignment with our co-founder's vision of philanthropy and service to others. Over time, more and more people came to support the project. This project took place at the Charity's Holistic Wellbeing Centre in Portobello for 15 years and in 2020, during Covid-19, it became an online project. Today people can still access 1:1 support via our Online Holistic Health Project. Online Holistic Health Project.   

today In April 2011, we started the Nature Connection Project . This project evolved and transformed over the years, supporting people who are facing physical, mental, emotional and other wellbeing challenges. This project promotes and develops positive health and wellbeing through the provision of activities in nature. In 2021, based on community consultation, this project transformed and became Nature Connection Volunteers Training. In 2023, it became the "Nature and Wellbeing" Project.

today In June 2015, we started the Planetary Holistic Bee Project . The aim of this project was to raise awareness about bees and the benefits of using a holistic approach with bee keeping, learning to give to the bees rather than take from them. This project ended in 2019 when we lost our 2 hives. However, we continue to plant bee-friendly flowers in our community woodland and pass on knowledge about bees to the children and families who access our projects and events.


today In May 2016, we started the Deepening our Nature Connection Project . We have adapted this project many times over the years based on community consultation. The project has supported young people, their families and friends through mentoring and providing opportunities for participants to create lasting connections with nature and community. Based on "The Art of Mentoring" and "Deep Nature Connection" using the 8 Shields approach, this is an intergenerational project where all members of a family can come together.


today In Oct 2016, we started the Carers Project . This project supported unpaid carers who were struggling with stress and needed to replenish their energy in order to continue caring for members of their family. This project ended in 2020 but today carers can still access support via our many projects.


today In Oct 2016, we launched The Edinburgh Holistic Shop a Social Enterprise trading arm to financially support our charity and also indigenous people. Our Shop is a member of the BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK.


today In Jan 2017, we started The Art Exhibition Project . This project brought together artists and community and it was a very inspiring project where artists made, exhibited and sold their artwork at the Planetary Healing Centre for 2 years. 19 artists participated and inspired others in our community to become artists. This project evolved over the years and became the Arts and Wellbeing project.

today In Aug 2017, we started the Indigneous People's Project . Conscious about the struggles of the indigenous people around the world, we wanted to do something to help. With this project we are supporting various indigenous people of Brazil. Each project and indigenous tribe is carefully selected by our board of trustees and coordinated by our co-founder Claudia Goncalves who is Brazilian and speaks the language. People can support this project by donating.

todayIn Oct 2018, we started the Children's Wellbeing Project . This project began following a community consultation exercise which determined the need in our community for children's holistic wellbeing support. This project has evolved and transformed over the years and today parents can still access support through our children and families wellbeing project.

today In May 2019, we started the Holistic Support Cancer Project . The need for this project arose following community consultation in 2018 which determined a significant number of people in our community were affected by cancer, including the loss of one of our trustees, our website development worker and one of our volunteers. Unfortunately, as a result of Covid-19, this project came to an end in 2020. However, today people can still access support via our Online Holistic Health Project.


today In June 2019, we started the Bihar Project . With this project we supported the movement to bring social and environmental change for the people of Bihar, India. This project has ended, however, people can still support this project by donating or volunteering in India.


todayIn Mar 2020, we started the Online Holistic Health Project . The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to an increase in anxiety and other mental health challenges in our community and indeed around the Globe. The need to adapt and continue offering our services became paramount. Our volunteers were trained to offer their services online from home attending an unprecedented number of people who really struggled with their mental health and wellbeing during the lockdowns. This project was so successful with so many volunteers working from home, that we decided that the online project should continue. Today access to 1:1 support online is very easy to book on our website.


todayIn April 2020, we started the Online Holistic Shop . Our online shop is a fairtrade, social enterprise trading-arm created to support our charity to become more self-sustainable financially and help us cover core costs. The online shop also supports indigenous people in Brazil by selling their crafts in the UK.


today In Mar 2022, we closed our premises in Portobello and our charity moved to our Community Woodland in Balerno where we have a very special HUT. A wonderful new chapter in nature began, with hundreds of activities being offered every year for our community in the woodland.

Our Co-founders

Mark Halliday and Claudia Goncalves 


Our board of trustees

The Planetary Healing Centre's team

Advisors volunteers (ex-board members):
Sara Beauregard, Stewart Keith, Seamas Stout


Project Development and Operations Worker:
Claudia Goncalves


Administrators Volunteers:
Estella Cassilatti, Yvonne Gray


Community Engagement:
India Carmody


Holistic therapists volunteers:
Mandy Peat, Dhyana Huggings, Susan Cotterril, Emma Stout


Adele Clarke, Elisa Rosabianca, Claudia Goncalves, Mark Halliday, Mona Kastell, Roberta Giovedi, Clare Mackade, Eleonor Kinross, Karin Zaandam, Tania MacKenzie, Petra Rychtarova', Estella Cassilatti


Project volunteers:
Cal Clarke, Stewart Keith, Malcolm Clarke, Karin Zaandam, Mark Halliday, Lea Clarke, Palma Mule'


Support and supervision volunteer:
Mandy Peat


Website updates:
Claudia Goncalves


Woodland maintenance volunteers:
Mark Halliday and Arjuna.