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Scottish Labour response to TSI Scotland Network Manifesto

TSI Scotland Network believes that the third sector should be at the heart of the journey to recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. Recently, we have reached out to political party leaders to highlight issues vital to the sector and were delighted to receive a response from Scottish Labour. Thank you for taking the time to engage with us.

Please see below.

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Thank you for highlighting the TSI manifesto. This document was considered by our Policy Forum and influenced the final manifesto.

Scottish Labour recognises the importance of a strong voluntary sector in our plans to decentralise powers and democratise the economy. We will support a continued partnership approach between government, charities, social enterprises and other sectors, modernise charity law, strengthen governance, and provide longer-term financing for projects delivered by the voluntary sector. We support ‘Volunteering for All’ outcomes and will promote employer engagement with awards and training, as well as support for community organising.

A fairer wellbeing society is at the core of our manifesto and community wealth building has been pioneered by Labour local authorities in Scotland. Our focus is on delivering a Parliament focused on a national recovery to create a fairer and stronger Scotland.

You can find the full details of our National Recovery Plan here.

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We look forward to continuing the conversation on the crucial themes affecting our sector and communities.

#fairerfuturescotland

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SNP response to TSI Scotland Network Manifesto

Recently, we have reached out to political party leaders looking for a response on vital themes for the third sector in Scotland. We were delighted to hear from Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party – thank you for taking the time to consider our asks.

Please see the response we received below.

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SNP Response to TSI Network Manifesto Requests:

An enhanced role for the third sector – we ask for grassroots organisations become critical partners at the top table, ensuring decisions made reflect on-the-ground realities.

During the pandemic we witnessed the incredible efforts of the third sector in providing lifeline support to people, communities and society. The third sector is also at the forefront of the recovery from the pandemic.

The vital role of the third sector was recognised by the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery and the sector was represented strongly on the Social Renewal Advisory Board and we will take forward their recommendations if we are returned in May. The SNP in Government has always consulted widely on policies and legislation and the third sector has always had a high profile role in scrutiny. We have also pioneered lived experience and rely on hearing directly from people as well as stakeholders.

We know that to enable our voluntary sector to continue its vital work it needs reliable funding. We will work towards multi-year funding for the sector to ensure a more secure and sustainable future. Our Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme is backed by £50 million and awards will be completed by this summer. A further £13.5 million will support the third sector to recover and transition from the pandemic. Social Enterprises are vital in building a wellbeing economy. We will back a new three year Social Enterprise Action Plan with £5 million.

Implementation of place-based approaches – the TSI Scotland Network supports the national ambition to adopt the Place Principle and devolving more power to local levels.

We believe in building the wealth of our local communities. This means keeping resources and wealth in the local economy, with control in the hands of local people, helping communities be more resilient, sustainable and economically secure.

The Place Principle is an approach that seeks to ensure that we, as policy makers, have increased collaboration and community involvement as we know that local solutions can tackle local issues and deliver positive outcomes for  people and communities. The Principle has been followed by the SNP Scottish Government for some time and was formally adopted in March 2019. The Place Principle also supports the government’s National Performance Framework’s collective purpose.

This principle is exemplified in the funding programmes the SNP in Government has ensured has gone direct to communities. For example, the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund  has funded hundreds of projects and supported jobs in locally-led regeneration projects. In addition, The Empowering Communities Programme comprises two targeted funds. The Investing in Communities fund reflects our commitment to investing in communities so that they can develop the resources and resilience to decide their own aspirations, priorities and solutions in response. The Aspiring Communities Fund helped community bodies and third sector organisations in our most deprived and fragile communities develop and deliver long-term local solutions that: address local priorities and needs, increase active inclusion, build on the assets of local communities to reduce poverty and to enable inclusive growth

We will take forward our ambitions for 20-minute neighbourhoods: the creation of liveable, accessible places, with thriving local economies, where people can meet their daily needs within a 20 minute walk – enabling people to live better, healthier lives and supporting our net zero ambitions. By changing our approach to transport, housing and public services we can make 20 minute neighbourhoods a reality as we recover from the pandemic.

To further shift the balance of power to communities, we will bring forward a Community Wealth Building Act to redirect wealth, control and benefits to local economies. The Act will require local authorities and public bodies to spend in their local communities through increased local procurement, greater use of small businesses and ensuring taxpayers money is reinvested as far as possible in their local communities.

We will review the Community Empowerment Act and consult on ways in which it could be expanded to put more power in the hands of people and communities and increase the amount of local funding allocated by communities themselves through participatory budgeting.

Volunteering and the empowerment of people – as the crisis unfolded, a new wave of neighbourhood volunteers stepped up to the numerous and complex challenges of Covid-19. We call for recognition that the TSI Scotland Network can make a unique contribution to empower inclusive volunteering and maximise the social and community action.

We would not have coped during the pandemic without the thousands who volunteered their help – delivering food and essentials to those shielding or even just checking up on vulnerable friends and neighbours. We have all discovered this last year how much we rely on each other. That is why the SNP in Government ensured TSIs were provided with funding through our initial £350m community and wellbeing funding in response to the pandemic to support local initiatives and volunteers step up to help their local areas.

Volunteers, in all their diversity, played a huge part in the response to the pandemic across Scotland. Acts of kindness, generosity and compassion across our communities have told a story about Scotland and its people that we need to celebrate and build on. For thousands of people, volunteering during the pandemic provided a sense of purpose and community that may otherwise have been missing.

We have a unique opportunity to build on that. A thriving third sector is vital to Scotland and as such it is an essential partner to Government. We are committed to working with partners across Scotland to ensure that volunteering is for all, tackle inequality and dismantle the barriers to volunteering. The TSI Scotland Network can make a unique contribution to empower inclusive volunteering and maximise the social and community action.

Our Young Person’s Guarantee will ensure that every young person aged between 16 and 24 in Scotland has the opportunity to participate in a formal volunteering programme.

A fairer wellbeing society – we call for employment schemes that are linked to community wealth-building and creating fair, inclusive and sustainable economies, to maximise community benefit, reduce poverty and inequalities and tackle the climate emergency.

Recovery from the pandemic must have sustainability, wellbeing and fair work built in from the outset. We will deliver a wellbeing budget, ensuring that all budget decisions benefit the wellbeing of people across the country. As stated above, we will continue to ensure our programmes and funding directly support local communities tackle poverty and inequality and provide the best solutions to meet local need.

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We look forward to continuing the conversation on the crucial themes affecting our sector and communities.

#fairerfuturescotland

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Scottish Election 2021

With the Scottish Election just over a week away, the TSI Network has reached out to political party leaders looking for a response on vital themes for the third sector in Scotland. Please see below what we asked for. We will share all the responses we receive here and on our Twitter channel.

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Dear Leader

We wish you all the very best in your campaign in the upcoming Scottish Parliament election.

The past year has created quite a storm, with the COVID 19 pandemic causing exceptional damage to people’s livelihoods and wellbeing. During this time, as I am sure you will agree, community groups, charities and social enterprises across Scotland have been instrumental in helping those most in need.

It is crucial that the third sector remains at the heart of the journey to recovery. The TSI Manifesto outlines the sector’s role in creating a fairer, wellbeing society which also tackles the climate emergency.

There are vital themes that we would like to hear your response to and more importantly share with the members of the TSI Network and the wider sector. We would be delighted to receive your response by video or in writing so that we can share across our digital communications channels.

We would like to bring your attention to key themes below:

An enhanced role for the third sector – we ask for grassroots organisations become critical partners at the top table, ensuring decisions made reflect on-the-ground realities.

Implementation of place-based approaches – the TSI Scotland Network supports the national ambition to adopt the Place Principle and devolving more power to local levels.

Volunteering and the empowerment of people – as the crisis unfolded, a new wave of neighbourhood volunteers stepped up to the numerous and complex challenges of Covid-19. We call for recognition that the TSI Scotland Network can make a unique contribution to empower inclusive volunteering and maximise the social and community action.

A fairer wellbeing society – we call foremployment schemes that are linked to community wealth-building and creating fair, inclusive and sustainable economies, to maximise community benefit, reduce poverty and inequalities and tackle the climate emergency.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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If you would like to see our full manifesto please click here.

#fairerfutureScotland

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TSI Scotland Network supports Nottingham Trent University’s Covid-19 Impact Study.

TSI Scotland Network helps capture more information around COVID-19 impacts for Nottingham Trent University.

Third round open now until 22nd March – https://rebrand.ly/zec4bvc

Nottingham Trent University are currently conducting the largest UK study exploring the impact of Covid-19 on the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector. The latest round to the survey is now open until 22nd March. The more organisations that complete this the more impact it has. The barometer dashboard so far can be found here https://rebrand.ly/72gg7ia

It is quick, easy and only takes a few minutes to complete. Each round the survey has a set of general questions, with some focussing on a theme (for example, this month we’ll be looking at the ways organisations may interact with local authorities). As a small thank you to everyone who takes part, each month there is the option to enter a draw to win £200, and a £2000 prize draw at the end of the project (see here for more info).

Should you have more time to share, we would love to hear more about your organisation and experiences. You can get in touch with the NTU research team at CPWOP@ntu.ac.uk or visit the project page to discover more – we look forward to hearing from you.

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New Survey with Nottingham Trent University on state of Third Sector now

Last year the TSI Scotland Network carried out an extensive survey to gather information which helped shaped our responses to Scottish Government and support the sector.

We are now inviting local organisations to again take part in a survey in conjunction with Nottingham Trent University and supported by ACOSVO. The survey will take about 5 minutes and you will be entered into a Prize Draw.  

Please go to the link here to complete.

Many thanks for your support and input.

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New Appointment: Chief Executive EVOC

Bridie Ashrowan has been announced as the new Chief Executive of EVOC, stepping into the role at the end of March 2021, when Ella Simpson retires after leading the organisation for more than twelve years.

Bridie has over thirty years’ experience in the community sector, having worked in start-ups, social enterprise and business, including her most recent position as Chief Executive at Space & Broomhouse Hub. In fact, she successfully headed the £3.2 million capital investment programme to open the Hub – a local community development trust in an area that has some of the highest child and in-work poverty in Scotland – towards the end of 2019.

Bridie commented:
‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead EVOC and to take up the reins from Ella Simpson. Across the communities of Edinburgh, there will be many who will face hugely challenging circumstances. I look forward to working with partners, this talented team and the folk of Edinburgh in building a future together that we can be proud of.’

Ella Simpson (Current Chief Executive) said:
‘I’ve had the most amazing time working for EVOC. It has been an absolute privilege to work with such an incredible team and dedicated Board. It’s in our DNA to work WITH people, partners and all our stakeholders and I know that Bridie will build on that strong heritage. It would always have been bitter sweet to leave EVOC and this has been a particularly difficult year for everyone. However, I know the strength and courage of EVOC and our sector and I’m convinced that with Bridie’s leadership and the dedication of the EVOC team, peoples’ voices and the sectors’ value will be heard and understood.’

Read the full announcement here.

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New Appointment: Chief Executive Officer BAVS

Juliana Amaral has taken over at the helm of Bavs as the 5th CEO ahead of Bavs 50th anniversary next year, signalling a new era at the organisation. Juliana is well known in the community for her various roles in promoting social justice, promoting a sustainable environment and building community capacity. She lives in Berwick-upon-Tweed but has spent most of her working life in Berwickshire and Borders area. Passionate about the sea, Juliana is often found walking her dog on the beach. She enjoys meeting new people, a wide range of music and good food.

“I am delighted and honoured to take on the role of CEO at Bavs. I have always had a great admiration for the organisation and the amazing team behind all the good work that happens in Berwickshire. I am committed to continuing the fantastic work the dedicated team of staff and volunteers have delivered so far. I look forward to helping shape the next stage of the organisation and to continue to ensure that community capacity, development and support to local groups and organisations are at the heart of what we do. We are going through challenging times, facing a lot of hardship that COVID19 posed on us all. However, the community response to the crisis highlighted how resilient communities are and their capacity to respond to needs if the right support and resources are available. I am very proud of the work that happened in Berwickshire during the pandemic and will strive work closely with third sector organisations and community groups moving forward, building a stronger recovery plan with and for our sector”

Juliana Amaral
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Manifesto for Change – TSI Scotland Network

During Summer 2020, the TSI Scotland Network leaders took learning from the TSI Survey and their own experiences, to develop the first Manifesto for Change.

Download: Manifesto for Change

This document has now been sent to all political parties and we hope will influence decisions and policies to shift investment and resources to grass roots community-led organisations at an increased rate, to protect communities and the most vulnerable in our society.

#fairerfutureScotland.

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TSI Scotland Network Survey – July 2020

TSI Scotland Network Survey – July 2020

Through Covid-19 the TSI Scotland Network carried out an influential study over a two month period. A total of 1,184 organisations took part from local neighbourhoods to national level organisations across Scotland. the Survey and its main findings can be found here.

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Impact of COVID-19 on the Third Sector in Scotland – October 2020

Impact of COVID-19 on the Third Sector in Scotland – October 2020

TSI Scotland Network and Volunteering Scotland have compiled the key findings from their joint surveying of third sector and the volunteering community through Covid-19. The full presentation can be found here.