ACVO News May 19th 2021

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MAY 19 | 2021

ACVO News 3 May 19 2021


10 Community Origami Project hosted at Aberdeen Health Village

18 Who Cares? Scotland and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

24 ACVO Affiliates Spotlight: Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP

4 ACVO Updates 8 News from you and other networks 28 Volunteering The latest from Mike Melvin and Volunteer Aberdeen 32 Health and social care updates Updates from ACVO and our health and social care partner organisations 34 Vacancies Latest opportunities from the third sector in Aberdeen and beyond

20 Aberdeen Housing Rights Defenders with Jacob Campbell

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Scottish Charity No: SC036845


ACVO News 4 May 19 2021

ACVO Updates The latest from our team.

Many thanks to all the amazing people and organisations who contributed to our campaign for Mental Health Awareness Week, including Aberdeen Climate Action, Hope for the Future, Eiméar Cooney Coaching, Hope Counselling, Sport Aberdeen, Alcohol and Drugs Action, Cultivate Aberdeen, The Compass Project, Swim Free Aberdeen and Wet Bandits. Find highlights from the week on page 20 and head over to to read the blogs and watch the films

ACVO News 5 May 19 2021



Join the ACVO Board to support and represent the third sector in Aberdeen

ACVO is the Third Sector Interface (TSI) for Aberdeen City. ACVO provides support, learning and development opportunities for people and organisations through their programmes of work - whether you want to know more about volunteering; setting up and running a third sector organisation; or using social enterprise as a model to deliver social good, the interface is your local starting point.

We have over 20 years experience working in Aberdeen as the central hub of knowledge relating to the local third sector.

ACVO is looking for energetic, passionate people to: be part of supporting, involving and representing the work of the third sector in Aberdeen champion the important work the sector does contribute to the strategic direction of ACVO

If you believe in the value of Aberdeen’s third sector and if you would like to be part of ACVO’s vision for the sector, we have a chair for you at our boardroom table. Board members are expected to attend 6 meetings a year and may be asked to represent ACVO and the sector at some strategic meetings. Our Board meetings are held alternately at lunchtimes and evenings in Aberdeen. If you are interested please follow this link to complete a skills analysis and application form.

ACVO News 6 May 19 2021


News from you and other networks

Camphill School Aberdeen sees Covid-19 vaccination success Corra Foundation

Aberdeen charity, Camphill School Aberdeen, completes 98% take-up of its second round of Covid-19 Vaccines for young people with learning disabilities and complex additional support needs, using a pop-up onsite vaccination centre.

Camphill School Aberdeen, spread over three sites along the Dee Valley, provides lifechanging residential and day services for over 90 children and young adults with

vaccination, playing an important role in encouraging their peers. Callum, one such student, said, “I was very, very excited to hear that I would get my vaccination jab

great relief for us to be able to get him vaccinated at Camphill. It was a familiar place for him, therefore no anxiety issues. We were taken straight away with no

learning disabilities and complex additional support needs, including autism. Its unique natural environment and community approach supports these young students in building their

and it was very reassuring when I got it. I hope that it will help with getting things back to normal. It has been a tough year and I hope that we can get back to our normal routines soon. I hope that now I

queuing, which could also have been challenging. The whole process was so well thought out - an amazing team effort with everyone involved. Thank you Camphill for taking what would have been

confidence, independence and skills, enabling them to reach their fullest potential. Over a year from the start of the COVID restrictions, Camphill School Aberdeen feels they have turned a corner. All eligible young people have now been vaccinated, with an encouraging 98% uptake. Made possible through collaboration between NHS Grampian and Dr Stefan Geider,

have had it that I will encourage many people to go and get vaccinated.” The flexibility possible in the pop-up centre and the familiarity of the staff was also reassuring for parents, as mum Amanda Hayward highlighted: “As a parent of a young adult with additional support needs, I was very worried about the whole process of my son receiving the vaccine. Therefore, it was a

a stressful situation and making it worry free.” This was echoed by Mum Aloyise Mulligan. “Our adult son Niall has Down’s Syndrome and is non-verbal, therefore we are unable to explain to him about the pandemic or the need to get vaccinated. He is a lovely boy who is very trusting but also can get highly anxious if he is unsure of his surroundings or people he is not

Camphill Medical Practice NHS GP and Camphill School medical adviser, the achievement has been parents and staff alike.



Transforming an onsite gym into a “popup” vaccination centre created a clinically safe, yet familiar, space for the young students, many of whom struggle with changes to their normal routine. Taking into account the specific needs of each young person, experienced medical and support staff adapted their approach to ensure that getting vaccinated was as stress free as possible. In addition, attending in house ‘bubbles’ allowed students to be less anxious about the

ACVO News 7 May 19 2021 familiar with. I cannot emphasise the absolute relief and delight when we heard Niall would be vaccinated at Camphill. This lifted all the worry from us as a family. We to be greeted by the lovely staff who work with Niall and he beamed from ear to ear with the biggest smile you have ever seen. He sat beautifully as he knew the surroundings, had his vaccine and we all cheered! What a wonderful, positive experience all round.” Commenting on the importance of the vaccine for Camphill School, Alex Busch, CEO said, “the change in mood since we have completed our vaccines is amazing. There is a wave of true excitement and anticipation for a bright future and a massive sense of relief that life is moving towards normality”. Reflecting on the impact of the past year Alex added, "our young people have been truly remarkable during the pandemic. The vast majority did not see their parents for months on end, except ‘virtually’ and have been surprisingly resilient. We adapted to keep everyone safe yet still participating in a variety of daily activities. Our wide-ranging outdoor spaces, with gardens, care farm and woodland walks helped us keep a healthy balance between indoor and outdoor life. A number of our staff heroically moved out of their own homes into some of our residential houses to enable this, helping ensure all our young people continued to thrive. Many parents have told us we were a lifeline for them and their families during this difficult year." Camphill was founded in 1940, by a group of young Austrian refugees who were welcomed into Aberdeen during the second World War. Through local philanthropy, these pioneers set up Camphill School Aberdeen, which has grown into a worldwide movement of over 100 independent Charities. The Camphill ethos, which is grounded in inclusion, community support and environmental sustainability, has never been more relevant than it is today as society seeks to build back stronger in the wake of Covid.


Smart Works launches virtual service to reach unemployed women throughout Scotland Smart Works Edinburgh is increasing their reach with a new virtual service, bringing their support to women in all areas of the country. The organisation provides unemployed women across Scotland with free interview coaching and high-end interview clothing from partners such as Whistles, Hobbs, John Lewis and Burberry. Each client has a personalised styling session with Smart Works' volunteer stylists, receiving a complete outfit of high-quality clothes and accessories for their specific job interview, which are free and hers to keep. After her dressing, each client receives a one-to-one interview preparation and coaching session with an experienced HR professional. Once a client is successful at interview, they are welcomed back for a second dressing to receive five additional pieces of clothing. This means they can start their new role with a capsule working wardrobe which will see them through until their first pay cheque. Also, for women who are unemployed, facing redundancy or struggling to secure a job interview they can offer an hour’s career coaching where the client works with the HR professional to identify 3 tangible goals to move her job search forward. They have now launched our virtual

service which means that they can help unemployed women throughout the whole of Scotland rather than just face-to-face in their Edinburgh offices. Interview/career coaching will take place over zoom and clothing parcels sent out to the client after a virtual dressing consultation. Visit Smart Works online at or call 0131 5167787 if you would like find out more or refer an unemployed woman for an appointment. To see what the service can offer, watch the film produced Birmingham below.





ACVO News 8 May 19 2021

Project SEARCH: The Big

Lunch 2021: Applications for interns June 5th -6th close 11th June 2021 DFN Project SEARCH is an employability programme for young people (ages 16-25)

Monday - Friday over the course of one academic year for up to 12 people or

with learning disabilities or who are on the autism spectrum. Does the thought of working or applying to a job make you feel nervous? Are you having trouble finding the right job for you? Or would you simply like more experience and qualifications before you

‘interns.’ It is designed to give young people with learning disabilities and/or autism the opportunity to develop employability skills and gain hands-on, workplace experience in a supportive environment. The Project SEARCH day runs from 09.00

take that next step into work? Whatever your current level of confidence and understanding, you will always be able to get something out of Project SEARCH, which aims to make your transition into the workplace as smooth as possible. DFN Project SEARCH is a partnership between the University of Aberdeen, VIAS, North East Scotland College, SDS and both Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire

to 16.00 and typically comprises 4 hours’ practical work experience and 2 hours classroom-based learning. Completing Project SEARCH requires a lot of hard work and commitment from the interns taking part, which in turn requires a commitment of help, support and encouragement from their families and support network. This is designed to be an individual’s last year of education before

Councils. The aim of the project is to provide an employment focused education programme based at the University of Aberdeen, designed to be the transition from education to employment. It runs

starting work. Project SEARCH are still seeking interns for their next cohort of the project which is due to start in August 2021. The closing date for applications is Friday the 11th of June. To apply, please visit

The Big Lunch is about celebrating community connections and getting to know one another a little better. For more than ten years, they have been encouraging people to meet up with neighbours and friends to celebrate community. This year, there are more reasons than ever to get together as The Big Lunch kicks off a summer of community, friendship and fun with a truly moveable feast! The Big Lunch will kick off on their usual weekend of the 5-6 June but this year they are encouraging people to hold Big Lunches either on that weekend or in support of these events across the summer - so you can pick your own big date to celebrate and hold a Big Lunch when it works best for you. Getting involved is easy and fun – download your Big Lunch !



ACVO News 9 May 19 2021


Aberdeen Science Centre reopens as Scottish lockdown restrictions lift Top





members of the ASC team will be around

back to the centre.”

Aberdeen Science Centre (ASC) welcomed the public back to its revamped facility on Wednesday, April 28. The centre, which recently underwent a major two year £6 million redevelopment

to sanitise exhibits and answer any questions. Bryan Snelling, chief executive of Aberdeen Science Centre said: “Our reopening last year was a huge success, with

Aberdeen Science Centre is ‘We’re Good to Go’ accredited. This is the industry standard proving the centre is compliant with all Scottish Government guidelines, so visitors can rest assured knowing their

project, previously opened on 4 November 2020, but was available to visit for just seven weeks before Scotland went into a national lockdown. Now, the team at ASC are busy at work following their second re-opening, welcoming both new and familiar faces to immerse themselves in an exciting world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

many of our weekend tickets selling out online weeks ahead of the booking date. “With Covid guidelines in mind and to ensure our visitors are not left disappointed at the door, we created an online booking system last year which we will continue to use to monitor capacity. We encourage all visitors to use our system and plan their visit in advance, so you don’t miss out on the date you wish to

wellbeing is a top priority for staff. To visit Aberdeen Science Centre, tickets must be booked in advance. This can be done through the ASC website

Inside the new look venue, guests can explore more than 60 new interactive exhibits across six new zones: Energy,

attend. “Not only is Aberdeen Science Centre a fun and interactive way for individuals to

on the hunt for volunteers to help transform our Sensory Garden and outdoor space, it’s in need of a little TLC.

Space, Life Sciences, Make It and Test It as well as a special area for the under-6s. Included in those exhibits, is The OPITO Theatre of Energy, a one-of-a-kind immersive experience featuring three interactive displays – The Story of Energy, an Energy Wall and an interactive Energy Game. Visitors can also interact with the centre’s famous humanoid acting robot, known as RoboThespian. Sponsored by Equinor, ASC’s Digital Futures Partner, guests can ask RoboThespian STEM

learn more about STEM, but it’s an exciting day out for the whole family to enjoy. “On behalf of myself and the whole team at ASC, we would like to welcome everyone

If you are interested and want to find out more, please contact the ASC team.

questions, observe him sing and impersonate popular singers and actors, and even have a go at programming his speech and actions. In line with Scottish Government guidelines, the centre will be operating at a lower capacity to help keep the public safe and ensure social distancing, and

Are you a budding gardener? Do you have a passion for the great outdoors? We need your help! The team at Aberdeen Science Centre are



May 19 2021


Aberdeen Health Village is the first public wellbeing space to showcase the fantastic work created through a community art project that brought together like-minded people who were feeling the impact of lockdown....

ACVO News 11 May 19 2021


Self-trained artist and mother of 2, Janet Shek, like many others had feelings of isolation and confinement during what seemed like never ending lockdown periods However, early in the pandemic, Janet and her family whilst enjoying the limited time they were aloud outside for exercise had discovered a secluded area by the River Don. They built an impromptu den, at the time it was just for a bit

pandemic, Janet reflected on the feelings she had as the gifts and trinkets had appeared at the den. An idea came to the resilient artist as she decided to reach further out to the community to help support others with their mental health

of fun just for fun and they didn’t think it would last long. After a while, every couple of days the family would walk

and wellbeing. After the interest Janet had from the post about the den, she

down to check their den was still standing, and to their surprise it was there for the whole of the first lockdown. As the weeks went by the family noticed people had started leaving small pieces of artwork, painted rocks, hanging decorations, flowers and other tokens at the den.

decided to try and recreate the sense community and togetherness and so set up a Facebook page to see if the community were interested in a new project making origami cranes. Online tutorials on how to fold the cranes, were posted on the page to help people learn the craft. Before she knew it hundreds of community members joined forces

It really began to feel like a little sanctuary and point of interest on their daily walk. It felt like a little “hello” from their neighbours and made them feel like they weren’t alone even though some days they might not see or speak to another soul. Janet and her family really valued their den and the unexpected additions that came along through time.

connecting with the page and have to date now produced over a 1000 brightly coloured beautifully folded cranes.

Unfortunately, as the restrictions started to lift, the den ended up getting vandalised. Janet shared this with the local community social media pages and to her surprise the local community members reached out to Janet saying how much they and their families had enjoyed visiting the space whilst it was there, children were always exited to see what treasures

promote recovery from illness. Something very appropriate as we think of the world in the current pandemic.

had been left. This was not the end of Janet’s story! Not to be discouraged by the vandalism and understanding the mental health challenges that people may have been facing through the

The Japanese art of origami and the folding of a crane (orizuru) symbolises peace and the cultural significance of Senba Zuru or the folding of a thousand cranes, is something that is made for prayers, wishes or to give to someone to

With over a 1000 cranes demonstrating the vision of a resilient and talented community member bring together a community of people in a crisis, the Aberdeen Community health Village has opened its doors to show case the flock of cranes. The installation took place on Wednesday 12th May and demonstrates the power in connection within the community project as well as highlighting the benefit to mental health during Mental health week 2021.


ACVO News 12 May 19 2021

Survey of volunteer involving organisations from the Scottish Government Closes May 23rd Survey looks to help understand the impact of COVID-19 on the voluntary sector and volunteering in Scotland The Scottish Government would like to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the voluntary sector and volunteering. If you are an organisation which has engaged volunteers in the last two years, they would really like to hear your views. The survey will provide invaluable and up-to-date insights on both the challenges and opportunities facing volunteering and will help to guide the recovery process in 2021 and beyond. The findings will be published and widely disseminated for the benefit of all volunteer involving organisations. The research will also provide a key section of the evidence base being gathered as part of Scotland’s participation in a UK-wide research study on the role of volunteering in the pandemic: Please click this Volunteering Survey link to complete the survey. The survey will close on 23 May.

All SEN Session on Demystifying Data Wednesday May 26th In the session hosted by SENSCOT the importance of data is discussed and how this can be used to create opportunities for social enterprise. Social Enterprise Network Scotland (SENScot) acts as the umbrella body for social enterprise networks in Scotland – a

With the next online session, hosted on May 26th from 10.30-11.30, there will be a focus on looking at recently published Government digital and AI strategies which put data upskilling at the very heart of Scotland’s recovery and realising the country’s full potential in the digital

network of networks. As a membership led organisation, SENScot represents, promotes and champions the work of front-line social enterprises, with a commitment to reflect the views and aspirations of our members. As part of their support offering to their network, SENSCOT host regular workshops to inform the sector.


Unlocking the power of data is key for social enterprise – find out how you and your organisation can upskill and use data and analytics to your advantage by taking part in the session. Booking can be



ACVO News 13 May 19 2021


NSPCC launches Childhood Day as it sees rise in Childline counselling sessions with under 12s in Scotland about mental health Latest Childline data reveals there has been a 17% rise in counselling sessions about mental or emotional health with children under 12 from Scotland over the past year

The NSPCC is launching its landmark Childhood Day to give young people a

The start of the year and the January lockdown presented another particularly

difficult emotions, encounter new experiences and build resilience,

brighter future as it reports a rise in Childline contacts from children under 12

challenging time for young people, as COVID death rates rose and schools closed

confidence and self-esteem. In light of this, I’m backing the NSPCC’s Childhood

in Scotland about mental health issues. During the pandemic, Childline held 243 counselling sessions with children of this age group about their mental and emotional health, compared with 207

down for a second time. The charity’s Childline volunteer counsellors, as well as supporters and partners worked incredibly hard to ensure the service could stay open and young

Day and encouraging families up and down the country to get playing on the 11th of June.” Earlier this year, a 10-year-old boy told Childline: “I’m feeling really sad and upset

sessions in the previous year – an increase of 17%. Now the NSPCC is asking families and friends to celebrate childhood by organising a play event on June 11th to raise money for the charity and help keep more children safe. Since April last year, Childline has carried out a total of 3,664 counselling sessions with children in Scotland about their

people had somewhere to turn. Analysis of Childline’s online services shows many children have taken proactive steps to support their emotional wellbeing during this time. Now, as lockdown continues to ease, the charity is calling on people everywhere to play their part in giving children a great summer and brighter future – as it launches its landmark Childhood Day with

that I can’t spend time with friends and play with them because of another lockdown. I’m not returning to school for another 5 or 6 weeks and the news about the number of deaths from COVID-19 has made me more scared. I don’t feel like I can tell my mum how I feel inside as it will upset her.” The NSPCC’s Childhood Day, which was previously piloted in specific areas and

mental or emotional health. In 1,748 mental health-related counselling sessions young people mentioned anxiety or stress; in 1,006 they discussed low mood; in 569 they talked about confidence issues; and in

a new film that encourages people to sign up. NSPCC supporter Dr Ranj Singh said: “Young people have experienced so many different challenges to their mental health

will be held on the 11th June this year, is being launched today with a refreshed look and feel and a renewed ambition to celebrate childhood by getting the UK playing after a really challenging year.

496 they spoke about depression. Mental health has remained the top reason young people have got in touch with Childline, with these four issues ranking as the most commonly discussed topics. In over 200 counselling sessions, children in Scotland talked of their worries about the world, which is more than a two-fold increase from the previous year (81).

this year. Lots will have played less because they’ve been stuck at home, but as restrictions ease and opportunities for play increase it’s important we recognise its benefits. “Play can help children work through

The charity has launched a new film that encourages people to play their part for children by signing up, downloading a fundraising pack and organising a play event to fundraise for the NSPCC.

Over the past year, councellors have heard from children attempting to navigate the closure of schools, the introduction and easing of lockdowns, concerns about the virus and social isolation. At the start of the pandemic the change in daily routines, being stuck at home and the removal of professional support from schools caused great worry and anxiety in young people, particularly those who were already coping with other issues in their lives.


ACVO News 14 May 19 2021

'Pedal Protect: Lock it, don't lose it' campaign from Police Scotland The demand for bicycles has never been

spending around 10% of the value of your

serial number can be found on the bottom

greater and as such bicycles are being targeted regularly by thieves. Aberdeen based Crime Reduction Officer, PC Mark Irvine said "Whether you have just purchased your first bike or are a

bike on a lock. Always buy the best quality lock you can afford and look out for those that have been endorsed as ‘Sold Secure’ or ‘Secured by Design.’

bracket. Consider using a bike registration scheme to mark your bicycle. Not only is this a deterrent to thieves but should you be unlucky enough to have your bicycle stolen it increases the chances of getting

seasoned cyclist it is worth investing in a good quality cycle specific lock to secure your bike." Many bikes, in particular electric bikes cost thousands of pounds, so it may be worth investing in individual policies or at least confirming your home policy covers the bike, not only when it is at home but when you are out. Thieves will routinely carry bolt croppers

It's not enough to simply lock your bicycle whenever it is left unattended for a longer period. Modern bikes are light and can be carried away quickly. Whether a bicycle stand, lamp post or metal fence: a bike must be locked to something and whatever you choose, it must be at least as secure as the lock itself. Ideally, use two different types of lock - a thief will need more tools to steal it.

your bicycle back Further guidance can be found at or by contacting your local Police Scotland Crime Reduction Officer.

or even battery powered angle grinders and light weight, poor quality locks offer little resistance. As a rough guide consider

Photograph your bike and record all of your bike’s details and distinguishing features and keep in a safe place. The

ACVO News 16 May 19 2021

‘We should not be here... We should not exist’ an introduction to Aberdeen Housing Rights Defenders

by Jacob Campbell

ACVO News 17 May 19 2021

In 2019, at Shelter Scotland’s “Home Truths” debate, held to commemorate 50 years since the founding of the organisation, acclaimed crime writer Val McDermid shared these words with the assembled crowd, “we’re here tonight because, in spite of our best efforts, we have failed.” Shelter Scotland was founded in 1968. Its mission: To stand up in the fight to end homelessness; to champion better housing and conditions for all; to keep the pressure on those with power to always do better; and to fight housing-related injustice wherever we saw it. Despite significant progress over the past 50 years – won both by Shelter Scotland and by organisations across civil society – our continued existence as an organisation in 2021 is an indictment on our country.

we want to see better housing and standards across Aberdeen – but we want to see a complete culture change in the way that housing is viewed and the way that people live. As a movement, we encourage a spirit of housing activism amongst renters in both the social and private rented sectors. With a fortnightly meeting on a Thursday Evening, we’re bringing different communities from all across our city together in the continued fight for better housing and conditions for all – and we’re not going to stop until bad housing, bad conditions and homelessness are a thing of the past. And you might – quite rightly – ask: Why now? What’s the point?

all our wealth, our ingenuity and our perceived social progressiveness as a nation, we have a very real, present and incredibly basic issue with both the standard of housing

Generations before us have had the opportunity to create change in housing across Scotland – with varying success. Why should it be up to us to fix the mess created by others? The answer is that Aberdonians can’t afford to wait for someone else to decide their housing fate.

across the sectors in Scotland, and our rates of homelessness. The statistics speak for themselves.

Parents bringing up their kids in houses plagued by mould does not have to be inevitable.

Right now, in Scotland, a household becomes homeless every 19 minutes. In the year 2019-2020, 15,711 children were living in households assessed as homeless – the equivalent of 43 children becoming homeless every day.

The power imbalance between landlords and tenants widening exponentially does not have to be inevitable.

Our existence is testament to one very sad truth that, despite

70,000 children in Scotland are on social housing waiting lists – approximately 20 children in every school.

Conditions getting worse, and housing schemes abandoned by local authorities across Scotland does not have to be inevitable.

The glaringly obvious point is that, despite our efforts, we’re not making enough progress quickly enough.

359 of our fellow Scots dying on the streets of Scotland in 2020 as a direct result of a lack of affordable housing does not have to be inevitable.

That’s where the Housing Rights Defenders come in.

Things can change.

The Aberdeen Housing Rights Defenders are a growing group of housing activists living in Aberdeen. As a collective, we believe that everybody should have the right to a safe, affordable and warm home.

It’s time to turn the tide, to put the power into the hands of our communities, and to change the system of housing in Aberdeen and Scotland for the better.

We've created a space to build our campaigns in the fight for better housing and conditions in Aberdeen. We’re building power in our communities and we’re providing a platform for those that the housing crisis affects the most to speak out.

Rights Defenders gives you the opportunity to be part of that change.

We have a shared vision of housing justice for all. Not only do

The Aberdeen Housing Rights Defenders meet (virtually for now) every two weeks, on a Thursday evening at 6:30pm. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 20th May. You can join their Facebook Group - Aberdeen Housing Rights Defenders or for any more information, please contact Jacob Campbell, Aberdeen’s Community Organiser, at or on 07823 954565.

Things can – and they will – get better. But change only ever happened when people fought for it - the Aberdeen Housing

Get involved – and together, we will win housing justice in Aberdeen.


May 19 2021

Who Cares? Scotland

and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Jo Mcleod is the Advocacy and Participation Worker for Who Cares? Scotland in Aberdeen and offers Independent Advocacy to children and young people attending Children’s Hearings. Here she writes about Who Cares? Scotland and their journey in supporting and lobbying for better protection of child rights, including the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots Law.


ACVO News 19 May 19 2021

‘I should be able to go to the highest court in the land if my rights are not being upheld. I deserve the same choices as everyone else.’ -Care Experienced Member Who Cares? Scotland has campaigned to better protect the rights of Care Experienced people for many years and has

When our members spoke to us about their child and human rights, one of the biggest barriers they told us they faced is

worked collaboratively with many other organisations to push for much stronger rights protections in law. As a provider of Independent Advocacy, we work with Care Experienced

knowing how they could challenge situations where they felt their rights were not being respected.

people to support them to have their rights realised every day and as a result, we know that being in care can mean that rights are not always respected. Our journey in supporting incorporation of the UNCRC in Scotland spans several years, and started in 2018 Who Cares? Scotland members Ryan McShane and Alicia Santana travelled to Geneva to take part in the United Nations Day of General Discussion. In Ryan’s speech he spoke about the importance of UNCRC incorporation and why Care Experienced people needed rights protections. A couple of months later, Ryan spoke again about the importance of incorporation, this time in the Scottish Parliament, calling on the Scottish Government to incorporate the UNCRC without delay. You can read more about our journey in our blog, Influencing the Incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots Law In 2020, Who Cares? Scotland launched a new Annual Participation Programme, which creates opportunities for members of Who Cares? Scotland to share their views about important topics, to make sure they can influence changes in law, policy, and practice. As part of this work, over 80 members shared their views on Child and Human Rights. The findings were shaped into a report called ‘Navigating the World of Rights’ and shared on world Human Rights Day with key decision-makers, including the Scottish Government. These views directly fed into our influencing work on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill (the Bill). UNCRC incorporation will be a huge rally call for cultural change; for Scotland to make a real commitment to fulfil and protect child rights and for the voice of children and young people to become so much stronger. It will not only ensure that Scotland upholds child rights, but also ensuring that children and young people know and fully understand what they mean in real life. The Bill, as it stands, currently includes provisions for both pro-active actions to uphold children’s rights by public authorities and accountability through the court system, for when rights are not upheld.

As an Advocacy and Participation Worker, child rights are at the heart of what I do. Elevating the voice of children and young people and supporting them to understand and realise their rights is the most satisfying part of my job UNCRC incorporation will impact many parts of the care and protection system. For example, decision-making forums such as Children’s Hearings will need to further ensure child rights are prioritised. Independent Advocacy makes Article 12 of the UNCRC real – the right for children and young people to hold and express their view, and to have that view taken seriously. It is why I do what I do! As the UNCRC is incorporated, this right to participate will become even stronger and I look forward to watching children and young people build more confidence in their knowledge of, and their ability to promote and defend their own rights as this new law is implemented. On 16th March 2021, the UNCRC Incorporation (Scotland) Bill passed unanimously in the Scottish Parliament. However, it isn’t yet law in Scotland. The UK Government has asked for the Supreme Court to check over technical parts of the UNCRC Bill, to make sure it does not legislate on areas outside of the Scottish Parliament’s powers. This challenge only relates to certain sections of the Bill, however, it is still unknown how this will play out and what changes might be needed for UNCRC incorporation to take place in Scotland. What is clear is that Scotland is united in its commitment to realising the rights of children and along with the Scottish Government, we are still focusing on how incorporation might change our practice on the ground. For updates on the how the UNCRC incorporation project is going, we recommend checking out Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) website The Who Cares? Scotland website has loads of information and we would love it if you popped by to learn more about us and check out all the ways we support the Care Experienced Community to have their voice heard. You can also use these links to Join our Family or Become our Friend

"Who Cares? Scotland is a membership organisation that believes in a lifetime of equality, respect and love for care experienced people. We would like to thank all our Care Experienced members who shared their views with us and helped push to make this historic change in the law possible"

ACVO News 20 May 19 2021

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ACVO News 21 May 19 2021

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ACVO News 22 May 19 2021


Eiméar Cooney Entering Life After Lockdown Scratching our heads, emerging from the cave, stepping into the daylight after a hibernation many of us would not have chosen…is it any surprise to find that some of us are feeling a little fragile entering life after lockdown? Although for the most part, many of us will be happy to get back to a sense of normality, some of us may find ourselves having mixed emotions about it all.

Open Water Swimming with George Jamieson of Swim Free Aberdeen

Is it safe? Will there be a surge in covid cases? Will we have to go into lockdown again? Will the vaccine work? Will we cope? The answer to many of which, none of us have. We can make educated guesses. We can listen to the experts. But none of us truly know what lies ahead. But the funny thing is, that’s always been the more on Eiméar is an occupational therapist, life coach and mindfulness facilitator. She works with people who regularly feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed by providing them with the tools & techniques to help them feel happy, confident and in control. If you’re interested in finding out more you can follow Eiméar on Facebook & Instagram@eimearcooneycoaching Or email her directly at


George Jamieson from Swim Free Aberdeen has set himself the challenge of swimming 60 miles before his 60th birthday in what he calls “sweeming towards my bus pass”, to raise money for Mental Health Aberdeen. You can make a donation to the cause at

ACVO News 23 May 19 2021


Alcohol & Drugs Action Recovery Garden

Nature and the beauty of the outdoors -

Carolyn Rae More recently, we have been conscious of the benefits of being outdoors, especially in the pandemic. That daily moment of exercise for some, has been such a time of freedom, in a pandemic that has dictated who/how and where we can go. Now as restrictions are lifting, our world has opened up and the choice of locations have more at

Over the past 12-months, many people have re-discovered the joy of walking for walking’s sake. Not to get to the bus stop, or to go to the shop, but just going out for a walk and getting active.

Walk Aberdeen: Interview with Brian Harrison


Walk Aberdeen, part of award-winning charity Sport Aberdeen, organises health walks across the city. Health walks are social walking groups which give people an opportunity to walk with others, have a chat and to become part of a group or community. With one in three homes in Aberdeen occupied by a single adult over 65 (2010 census) it provides a great opportunity to get out, have a bit of structure in your week and keep active in a safe and welcoming more at

Many thanks to all who contributed to our campaign for

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021!


ACVO News 24 May 19 2021

"Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP (AAB) is one of the UK’s leading Chartered Accountants and Business Advisory Firms. Our specialist Charity Services Team of experts understands the needs of third sector organisations and has worked with many during this time of immense pressure for the sector. Our team is drawn from each of the service areas of AAB, such as audit, business advisory, payroll & employment taxes, corporation tax and indirect tax. Each member joined the charity services team because they are passionate about the impact of the work of charities in our communities..." Writes Andy Shaw, Partner and Head of Not-for-Profit at Anderson Anderson & Brown

ACVO News 25 May 19 2021


As charity trading operations and ability to perform fundraising took a hit overnight, it’s been a long journey of adapting and improving processes to make sure charities maintain a strong financial position. Our team ensures clients are given peace of mind knowing that they are compliant with laws and legislation, have timely financial information about their charity and can plan for the future with appropriate knowledge transferred from the AAB team to the charities’ teams. Giving something back It is not only conversations with clients that has given us the insight into the difficulties the sector has faced recently. The Anderson Anderson & Brown Charitable Initiative (AABi) is the platform which facilitates all at AAB to invest in the communities in which we operate by seeking partnerships with charities and inviting applications for donations, grants and volunteer time. Whilst our own fundraising opportunities have been reduced, and therefore the monies available for donations limited, AABi has continued with its grant round funding process throughout lockdown, donating over £23,000 to charities since March 2020. Virtual Finance Function Many organisations have had to think on their feet in the past year as a result of COVID-19, but none more so than those in the charitable sector. The pandemic has provided new challenges, not only in delivering core services to those in need but also in keeping on top of the day-to-day finances. Fundraising has been hit heavily as events are cancelled across the country which often provide much needed funds to charities. Therefore, keeping on top of budgets and cashflow are so important. Often when applying for government funding or grants charities are being asked to provide information on what has been lost by COVID-19, but how is that possible? We often see charities relying on paper records and on key members of staff for knowledge. What the pandemic has shown us is that we need to be adaptable and easily able to change with sometimes less than one day’s notice.


ACVO News 26 May 19 2021

Through AABi, each AAB employee donates one Achieving flexibility But how can this be achieved when the records are held at head-office and staff are all currently working in different locations? Perhaps processing of financial information has fallen behind and the charity no longer has sight of the financial position and cashflow headroom. Our Virtual Finance Function (VFF) has provided the solution to many charities during the past year by offering the following: One-off systems review and implementation to put bespoke cloud systems in place and ensure financial information is up to date. This enables the finance team to access the system from any location and operate in a paperless fashion. (No trips needed to the office to collect paperwork!); Time saved on the day-to-day processing by utilising direct bank feeds so transactions no longer have to be manually input; Use of apps to assist in the recording of fundraising information, which can link directly to fundraising sites such as Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving;

ACVO News 27 May 19 2021


e day of volunteering to local charities each year

Taking charge running the finance department where charity doesn’t have a dedicated finance team. This can include everything from a finance assistant all the way up to a virtual CFO; Creation and import of budgets into cloud accounting software, so real-time budget-to-actual information is available, allowing shortfalls to be identified before they become an issue; Tracking the profit and loss of individual projects at the click of a button so shortfalls can be easily identified and steps can be put in place to address them. The above has given peace of mind that charities have the infrastructure in place to navigate 2021 and beyond. ‘Lockdown’ working has accelerated change in many organisations, with management appreciating that there really is no time like the present to make use of the advantage that technology brings. Technology is enabling and equipping charities to be adaptable and agile in an ever-changing world but ensuring that the oversight and governance is strengthened not weakened.

Find out more online at


ACVO News 28 May 19 2021

Volunteering Latest from Mike Melvin and Volunteer Aberdeen Find out more at

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service nominations open for the 2022 awards The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups and is awarded for life. It is awarded to exceptional groups of volunteers whose level of initiative and impact are truly exceptional. A successful group will normally have the following characteristics; Volunteer-led, the volunteers are in the driving seat, setting the direction for the group’s work and spotting opportunities to develop it still further each year; Exceptional compared with comparable group, this group is likely to be one of he best of its kind in the country; Making a considerable difference locally, the initiative of this group and the efforts of its volunteers have changed the situation dramatically for its beneficiaries; Well-run, there are high standards of governance, financial management and safeguarding; outstanding reputation locally, the group has a high standing in the community and has an excellent

reputation with beneficiaries, service providers and others. QAVS are only awarded to the very best of hundreds of nominations each year. This is a badge of excellence and a real achievement for a group. It provides a big boost to the volunteers as well as great publicity for their work. Successful groups are presented with a crystal award and a certificate bearing Her Majesty’s signature. They gain the right to use the QAVS logo on their stationery and other material. They are also invited to nominate two volunteers to attend a Royal Garden Party. Anyone can nominate a group, as long as they are not one of its employees or volunteers. Nominations opened on April 1st 2021 and close on September 15th. To make a nomination, visit the awards' website at Nominations are particularly encouraged from beneficiaries of a group’s work, or from those who are not involved with the group but have observed and admired the results of their work.

ACVO News 29 May 19 2021


Aberdeen Gets Set for VolunteersWeek 2021 National Volunteers Week – 1st-7th June - celebrates the millions of incredible volunteers throughout the country who do so much good for people and our communities. It is a time to: Recognise the essential contribution volunteers make in our communities. Give special thanks and recognition to people who volunteer. Promote volunteering and inspire even more people to get involved.

Mike Melvin, Volunteer Co-ordinator at ACVO said "Volunteers Week is the perfect time to say thank you to all the tremendous volunteers in Aberdeen and across the country who provide so much help, support and make such a positive difference for people and communities. Along, with all the great volunteer involving organisations in Aberdeen, ACVO is delighted to join in national Volunteers Week and say a big thank you to all volunteers in our fantastic city."

How to get involved: Volunteers Week 2021 Website: , has lots of updates, ideas, links and free downloads to help thank volunteers and celebrate Volunteers Week which takes place 1st-7th June 2021. Thank You Volunteer Messages: ACVO is planning a special Volunteers Week ‘Thank You Volunteers’ feature in ACVO News of thank you messages from Volunteer Co-ordinators/organisations to their volunteers (plus we will also read out thank you volunteers messages on the So Why Don’t You programme on SHMUfm). Please feel welcome to email any message for your volunteers you wish to include as part of this to email: Social Media: join in with the Volunteers' Week campaign in Scotland by using the official #VolunteersWeekScot hashtag on social media and also tag in @Aberdeen_ACVO and @VolWeekScot on twitter and we will be sure to retweet to help spread the word. .A specific Volunteers Week Scotland twitter and Instagram have also been launched at: Twitter: @VolWeekScot / and Instagram:


ACVO News 30 May 19 2021

Victim Support Scotland - call for Trustees Do you want to help one of Scotland’s leading charities support victims, families and witnesses affected by crime? If so, then why not join Victim Support Scotland as a trustee? system; knowledge and understanding of Scottish Charities; accountancy qualification or experience Further information is available online at You may already have board experience, or this may be your first board appointment. As long as you have the right skills and a passion to make a difference,

move forward with their lives. This strategy also sets out the organisation’s ambition to be inclusive and accessible, reaching all those who need them, being

Victim Support Scotland (VSS) want to hear from you! VSS is the country’s leading charity providing emotional and practical support to people affected by all types of crime.

there every step of the way. The strategy builds on the foundations they have already created within VSS over the last few years. It also takes their ambitions a step further. However, there is much still

VSS’ recently launched strategy Empowering People Affected by crime: VSS Strategic Plan 2021-2026, outlines their vision to ensure that all people affected by crime – victims, witnesses and their families – are treated with dignity and respect and are at the heart of justice in Scotland. Their new strategy outlines our mission that all those affected by crime receive the

to be done and VSS welcomes applications from experienced individuals who would like to join their Board of Trustees. The role is rewarding, and you would play an important part in delivering their strategy and vision, to help people affected by crime take control and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of crime. In particular, they are keen to appoint individuals with knowledge and

high-quality support and care they need to

understanding of the criminal justice

If you would like to apply, please send your CV and a short covering letter saying why you would like to be considered and what you would bring to the role to by midnight on 31st May 2021. Interviews will be held on-line on the 23rd and 30th June. VSS are aiming to ensure that their board is diverse and representative of those they work with. They particularly encourage applications from diverse gender identities and LGBTQIA+ and BAME communities, as well as people with diverse physical abilities and neurodiversity. They welcome applications from anywhere in Scotland. Please contact Lynda Matheson PA to the CEO if you would like more information or if you would like to speak to one of the existing Trustees to find out more about what the role involves.

Safely Welcoming Back Volunteers and Restarting Services As lockdowns end and restrictions ease more organisations are re-opening and safely welcoming back volunteers and restarting services in accordance with the latest safety information, guidance and restrictions. The Scottish Government website is being

volunteers’ are available from SCVOScottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. There is also a very helpful webinar recording regarding Restarting Your Services Safely available on YouTube and further helpful information, guides and

regularly updated, with detailed guidance for different sectors, including useful links for voluntary sector organisations. The following for community facilities has also been produced to assist with reopening: Excellent and helpful information and updates, including ‘safer services’, ‘safer premises’ and ‘supporting staff and

risk assessment templates available at: and teer-safely/ ACVO will continue to keep people updated and wish everyone the very best in staying safe and staying well.

ACVO News 31 May 19 2021


Recent opportunity Volunteer Market Hosts – Charlie House The latest from our team. Whatever role they choose and however many hours they give, Charlie House volunteers are helping to support local babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions as well as getting the charity closer to its dream of building a specialist support centre in the North East. Following on the success of the Aberdeen Indoor Christmas Market, Charlie House is very excited to be bringing the Curated Aberdeen Market to the city. The market features a wide range of stall holders and is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Curated Aberdeen Market offers a wonderful opportunity to raise funds for and awareness of Charlie House. Volunteers are key to the success of this, helping to give customers a welcoming and positive curated shopping experience. Supporting the Market Manager, the volunteer role includes meeting and greeting customers, highlighting any Covid-safe measures, manning the Charlie House stall selling merchandise and raffle tickets, restocking merchandise and being an ambassador for the charity. A fantastic opportunity to help, which makes a real difference and is greatly appreciated. For further details please contact Joan Cowie, Volunteer & Information Coordinator at or tel.: 01224 313333.

Recent opportunity Digital Buddy (Aberdeen) The latest from our team.– Blackwood Homes and Care Blackwood Homes and Care was founded in 1972 by Dr Margaret Blackwood MBE, a campaigner for the rights and independence of disabled people. We deliver our vision of helping people live their life to the full in the pioneering spirit of Dr Blackwood by providing high quality housing, care and support for disabled people of all ages, with over 1500 homes across all 29 mainland local authorities in Scotland. -What will I be doing as a Digital Buddy?: Can you help our customers feel less isolated by supporting them to use technology to connect with the wider world? We are looking for people who are confident with basic IT skills and have the patience to share your skills with people who are new and uncertain when using technology. You also need to enjoy making casual conversation and building familiar relationships. Customers are perhaps unsure how to connect to the internet, charge their device, video call a friend or do shopping online. Helping someone make a video call for the first time to family they’ve not seen due to the pandemic really makes a difference to their quality of life along with their mood and mental wellbeing. Please get in touch with the Volunteering Development Co-ordinator, Zoe MacGregor to find out more. Contact Zoe at : or tel.: 07976 573745. Or look at the website


ACVO News 32 May 19 2021

Health & Social Care Updates

Macmillan Navigator service celebrates first anniversary Macmillan Project Lead, Annie Ganguly, tells ACVO News about the service after a successful first year of operation "The Macmillan Navigator service began its journey just as the pandemic hit us in March 2020. We were all anxious about the pandemic but having a cancer diagnosis alongside this made it even harder for patients. The Macmillan Navigator service, in a nutshell, is a human voice at the end of the phone when life looks uncertain and worrying. We support patients and their families where we can, through the often hard to navigate journey of having cancer. Checking appointment times, chasing up scans, putting patients in touch with their clinical teams to answer their questions, are just a few examples of what the service does. "At the start of the year, a patient satisfaction survey was rolled out to a total of 350 NHS Grampian cancer patients who had used our service, 210 people answered. The responses were very positive: patient's want to keep this service, getting through to a human voice is reassuring for them and patients felt they have better access to their CNS through this service. "In our first month we took 522 calls, a year later we took 1273 calls. In total the team have taken 12174 calls. This is a huge achievement for the team, and we are delighted that our patients, their families and carers, third sector colleagues and other healthcare professionals have given us excellent feedback. We are looking at ways to expand and improve our service all the time and look forward to exciting times ahead." Contact 01224 551551 or to find out more about the service.

Navigator Team Top Left to Right - Julie A Russell, Louise Smith, Susan Smith Down – Left to Right – Margaret Stuart and Ruth Roadnight

News 33 ACVO May 6 2021


Aberdeen’s Third Sector

Mental Health & Wellbeing Forum ACVO host regular fora to support and inform the third sector, particularly as we continue to make our way through this current crisis. So much has changed and continues to do so at such a pace, that it can be difficult to keep up. More changes are to come and things are likely to remain in flux for a while yet.

Mental health and wellbeing continues to be a very common and recurring theme. As this topic is so far reaching and multilayered and affects so many aspects of our work, ACVO are continuing to host regular third sector forum meetings on the theme of Mental Health & Wellbeing.

We are inviting our third sector colleagues to our next one. It is to be held on Thursday 3rd June 2021 from 10.00 am – 12.00pm, where you can: Learn about the latest key developments at ACH&SCP ( Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership) and CPA (Community Planning Aberdeen) Take part in a themed discussion on Bereavement and Loss This forum will be held over Zoom, book your place here. An agenda will be issued nearer the time. Meanwhile if you require any further information, then please don’t hesitate to contact Susan Morrison tel: 07814 896676 email:


Vacancies Latest opportunities from the 3rd sector

find out more and apply

find out more and apply

ACVO News 34 May 19 2021

Be part of the story!

ACVO NEWS IS HERE TO BRING YOU UPDATES FROM ABERDEEN'S 3RD SECTOR EVERY FORTNIGHT Your stories, shared by your third sector interface If you have something you would like to feature in future editions of ACVO News, contact Andrew Davidson at

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