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.

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Check out the video below for an in-depth overview of our history, or take a look at our Timeline

Providing and Improving Learning Disability Care for Over 45 Years 

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


Real Jobs employment service is launched


Real Jobs Falkirk is started


The first Action Group housing project begins


Name is changed to The Action Group


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


Name is changed to The North Edinburgh Action Group


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


The Action Group achieves Investors in People Gold status


The Action Group becomes a company limited by guarantee


Black and Ethnic Minority Advice Service (BEMAS) is launched

What's Next?

Want to become a part of our history? Take a look at our Current Vacancies


Gender Pay Gap

The Action Group is required to regularly assess differences in pay between male and female staff. By law, we must also report our findings.

This year’s figures are very positive and demonstrate The Action Group’s continuing success in rewarding and developing employees fairly. The most recent figures on the report are all from 2020-2021. The mean gender gap is -4.76% and the median gender gap is 0%.

The Action Group’s goal is to aim for the pay gap to be as close to zero as possible, although there will be slight fluctuations year on year.

You can view our full report HERE