FESTIVAL OF POLITICS: WANT A NEW JOB? FOUR PAGES OF OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK IN THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR…
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ROBERT ARMOUR FINDS OUT WHAT IS AVAILABLE FOR VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS AT THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL OF POLITICS PAGES 8&9
THE VOICE OF THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR
6 AUGUST 2010
CORNERSTONE, the leading Scottish charity and provider of care and support services for adults, children and young people with disabilities and other support needs, celebrated its 30th birthday. Miss Scotland, Nicola Mimnagh, was the guest of honour at the George Square proceedings in Glasgow city centre and cut the charity’s birthday cake, as well as taking part in a traditional party games to mark the organisation’s 30th year.
FUNDING VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS CAN SAVE PUBLIC SERVICES SUSAN SMITH THE Scottish Government must use its next budget to discriminate in favour of funding third sector bodies to deliver better services for the people of Scotland. And councils must also be urged not to make across-the-board cuts to local services that improve people’s health and keep them out of expensive hospital beds, according to third sector umbrella bodies. Last week the Independent Budget Re-
view, which was set up to find answers to the public spending cuts, advocated cuts in the public sector, a growth in the role of the third sector and transformation of the way public services are delivered. Finance minister John Swinney immediately insisted that certain sectors of the Scottish budget will be protected, including the NHS, free personal care, and free bus travel for pensioners. However, third sector groups this week said that prioritising the NHS over other health and social care services will cost
TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
the government more not less in the long run. They are urging the Scottish Government not to protect NHS funding in its current form but ensure that third sector services that protect the general health of the population are prioritised. There are around 10,000 charities in Scotland providing health or social care services, but many are facing an uncertain future as council’s cut local funding and central government funding dries up. MORE ON P3 www.scvo.org.uk/tfn
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
NEWS IN BRIEF
Oldest credit union celebrates 40th birthday
CONCERNS RAISED OVER AGE UK INSURANCE COSTS AN elderly couple has raised concerns over the Age UK insurance scheme which increased their travel insurance costs by 600 per cent following the Help the Aged and Age Concern merger. 87 year old Geoffrey Pulzer and his wife Julienne were left shocked as Geoffrey was quoted £1,002 for an annual travel insurance policy which last year cost just £168. A spokesperson for Age UK said: “Our long term pricing strategy demonstrates our commitment to providing appropriate insurance to those in later life, that they may not be able to get elsewhere.”
MORE HARD-TO-REHOME DOGS BEING PUT DOWN HUNDREDS of aggressive dogs are being put down despite being healthy because they are unsuitable to rehome, the UK’s oldest animal shelter has said. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home had to put down about one third of the dogs it took in last year – a total of 2,815 animals, of which 1,931 were healthy. The charity says a growing number are put down because their behaviour means they pose a safety risk. The shelter says the issue of stray, aggressive dogs needs to be addressed.
£8BN PRICE TAG ON CLIMATE CHANGE TARGET THE cost to the taxpayer of meeting Scotland’s climate change target has been put at about £8bn by 2020. The costs would include changes to energy and transport use by public service workers, and adaptation of public buildings. The figures were given to the Independent Budget Review Panel by the Scottish government. The Climate Change Act passed by Holyrood last year aims to reduce carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. This is one of the world’s most ambitious emissions cutting targets.
COMMONWEALTH GAMES WILL MEAN FITTER KIDS SCHOOL children are set to get fitter and more active in the run up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow through new grants from the Big Lottery Fund. A total of 36 schools and 54 other sporting groups from across Scotland will share in £82,946 of grants, enabling more people to take part or volunteer in sports and physical activity. In total £6.8 million will be invested by the 2014 Communities programme over the lifetime of the fund.
BRITISH LEGION FIERCELY FIGHTS TO THE LAST A FIERCE battle has broken out between members at the last British Legion club in Edinburgh following its decision to close, with one group digging in and refusing to give up the only set of keys to the property. The club's committee, which is in charge of organising social and entertainment events such as bingo at the Rodney Street British Legion, is standing firm against the legal owners of the property – the Royal British Legion Scotland – and said they were prepared to barricade themselves in the club if forced to.
SCOTLAND’S oldest Credit Union has celebrated its 40th anniversary in style with staff and volunteers attending a Scottish Parliament reception. From humble beginnings DCCU now boasts 2500 senior and 500 junior members. Its management board is composed of volunteers from the Drumchapel area, allowing local people to remain in control of their money.
It began in 1970 and its first loan was to pay for a pair of glasses. Today DCCU has over £1 million in savings and offers its membership low cost loans, a bill paying service, debt repayment service and a range of insurance packages. Anniesland MSP Bill Butler said: “Increasing numbers of people are turning to credit unions as they recognise the undoubted benefits of the co-operative
model which allows people to ensure that their money remains in their community. “DCCU has been at the very forefront of the regeneration of Drumchapel and I am delighted that so many of my colleagues have joined me in paying tribute to all the staff and volunteers who have made DCCU such a success story over the last four decades.”
SRDP reform forcing groups to re-submit funding applications ROBERT ARMOUR CHANGES to the Rural Development Programme (SRDP) will leave some voluntary organisations having to reapply for funding. The Scottish Government announced this week that funding for community projects and development plans will now be considered under the LEADER scheme through Local Action Groups (LAGs). The Leader project aims to increase the capacity of local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills in order to tackle local development objectives. It accounts for over six per cent of the total SRDP allocation with funding awarded by Local Action Groups (LAGs) who take decisions on projects which are community driven and have a wide community benefit. However, as many community and voluntary groups are already in the process of applying, they will have to re-submit their applications to take account of the new changes to the SRDP. The autumn funding awards will now focus on agri-environment and forestry projects while the Scottish Government is considering introducing a continuous assessment process for smaller scale rural priorities projects. It was announced that some £13.3 million
has been re-allocated to support the changes this week Worth £1.5 billion overall, the SRDP is designed to develop rural Scotland from 2007 to 2013. Individuals and groups can seek funding from the programme to help deliver the government’s objectives in rural Scotland. Norman MacAskill, SCVO’s head of rural
“Making the change at this stage is likely to cause problems for a significant number of applicants who will have to ditch the funding applications they have been working on” Norman MacAskill, SCVO policy said: “SRDP has already provided funding for some excellent community projects across rural Scotland. “In principle, we support the use of LEADER to bring decisions about funding as close to communities as possible, and we argued for a much greater use of the
LEADER approach when the current programme was at the planning stage. “Unfortunately, making the change at this stage is likely to cause problems for a significant number of applicants who will have to ditch the funding applications they have been working on and put together a new application for LEADER funding. “But we are where we are, and SCVO’s Rural Direct service is wholeheartedly committed to working closely with these applicants to help them get the funding they need in the new system – and to make that system work for other groups seeking to access support for community services and facilities.” Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead said: “I considered financing business development projects until the relevant budget was used up, without imposing a ceiling. “However, this would have limited the number of businesses that could benefit from funding and deprived many young farmers and developing businesses of access to much-needed rural priorities support. “I am continuing to examine the feasibility of introducing a continuous assessment process for smaller rural priorities projects from 2011, allowing small and medium scale businesses continuous access to funding. I will make a detailed announcement on this, and provide dates for future grant rounds, later this year.”
Online campaign for victims and witnesses tsar HIGHLANDS and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart has started an online petition calling on the Scottish Government to support his proposed Victims and Witnesses Commissioner (Scotland) Bill to safeguard and promote the rights of victims and witnesses. Stewart said: “Being a victim of crime
or criminal conduct can be extremely traumatic. Shock, fear, anger, annoyance and low self-esteem often affect victims and leave them vulnerable during the criminal process. “My members bill would create a Victims’ Commissioner for Scotland which would put victims at the heart of the crim-
inal justice system. “It is ironic that convicted prisoners have their own commissioner yet there is no champion for victims of crime. My Bill, if it receives cross-party support, would create a Victims Commissioner who can advocate, advance, and assert the rights of victims and witnesses to crime.”
Pakistan floods “shape of things to come” THOUSANDS more deaths through devastating floods and abnormal weather could become the norm in poorer countries without more western aid, charities have warned. NGOs working in Pakistan to help victims of the flooding caused by intense monsoon rains, say that global warming combined with a lack of western intervention means these kinds of disasters will lead to thousands more dying in the future. Aid agencies say that entire villages have been washed away as the region faces its worst flooding for 80 years. According to UNICEF, three million people have been affected and over 1,400 have been killed. Other estimates say 27,000 people are still trapped. Carlos Saman of UNICEF said that these situations were becoming more prevalent as western intervention concentrated on cure rather than prevention. “These situations make you rethink the strategies we have in place,” he said. “Even with the best will in the world
“Small villages are surrounded by water like small islands – bridges damaged; electricity cut; infrastructure destroyed; villages after villages submerged by rivers. Roads are blocked, there are landslides. Habib Malik, Islamic Relief these disasters still claim thousands of lives, yet we could be doing more in terms of prevention to minimise loss of life and damage to homes. It is a lesson we have yet to fully learn although we will have to soon as global warming becomes more of an issue.” Habib Malik of Scottish charity Islamic Relief is in the north-west of the country where the worst floods in almost a century have seen entire villages swept away. Aberdeen-based Habib spoke from Nowshera where he is assisting with a scheme to provide tents to displaced families. Around 90 per cent of the city, which has a population of 1.4 million, was flooded. “This is an all too familiar story – disaster hitting the poorest,” he said. “It is becoming more frequent yet relief efforts are often too little too late. “I’ve covered flooding and earthquake disasters before so I had a fair idea what to expect. “Small villages are surrounded by water like small islands – bridges damaged; electricity cut; infrastructure destroyed; villages after villages submerged by rivers. “Roads are blocked, there are landslides. Hundreds of children and women holding on to their loved ones in the same clothes they’ve been wearing for the last four or five days.” After arriving at a camp set up at a polytechnic college in Nowshera last Sunday, Habib said he was astonished to see over 1,000 displaced people register just two and a half hours after it opened. Travel within the affected regions is nearly impossible and communication networks have been almost completely wiped out. Habib took almost three hours to travel 20 miles out of the affected area to get a phone signal.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? www.islamic-relief.org.uk
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
Funding voluntary organisations can save public services FROM P1 Care Providers Scotland represents third sector care organisations such as Barnardo’s, Capability Scotland, Children 1st and the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Its director Annie Gunner Logan (pictured
below) told TFN: “The Independent Budget Review says there needs to be a broader definition of health to include areas that aren’t strictly speaking under the NHS umbrella but that still support the health and wellbeing of the community. “A lot of the social care and support providers fall into that category and save money for the NHS further down the line. “It is great that the review talks about increasing the voluntary sector’s role in public services, but that will depend on funders, and in particular local authorities, discriminating in their funding. They cannot make 25 per cent across the board cuts and get the outcomes they require. They need to look at what is good and protect it.” The three-man review panel warned that it could take 15 years for public funding to return to 2009 levels. The government has called for the public to respond to the review report but has said
that it will not carry out all of its recommendations. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) this week said that the vast majority of its members are carrying out
work that create savings for the public purse. “For some time, we have been urging the Scottish Government to do things differently in relation to public services,” said Martin Sime (bottom left), SCVO chief executive. “Despite record levels of public spending from the last government, mainstream services have not vastly improved over the last twenty years and continue to deliver poor outcomes. “In comparison voluntary organisations are making vast inroads into improving the lives of people in Scottish communities, through health and social care services, community justice, family and relationship support, debt advice and housing, to name just a few. “Now that the review panel has made its recommendations, the Scottish Government has no excuse but to bite the bullet and direct funding to where it will have the biggest long-term impact.” In a poll of TFN readers this week, 97 per cent have urged the Scottish Government not to ring-fence funding for the NHS. Helen Tyrell (below), director of Voluntary Health Scotland, said: “Voluntary Health Scotland believes that Scotland’s third sector is poised to make a much greater contribution to preventive, anticipatory and continuing
health care, with the potential to greatly reduce pressure on NHS acute services. “However, the services most at risk in a reduced NHS will be public health services - obesity management, tobacco and alcohol reduction, sexual health - and mental health services, resulting in a rise in the health inequalities that beset Scotland. “With greatly reduced funding overall to deliver on a broader vision of health, it will be important to develop strategic agreements with the NHS that allow for direct delivery by our sector to agreed and shared health priorities in key programme areas, for example older people.” TFN podium p6; analysis p7
HAVE YOUR SAY: http://blogs.scotland.gov.uk/ publicspending
Independent Budget Review highlights Recommendations are made on a range of areas from pay restraints to pensions to redesign of services, and the report includes the following: l
that politicians and civil society need to engage in a debate about transformation of the organisation and delivery of public services in Scotland
a protected areas approach, ring-fencing budgets (eg NHS) against cuts is not recommended, but if this is adopted then we need a broader interpretation of health spending, which includes non-NHS services that support the health and well-being of the community
under these circumstances, we need to have the debate about the universality principle (eg regarding concessionary travel, abolition of prescription charges, free personal care, free eye examinations)
considering efficiencies will be increasingly challenging, and may, in some instances, require radical redesign in the way that services are provided
while wholesale restructuring to reduce the number of public service bodies would be counter-productive, we need progressive changes and joint actions/ shared services
the panel envisaged mainstream roles for the private and voluntary sectors as collaborative partners in the delivery of public services
Dragon shows soft side for Mary’s Meals SCOTTISH charity Mary’s Meals has featured on a special BBC Radio 4 appeal. The appeal was presented by Duncan Bannatyne, the Glasgow-born entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star. Bannatyne is a long-time supporter of Mary’s Meals and has visited its projects in Malawi and Romania (pictured left) - experiences that he talked about on air. The three-minute broadcast focused on Mary’s Meals’ work providing some of the world’s poorest children with a meal a day in their place of education. Listeners also heard the sounds of children singing and playing at a school in Malawi. “We want to thank Duncan Bannatyne for giving his time and energies to help Mary’s Meals, and the Radio 4 appeal team for their advice and support,” said Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, chief-executive. “Mary’s Meals is growing rapidly and this BBC appeal is a wonderful opportunity for us to share our story with people across the UK.”
Conservationists charge to climb Ben Nevis MORE than 160,000 people tackle Scotland’s tallest mountain every year but they could soon be charged £1 for the privilege. The conservation body that looks after the path up Ben Nevis, the Nevis Partnership, wants climbers to contribute to the cost of its maintenance. The fee is said to be needed to pay for work on the route up to the 4,409ft summit, which needs constant maintenance due to wear and tear. The Nevis Partnership has hired two contract teams, Highland Conservation Ltd and Upland Contracts Ltd, who are currently working on a mile-long section of path 2,000ft up the mountain. A spokesman for the Nevis Partnership, Brian Wilshaw, said: “The £1 fee would secure our future and the future
of the maintenance of the Ben track. That small donation would make all the difference.” Owen Llewellyn, team leader of Highland Conservation Ltd, said: “The old path was unbelievably rough, it was basically a boulder field. It is incredible the gear that some people go up Ben Nevis in...really inappropriate footwear and clothing. It’s crazy. So this path certainly makes it a lot easier”. “Ben Nevis is hugely popular, so surely people can pay just £1 a time in order to go up this wonderful mountain. It is surely a small price to pay.” Located in the Scottish Highlands at the western end of the Grampian Mountains, Ben Nevis means Mountain of Heaven in gaelic. The first recorded ascent of the moun-
tain was in 1771 by James Robertson, an Edinburgh botanist, and poet John Keats climbed the mountain in 1818, comparing the ascent to “mounting ten St. Pauls without the convenience of a staircase”. More unusual methods of reaching the summit include travelling in a Model T Ford, a bed and a wheelbarrow. One man also carried a piano to the summit in 1971, the remains of which were found years later by volunteers clearing stones. The mountain’s popularity amongst climbers has led to concerns over the impact of visitors on the fragile environment. The Nevis Partnership was founded in 2003 with the aim of maintaining and conserving the area and its projects include path repairs and visitor management.
Public urged to Speak Up for Rural Scotland COMMUNITIES are being urged to speak up for rural Scotland and join the debate into its future. Richard Lochhead, rural affairs minister, launched a three month consultation on plans devised by the Rural Development Council to help boost economic recovery. Launching the consultation at the Turriff Agricultural Show Mr Lochhead said: “Rural Scotland and its people have a central role to play in strengthening Scotland’s economy. “It has an important role in meeting the nation’s challenges in relation to food, water and energy security and is critical to our efforts to tackle climate change. “Rural Scotland represents 94 per cent of
our land mass, is home to almost one million people and sustains one of the most diverse environments in Europe. “It has a lot to offer, not least the energy and dynamism of its people and communities. All this makes it a great place for people to live work and bring up their families - we need to keep it that way.” Last year The Scottish Government tasked the Rural Development Council, made up of people with particular expertise and interests in rural issues, to advise it on how best rural Scotland could contribute to this country’s overall prosperity. The Speak Up for Rural Scotland report covers the majority of issues affecting people today – the economy, land use, renew-
able energy, and community empowerment. The government is now urging the public to respond to the document. "I urge anyone with an interest in rural Scotland to read this document and let me know what these proposals will mean for individuals, communities and organisations,” said Lochhead. “Whatever direction we take we must ensure that the energy and enterprising spirit of rural communities can continue to punch above their weight.”
WANT TO KNOW MORE? www.scotland.gov.uk/speakup
New Scottish charity to support fathers rights A CHARITY that promotes the role of fathers in the lives of children whose parents are no longer together is expanding into Scotland. Ian Maxwell has been appointed as the first full-time manager for Families Need Fathers (FNF), which is being funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. FNF provides support and advice for parents seeking to maintain full and constructive relationships with their children after separation through branch meetings and via a telephone helpline and online forums. It also campaigns with legislators and legal professionals to unpick unhelpful procedures that tend to obstruct good re-
lationships with children after separation. “This is an exciting time for Families Need Fathers in Scotland” says Ian Maxwell. “There is growing support across the UK for the idea that maintaining a positive involvement by both parents after separation is far better for their children. “I look forward to working alongside a range of other Scottish organisations to help bring about changes in Scottish fam-
ily law and Scottish court procedures to support shared parenting and tackle some of the dispiriting negative attitudes that our members report they have encountered along the way.” Ian Maxwell comes to this job with substantial experience of working with parents and campaigning on family issues in Scotland. He worked for One Parent Families Scotland for fifteen years, latterly as deputy director.
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THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
NEWS IN BRIEF CAMPAIGNERS BARRED FROM UN NEGOTIATIONS
British Wildlife photography on display in Glen Coe centre
THREE members of WWF and Oxfam have been barred from future meetings of a UN climate change conference for vandalising a Saudi Arabian nameplate at the conference venue. Christiana Figueres, the top UN climate official, also said WWF and Oxfam will be restricted to sending two and three representatives to the next round of talks, instead of a dozen. The activists reacted to the Saudi delegation blocking a call for a study required to radically limit the expected increase in the Earth’s temperatures this century.
UN INVESTIGATION INTO AID FLOTILLA TRAGEDY ISRAEL has said it will co-operate with a UN investigation into its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May. A commando raid on the six-ship convoy killed nine Turkish activists and caused international outcry. Several Scottish-based campaigners took part. Israel claims that it has the legal right to board any vessel attempting to break an embargo of the Gaza Strip. But Turkey says the raid broke international law and has called on Israel to apologise, pay compensation to the victims and lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
CHAMPION GOLFER TAKES ON 96-MILE CHALLENGE ABERDEEN golfer and former Open winner Paul Lawrie is set to take on the West Highland Way in a bid to raise £25,000 for charity. Lawrie will be joined by his wife Marian and four friends for the 96mile challenge, in aid of the Paul Lawrie Charitable Foundation. So far more than £8,000 has been raised ahead of the walk. He predicted the charity trek would be a “tough challenge”. Lawrie won the Open at Carnoustie in 1999, beating Jean Van de Velde and Justin Leonard in a play-off.
ANIMAL RIGHTS ADVERT BANNED BY ASA AN animal rights charity advert has been banned. Animal Aid claimed in the advert that brutality in the UK slaughterhouse industry was commonplace. However, national print advertisements calling on readers to watch an undercover video filmed in UK slaughterhouses, will not be allowed again after a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority. It ruled the charity could not make sweeping statements regarding the practices in the industry as a whole.
CASH FOR GRABS FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS FIRSTPORT and Scotland UnLtd are looking for young entrepreneurs from across the country with innovative ideas that will make a positive difference to people and communities. Candidates will have the chance to pitch for up to £500 to get their idea up and running as the panel travels around the country. There are awards available for two different categories: Enterprise, and Sports, Arts and Recreational. For information on local area deadlines and to get an application pack email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0131 220 0511
A SELECTION of the best work from the 2009 British Wildlife Photography Awards will be on display in the National Trust for Scotland’s Glencoe Visitor Centre until Monday 30 August. The competition has captured the imagination of thousands of UK and international photographers who, collectively, have created a stunning and innovative series of images which showcase British wildlife at its best. PICTURE: Ross Hoddinott, Damselfly silhouette
Welfare reform plan moving too fast, say campaigners SWEEPING welfare reforms will hit Scotland’s poorest harder than ever according to campaigners. The claim comes as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith launched plans to revolutionise the benefits system and encourage more people back into work. His consultation paper – 21st Century Welfare – sets out a series of options which he said would rationalise the main benefits and withdraw them at a single, more reasonable, rate for those who return to work as they begin earning. He is known for his work on welfare issues and often refers to a visit he made to Easterhouse in Glasgow in 2002 – when he was Conservative Party leader – as a pivotal moment in his effort to reach out to vulnerable groups in society. Earlier this week, government figures showed that 76 per cent of those who before would have claimed incapacity benefit were being rejected for its replacement, the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), or were abandoning claims before completing a strict new medical test. Rights Advice Scotland, an alliance of council welfare rights officers, calculates that Scottish claimants could lose out on £235.89m in ESA funds, while a reduction in Disability Living Allowance entitlement means £254.27m less will be paid in Scotland each year. Councillor Willie Hogg, chair of the Scottish Local Government Forum Against Poverty (SLGFAP), said: “By 2013 just two of the changes will together remove more around £480m from the Scottish economy. “This will clearly have a devastating impact on the incomes of the individuals and families affected, but the wider impact is
Urgent action needed over rent deposits SHELTER Scotland has urged the government to take speedy action to create a scheme to stop landlords from withholding millions of pounds in deposits from tenants. Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, welcomed a new government consultation on a national tenancy deposit scheme. He said: “Shelter Scotland has long campaigned for a tenancy deposit protection scheme. This consultation offers the opportunity to develop this and we hope it will result in speedy action. We want a transpar-
ent system for deposits that is fair to both tenants and landlords alike. “We all know of good and bad renting stories and we know of the difficulties faced by both tenants and landlords. Too often petty disputes end in deposits being unfairly withheld without a clear way of resolving the problem.” Wrongly withheld tenancy deposits in Scotland may amount to nearly £3.6 million year, due to between 8,000 and 11,000 tenants. The government consultation will seek views from key stakeholders and members
of the public on the best framework for tenancy deposit schemes. Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said: “Landlords can legitimately withhold a tenant’s deposit for a number of reasons. “However, this Government shares the concerns about unfairly withheld tenancy deposits and I want to move quickly to resolve this issue. “The consultation will help shape the regulations governing the approval of tenancy deposits schemes in Scotland so that tenants receive a better deal.”
Fear is stopping children from playing outside NEW figures released this week for Playday 2010 reveal that the loss of community spirit is leading to children not being allowed to play outside where they live. The ICM survey commissioned for the 23rd UK Playday, Our Place! questioned more than 1,000 adults and children about their attitudes to play and children’s place in the community. The research found that 79 per cent of adults believe community spirit has weakened since they were a child. In addition, nearly half of men (44 per cent) and 28 per cent of women would be wary to help, in case they were suspected of attempting to abduct the child. The survey suggests that children are also picking up on adult fears and anxieties. National Playday encourages children to get out and play outdoors. Marguerite Hunter Blair, chief executive,
Play Scotland is really disappointed that we are the only country in the UK that hasn’t received a dedicated lottery fund to support play in the community Marguerite Hunter Blair, Play Scotland Play Scotland said most children would prefer to play in and around streets near to their home. “A report released last year by Living Streets indicated that more than half of children aged between five and 10 never play out on their streets,” she said. “It is vital that everyone in the community come together to overcome this culture of fear and intolerance and work to promote child friendly
communities with increased outdoor play opportunities for children in and around communities where they live.” Children with regular access to playable spaces are much more likely to enjoy childhood and grow up healthier and happier, says the charity. Blair continued: “Play Scotland is really disappointed that we are the only country in the UK that hasn’t received a dedicated lottery fund to support play in the community and we call on the Scottish Government to ensure that Community Planning Partnerships work with local people when planning for play. “We also need to build parents’ confidence to let their children play out, by tackling the real barriers such as traffic and the lack of good places to play. But we also need to communicate more positive messages about children in public space”.
no less serious. “A domino effect will see entitlement to other support and benefits being reduced, leading to further deductions in income. Local businesses will suffer as a result of reduced spending, jobs will be lost and Scotland’s local authorities will see a huge increase in demand for services. “The changes must no longer be judged in isolation. The collective impact will be dire for Scotland’s councils, businesses and communities.” Stephen Devine, a director at Rights Advice Scotland said the amount lost to Scotland in benefits was unlikely to be made up by claimants returning to work. “There is no evidence that suitable vacancies are out there,” he said. “The earthquake of benefit change is likely to be followed by a tsunami hitting local economies. “Most of the money paid out in benefits would normally be spent in local authority areas, so local businesses will suffer while local authorities will have to support more people whose incomes are being reduced, even as their own budgets are cut.” Citizens Advice Scotland’s Matt Lancashire, speaking on behalf of the Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform (SCoWR), said: “We agree the changes in welfare will have a wider impact on the Scottish economy. But the main concern must be the immediate impact that the welfare changes are having on the people who rely on the welfare state simply to live their lives. “SLGFAP’s contribution to this debate shows an increasing trend of opinion in Scotland that the welfare reform agenda is moving too far and too fast, without enough regard to the impact it is having.” See letters page 6
Renovated chapel left to fall into state of disrepair A CENTRE for Gaelic study based in a former church and funded by an Oxford-based charity to the tune of £860,000, has not been used since it opened in 2001, it has emerged. Alasdair Ross McKerlich, the contractor who led the renovation work, said St Edwards Chapel had fallen into a serious state of repair. The island’s owner, the National Trust for Scotland, claimed the building had never been wind and watertight. The trust added that it was now responsible for the cost of remedial work to the church. Heritage and conservation charity, the Hebridean Trust, said it raised funds for the renovation at the invitation of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). McKerlich said he was disappointed that the former Roman Catholic church had not been used. He claimed parts of the building had been vandalised. John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw, who gathered one of the largest archives of Gaelic culture, were the isle’s former owners. NTS now manages the island off Skye.
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
Charity features in festival exhibition from top photographer
This week at the Festival NEW TOWN BAR SUNDAY FUNDRAISERS New Town Bar, Sundays 8, 15, 22, 29 August, from 4pm This comedy roundup will be hosted by Scott Agnew. Performers will include Jo Caulfield, Tom Allen, Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus and Six Storey’s High. Admission Free - collection for Waverley Care
DRAMATIC photographs portraying the difficulty of the life for the Burmese people in Delhi are on display at St Mary’s Cathedral on Palmerston Place throughout August. The pictures show people working in projects supported by the Scottish based international development organisation Burma Assist. In particular they focus on Thawng Lian Sung, ‘Sungte’ a Burmese Chin woman and refugee. Sungte with three other Chin women set up the Dorcas women’s tailoring training centre in Delhi in February 2009 with the aim of helping other Chin women to become independent by providing them with tailoring skills. The photographs were taken by Bharat Choudhary who was the documentary photographer winner of the 2009 College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) International Picture Story award.
Graffiti art campaign to push for human rights in Burma
AMNESTY International is bringing together six artists at this year’s Edinburgh Festival to depict its campaigning history through graffiti paintings. The paintings, which are currently on show at the Urban Garden on Edinburgh’s Cowgate, have been painted by cutting-edge graffiti artists from across Scotland and are all inspired on the theme “the fight for freedom of expression”. There will also be a live graffiti performance on Saturday 7 August, where five of
the artists will create a giant mural inspired by the struggle of the 88 Generation Student Group, who were locked up in 2007 for up to 65 years for protesting peacefully against the Burmese government. The human rights organisation has a long history of taking part in the festival with innovative and often thought-provoking exhibitions. This year’s event will be attended by Waihnin Pwint Thon, a human rights campaigner whose father is a political pris-
Women’s service to close BREAKTHROUGH for Women, a Glasgow-based advice and support centre for rape victims, is closing as four of its seven staff are taking an early retirement package offered by the city council in its bid to drastically reduce costs. The city council has said no final decision has yet been taken on the future of the service, which is run by social work, but other organisations are already taking on referrals that would normally have been sent to Breakthrough. Opposition politicians and trade unions are now calling for the service to be retained internally, although this option is understood to have already been ruled out despite it dealing with more than 100 cases a year. The move comes as more and more council employees take up the option of quitting the authority, which is shedding at least 4,000 posts over the next three years. Enhanced redundancy packages have been offered to staff aged over 50, and the four at Breakthrough for Women are expected to leave this month. Breakthrough provides counselling for women over the age of 16 who have been
involved in either childhood sex abuse, rape or sexual violence. Pamela McElhinney, who works for Glasgow East Women’s Aid, said organisations like hers would struggle to deal with increased casework stemming from the closure. McElhinney said: “We have already had cases from Breakthrough for Women. Of course we will take these on, but we are already financially stretched and without assistance increased cases could have a serious impact on us and similar organisations.” Brian Smith, social work branch secretary for Unison, said: “The demand for the service remains and is valued by the women who use it, other frontline social work staff and other agencies. “We hope that the council demonstrates its commitment to this group of vulnerable women by continuing to offer the current services.” A spokesman for the council confirmed the applications for the four redundancies and added: “In these circumstances the project cannot continue in its current form, although a final decision on how the service will change has not yet been taken.
oner in Burma. Pwint-Thon said: “The situation in Burma is terrible; we have no human rights or any form of freedom at all except for the people who support the regime. My people do not have any future under this military regime. In your hand, you have a key to open the door of human rights and freedom in Burma. Please use that key.” Festival-goers can also join Amnesty¹s campaign for freedom in Burma by having their picture taken with the name of a
Burmese political prisoner written on their hand. And campaigners will be out on the streets this year asking festival-goers to take their own stand for freedom of expression, in solidarity with the people of Burma. Amy Whiten (aka Syrkus), one of the artists taking part, said: “I hope through the medium we use, the impact of large artworks, and the appeal of watching live painting, that we can make the concept of human rights more accessible and raise awareness. “Often as street artists the projects we are asked to take part in are a bit empty without much meaning, maybe a mural for a bar or festival. “They can be really fun and it is great when you can create work of your own, but this project was a great opportunity to work to a brief, to push ourselves and to gain the interest of people so more people know about these stories and the work that Amnesty does. It feels lovely to be asked to be a part of a project like this.” Amnesty International’s Programme Director in Scotland, John Watson said: “The Edinburgh Festival is a unique celebration of the right to freedom of expression, attracting writers, artists and performers from across the globe for more than 60 years. “But it’s important to remember that this right has been hard won, and that around the world, the struggle for freedom of expression goes on.”
LAUGH4AFRICA Highlight, Omni Centre, 11 Aug, 8pm (doors 7pm) Featuring Janey Godley, Tom Allen, Sanderson Jones, Luke Toulson and Bruce Fummey. This is a comedy extravaganza with over two hours of entertainment from some of the best acts in the Fringe. This event is in aid of MakeIt4Africa. Who wouldn’t want to Laugh4Africa? Tickets £12 from Fringe Box Office on 0131 226 0000. PLAYING POLITICS St Brides Centre, Fri-Sat 13&14, 20&21, Aug, 9.30-10.30pm Annie Gunner Logan and Vic Rodrick present wicked musical comedy. MPs, MSPs, Ministers and their minions, not to mention that bloke who sent in a bill for his belltower: nothing and no-one escapes an onsong dressing-down from Playing Politics. Lyrically savage, musically adroit and totally unbroadcastable: see it live or lose it forever! Tickets £10 on 0131 668 2019 GREAT ZIMBABWE – GRASSROOTS ZIMBABWE THEATRE COMPANY Columcille Centre, Sunday 14 August, 7.30pm Using traditional dance, music, and song, this dramatic story reveals the strength of humanity in the struggle for Zimbabwean independence and challenges the role politics has played in the birth of the nation of Zimbabwe until today. This a Waverley Care benefit performance. Tickets £10 / £8 / £5 from Fringe Box Office on 0131 226 0000 TARTAN RIBBON COMEDY BENEFIT Pleasance Grand, Tuesday 17 Aug, 8pm A top night of comedy with all proceeds going to Waverley Care. Previous line-ups: Michael McIntyre, Stephen K Amos, Russell Howard, Jason Byrne and many more. Beg, steal or borrow a ticket, it’s sure to sell-out! Proceeds to Waverley Care. Tickets £12 / £10.50 from Pleasance Box Office on 0131 556 6550
World’s biggest milk and cookie morning A CLASS of Edinburgh nursery school kids went on the moo-ve yesterday when they joined a group of colourful cows to hold a charity cookie morning. The youngsters from the Cowgate Under 5’s Centre were putting their own twist on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning organised by Macmillan Cancer Support. The kids first took part in a “cookie march” down to the famous cow statues outside the Edinburgh Council offices, before enjoying some milk and cookies on the lawn. Macmillan’s fundraising manager in Edinburgh, Pamela Williamson, said: “Having a cookie morning instead of a coffee morning is a great idea for nurseries and schools so I hope the Cowgate centre inspires other local groups to do the same thing. “A cookie morning is such an easy event to organise and it will give kids a nice feeling to know they’re doing something for a good cause.” Macmillan hopes thousands of people will take part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on September 24.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? http://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
COMMENT & ANALYSIS We want your reactions to the news in TFN – email TFN@scvo.org.uk
PROACTIVISTS YOUR CAMPAIGNS IN YOUR WORDS The Scottish Refugee Council explains why it is campaigning for asylum seekers to be allowed to work in the UK.
PODIUM ALISON ELLIOT CONVENER, SCVO
What is the campaign called? Still Human Still Here, a multi-agency campaign supported by dozens of organisations, including Scottish Refugee Council, to end the destitution of refused asylum seekers in the UK. What’s the point? The majority of asylum seekers who receive support from the government have to survive on just over £5 a day and the number of destitute asylum seekers with no support at all has increased steadily in recent years. We believe one of the ways to tackle this would be to allow asylum seekers to work if they have not had their case resolved in six months, so that they do not have to depend on handouts. That’s what Still Human Still Here is campaigning for right now. Why should we care? Caseworkers at Scottish Refugee Council report that the number of people presenting as destitute is on the rise, and figures provided by the British Red Cross show the number of destitute asylum seekers using their UK services rose from around 10,000 in 2008 to more than 11,600 in 2009. Destitution is costly in terms of the suffering it causes to the individuals affected, but also because of the indirect costs to the econ-
omy. Where people are left destitute it leads to a higher incidence of physical and mental health problems. It also forces them to find other survival strategies like illegal work, prostitution, begging or street homelessness. All of these issues, at some stage, need to be addressed by public and voluntary sector services. Who else cares? Still Human Still Here is a coalition campaign, supported by more than 40 organisations from across the UK that work with asylum seekers and refugees in the UK (www.stillhuman.org.uk for more details). They include Scottish Refugee Council, Amnesty International, British Red Cross, Citizens Advice Bureau, Crisis, the Children’s Society, Oxfam and Mind. Who are you targeting? We’re targeting the UK government by asking them to change the current rules so that asylum seekers can work if their claim has not been decided after six months. We also believe people who are refused asylum, but who temporarily cannot return home should also be allowed to work. For example, it has not been safe to remove refused Zimbabwean asylum seekers for around eight years, but these people have been denied permission to work.
What needs to happen now? The UK government needs to recognise that their policies around asylum are flawed, and that simple changes such as allowing asylum seekers to work will help improve it. Letting people in the asylum system work will save taxpayers’ money and give them the opportunity to support themselves, pay taxes and contribute their skills to the economy. If the government changes the rules, taxpayers won’t be paying benefits to support people who are able to work, but aren’t allowed to. It means that asylum seekers won’t be relying on charity to get by. What will a better world look like? Britain will be a place which can truly welcome people who have fled their homes due to war or persecution. Asylum will no longer be about targets and figures, but will be a word that means safety and protection for all those whose lives and security are at risk in their own countries. What can we do? Email your MP and ask them to sign a declaration which supports asylum seekers being allowed to get jobs to pay their own way if they’ve been in the UK for over six months. You can do this in two minutes via Still Human Still Here’s section on the campaigning website, 38 degrees: www.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/PermissionToWork
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Welfare reform plans threaten people with disabilities It is with disappointment that we at Tourette Scotland read of the Chancellor’s new ‘test’ for Disability Living Allowance by 2013. This is clearly aimed at saving money by reducing eligibility, and is not aimed at helping those who have to rely on this much needed additional support. Our members live with a lifelong neurological condition, which can be severe and prevents many from leading fully productive working lives and having the economic equality they deserve. People with Tourettes are already hard to proscribe using the existing format, but they will find themselves even less able to gain the financial support they need, or the respect
they need, under the new system. Whilst some of those living with TS are enabled to lead fulfilling working lives, there remains for many the public prejudice and employment discrimination that is rife; and as such they are at risk of poverty and income deprivation through being refused the chance to work. This new approach is like 19th century welfare – punishing those who are poor and ill, and whose lifestyles are already straitened through no fault of their own. With this new proposal presumes a Utopia where jobs are aplenty. People with long-term conditions are now even more at risk of being singled out for prejudice
because they are not able to work. This report rides on the backs of the most vulnerable of our society; perhaps because they are an easy target? With the right support those living with Tourette Syndrome can and do add richly to the workforce of Scotland, but many employers are not open to disability in the fight for ever diminishing jobs. This proposal does nothing to assist those already on the fringes of employment or those who cannot compete in the marketplace. JUDY BARROW Development manager Tourette Scotland
Young people cannot be forgotten
Protect the poor
I write in relation to the recent Annual Population Survey (APS) published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. It showed the numbers of NEETS (those not in education, employment or training) aged 16 to 24 had risen by 2 per cent in 2009 to 13.8 per cent. This was the highest rise of the decade. The recession has, and will continue to have, a lasting impact – particularly on our younger generation. All local authority areas in Scotland experienced an increase in their overall unemployment rate. A fiercely competitive job market makes starting out for Scotland’s disadvantaged young even more difficult. These statistics highlight that we cannot afford to be complacent. The government,
All public services should be open to scrutiny and that there should be debate on how to make them more effective. However, it is paramount that any changes to public services should not make life harder for the poorest people in Scotland. All spending needs to be assessed according to the impact on the poorest, and any cuts need to be scrutinised as to whether they will reduce or exacerbate inequalities. We already live in a deeply unequal society and it would be a travesty if any decisions further entrenched the lack of opportunity that the poorest people face. JIM BOYLE UK Poverty Programme Co-ordinator Oxfam Scotland
local authorities and the voluntary sector must come together to afford opportunities to the young so they can contribute to society now, get the skills they need for the recovery and make positive choices for their future. With squeezed budgets and an increased demand for public services, the needs of the young cannot afford to be ignored. By ignoring the problem, they will become trapped in a cycle of unemployment and the related social costs that go with this. Investing in the young has an immediate payback, and significant dividends for the country’s future. GERALDINE GAMMELL Director The Prince’s Trust Scotland
An extra resource Securing the contribution of the third sector THE big debate about the allocation of public funds has started at last, ushered in by the new Beveridge Report, the Independent Budget Review. That report was good news for the third sector, because it asked some fundamental questions that we’ve been wanting to put on the agenda for some time: questions about how much we should change the mix between the state, the individual, the third/voluntary sector, and the private sector. This question is crucial. Without examining these relationships, all that will happen in the face of budget cuts is that we will get less of the same. But, by bringing into the picture the full richness of what the whole of society can offer, we should be able to do more for less. Unfortunately, immediate reaction to the review has focused on how the present cake will be cut, rather than any proposals for reconfiguring it. We need to be vigilant in arguing the case for new relationships as well as better stewardship of public funds. I believe that the third sector can tell a very different story from the one that dominates our political debate. There, we are given a picture of a general public that is full of needs and that is simply waiting to be served by others. By contrast, the public that I know, and that appears in the pages of TFN, is well populated by people who are generous with their skills, their time and their money. It is a public that takes note of the needs and difficulties of some of society’s most vulnerable members and is imaginative in coming up with solutions to these needs. And there is a seam of goodwill towards other people that places energy and commitment at the disposal of the community. This public is a resource that society cannot afford to neglect, particularly at a time of austerity. Yet it does tend to be neglected, or it is portrayed in an unflattering light. There is a tendency for the third sector to be considered as an after-thought, or as a temporary way of filling a gap when things become too costly. Yet this misrepresents the wisdom and professionalism that are at the disposal of our sector. Our sector is not a new initiative; it has a long history, current practice that builds on lessons from the past and from other countries and it is confident in its vision for the future. It thrives on small scale acts of common neighbourliness that grow into well informed campaigns to make a difference to society. It also includes work by charities with a long pedigree and organisations that can hold their own with their competitors in both public and private sectors. They are not well served by political discussion that pits highly professional services provided by the state against voluntary and community projects whose enthusiasm and passion are portrayed as amateurish. It is our responsibility to make sure that the whole story is told, so that Scotland faces its difficult future using all the resources it has. Our sector can make a key contribution to ensuring that society comes through the recession strengthened, because of the different resources that we can offer. We embody a different contract between the individual and society, characterised by people who take the initiative to make a difference to the world around them, by diversity in the solutions proposed to social problems and by variety in funding streams. Diversity is a key characteristic of our approach. That diversity can be a weakness if it breaks apart into rival factions. But woven together, different strands can give strength. Together with people from the public and the private sectors, we need to put our rivalries behind us and look towards the many needs of our neighbours, our communities and our world. And then we need to get weaving!
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THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
COMMENT & ANALYSIS
Have your say on what we say – email TFN@scvo.org.uk
ANALYSIS THETALKBACKPOLL NO 97%
INDEPENDENT BUDGET REVIEW SPECIAL
Should the NHS be immune to cuts? YES 3% I am sure that the NHS can look at how it is spending its money in the same way as all charities are having to at the moment. It can take the same cuts to its central services and NHS staff can work harder and smarter. Catriona, Edinburgh
A problem shared is a problem halved JOHN DOWNIE THE Independent Budget Review’s hefty report, published last week, has been credited with kickstarting the most important public debate in Scotland since devolution. The report’s recommendations – including the need to re-examine whether universal provision such as free care for the elderly is affordable – has proved a stark wake up call to a country previously quite content to roll along with an annually growing budget and a quarter of our workforce employed in the public sector. Immediately following the report’s publication, there was the inevitable (and understandable) media frenzy around predictions of huge lay offs for public sector workers. And of course the government tried to put the population’s minds at ease by promising, rather short-sightedly, to protect jobs and funding to the NHS. Perhaps a little less predictable, however, was the manner in which bodies like CoSLA and the British Medical Association (BMA) have taken on the challenges ahead.
CoSLA’s submission to the Review showed a rather refreshing realism and maturity “… the reduction in resources may cause councils and their partners to fall back on protecting core services rather than delivering this transformational change. To put it starkly, short-term efficiencies could entrench service models that are not sustainable in the longer term and suffocate early intervention strategies.” And speaking on Newsnight on Monday, Dr Brian Keighley, the chairman of the BMA’s Scottish Council conceded that the health budget – one third of Scotland’s annual expenditure – would not escape unscathed. But rather than retreat to protectionism, he called for “planning and evidence based cuts” instead of blanket percentage cuts. It’s by now well known that we face the most challenging financial environment for at least a generation, and by far the biggest challenge for a devolved Scottish Government, particularly in the face of the looming election. But there are opportunities here, and the attitudes of CoSLA and
the BMA demonstrate that they at least understand that. Their approach I think shows that the call from many parts of civil society for a social partnership – where business, trade unions, faith groups, the voluntary sector and others have a seat around the decision making and budget setting table – has never been more timely. After all, the three wise men of the Budget Review have called for our politicians and wider civil society to work together and to engage in debate about transforming our public services to meet Scotland’s future needs. And we’ve all got something to bring to the table. Where the BMA dares to think differently on protecting the NHS, the voluntary sector has been demonstrating for decades that preventative projects, closely connected to the people they serve, can have far more positive outcomes than curative ones whilst saving the public purse significant sums. Right across Scotland, people are helping themselves and each other to battle addiction, avoid homelessness
or care for their children in the toughest of circumstances. These are the interventionist, preventative services that the voluntary sector excels at, connected to the people they serve and building the social cohesion that politicians claim to value so highly. And they are exactly the sorts of services that breed innovative new ways of meeting some of the most complex needs of the people of Scotland, now and in the future. The challenge facing politicians is considerable, but they mustn’t revert to type and use the cuts agenda to their electoral advantage. The chance to remake public services based on what the people of Scotland actually need and want is too great to be squandered through political bickering. We have an opportunity here to set up a social partnership, that moves the decision making process out of the realm of partisan politics and into a genuine debate for the future of Scotland. Now is the time to work together, to share ideas, share new responsibilities and share the challenges ahead.
The less-than-palatable options for cutting the public sector pay bill KATE HIGGINS SO the three wise men have reported and their Independent Budget Review (IBR) is thorough, detailed and extensive. The degree of consultation in particular is to be commended. Yet, it is also lacking in boldness, remarkable for its omissions and frankly, states the bleeding obvious. One very obvious proposal is to freeze public sector pay. Some of you might recall me advocating just such a move some months ago. I may have been prescient, though not totally comfortable with my apparently all-seeing eye. I too don’t see why the public sector should pay the cost for the excesses of the financial sector, and the recession it caused. But no one is offering an alternative. In particular, the left’s inability to construct a framework for a new social and economic order is lamentable; the unions’ Canute like approach to the
tsunami of prospective cuts does a disservice to their members. But while workers in the private and third sectors accepted the reality of the situation some time ago, agreeing to pay freezes, reduced hours and unpaid time off to keep themselves in jobs, the public sector is still in denial. This week, Unison members joined UNITE and the GMB in voting to reject a proposed pay deal of 1.5 per cent over 3 years. On one level, they are right to object: this year nurses got a pay rise of 2.25 per cent, teachers 2.4 per cent and police 2.25 per cent. How they all managed to keep this quiet is beyond me. The IBR proposes three options for reining in the public sector pay bill. Scotland could follow the UK Government and provide a flat rate £250 increase to workers earning below £21,000 and still make incremental awards. Or there could be no
pay increase but provide incremental or progression awards to all. Or both pay and incremental awards could be frozen for two years. The IBR appears to support the latter option, arguing that because Scotland has a much larger public sector workforce earning below £21,000, the first option is financially unattractive as it would still add £180m to the pay bill. Yet, protecting the lowest paid workers seems to me a price worth paying. One option not considered is to freeze incremental awards for those earning above a certain level, as well as their pay. Just as a percentage salary rise disproportionately benefits the highest earners, the JNC structure tends to award much larger percentage increments for those further up the scales. However, the IBR indicates there may be contractual difficulties with any attempt to freeze incremental awards. I’m sorry
but in the current financial climate, all bets are off. The normal rules of engagement just do not apply in these far from normal times. Whichever option is chosen, the IBR makes clear that pay freezes on their own are not enough. There will still require to be at least a recruitment freeze – why isn’t this in place already? – and job losses, preferably through natural wastage and non filling of vacant posts. Opting for a pay rise for the lowest paid plus a very small rise from 2013 would still require 11,500 jobs to go next year. Many families are going to face very tough times indeed. This is where the Scottish Government’s commitment to protect the NHS at the expense of all others – and also to hypothecate any Westminster funding increase for the NHS – becomes outrageously cavalier. Not only do NHS staff salaries account for the lion’s share of the
No, but the cuts should be focussed where there is waste and inefficiency rather than to front-line services. Only once all wasteful practices have been stopped should services by considered for cuts. Anon Efficiency savings can be made across the public sector, including health. Mike, Stirling It is my belief from what I have seen over the years that the NHS budget has been very badly and inappropriately managed, and this is the main area that needs to be addressed. Those responsible should be held accountable for the tragic waste of this public money, which can lead to bad practices within the NHS and less efficient services. Finances being managed more appropriately would deliver a more competent provision to those in need and front-line services would improve. A McGuire While the NHS is a great institution, it is prone to wastage and bad management so I don’t see why it should be immune from cuts, as long as they take place in the right areas. Anon The NHS as a whole should not be immune – but front line essential NHS services should be immune. Bob, Inverness There is always room for savings. Anon There is so much waste across the board in public services, including the NHS. This should be cut. Lora Sadly, we are in a mess. We need deep cuts to get us out of it, and forecasts are for 16 years of misery. This is only partly because of the banks situation, and mostly stems from gross Government overspending. In times of plenty, did we put anything aside? No! Anon Why do we find it so difficult to face the fact that most illness is caused by lifestyle choices and the environment? When these route causes are tackled then the NHS can focus on those who need it more than the rest of us. Slashing healthcare without protecting the sick is of course daft. But it's not realistic to say the NHS should never change. Duncan Thorp To subscribe to TFe email bulletin, get the latest voluntary sector news delivered to your email account every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and take part in our weekly Talkback Poll, visit www.scvo.org.uk and click on TFe-News
pay bill, but the numbers of NHS staff have increased more than any other group under devolution: doctors and dentists have increased by 39 per cent, nurses and healthcare professionals by 27 per cent while there has only been a 4 per cent increase in the number of teachers. Protecting the size and pay of the NHS workforce will only exacerbate the burden on the rest of the public sector.
Whichever way the numbers are shaken, cutting the size of the public sector pay bill and the workforce appears to have become inevitable. It is now for the Scottish Government and the other political parties, as well as the unions, to face up to their responsibilities and make the right choices for the right reasons. At the very least, they must protect the lowest paid and those delivering front line services.
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THIRD FORCE NEWS : F
Stand up and
The Edinburgh Festival of Politics is an amazing tool for civil society. ROBERT ARMOUR looks into some of the highlights of this year’s event
years ago, John Millinner had little to do with politics nor did he want any involvement. That was until he lost the use of both his legs in a car accident and became registered disabled. Now politics permeates everything he does. The father of four, who by his own admission is busy enough, started lobbying his local MSP on a variety of issues once he started seeing life from a disabled person’s perspective and is now, by all accounts, fully engaged in the political process. So much so that John is this year taking a group of 15 disabled people from the disability forum he created in his hometown of Ayr through to Edinburgh to see the Festival of Politics, following on from his first visit last year. Holyrood for John is more than a concrete epitaph of bureaucracy. Despite an increasingly disillusioned electorate, John believes Holyrood represents an opportunity for people like himself to become engaged with the powers that control the country and shape policies that affect the common person. “That’s why I set up the Ayrshire Rights Forum,” he says. “I don’t just believe ordinary people can change things; I know they can, but only if you stop complaining and do something about it. The power isn’t just in the politicians hands; it’s in yours too.” John has arranged an itinery around this year’s Festival of Politics to encourage members of his forum to see how politics shapes their lives and what they can do to contribute to changing things to make life easier for themselves and those who care for them. With a small grant from the local council, he plans two days at the event that will, hopefully, enable others in the group to see that politics, if not exactly fun, is far more accessible than they imagined. “I’m hoping to change perceptions,” he says. “I had little to do with politics until I became disabled. Now it takes up most of my time, only because I know I can achieve something by going through the proper channels. So I want to encourage others to in the group to do the same.” Since its creation, the Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics has gained popularity year on year.
FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
Programme of events… The festival presents a diverse range of events bringing together politics, media and the arts through performance, discussion and debate. Below are some of the highlights, see www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk for more information
The politics of comedy During the 80s comedy was frequently used as a political weapon. But is comedy today equally political, or has its increasingly commercial nature dulled its campaigning edge? And what now is deemed politically acceptable comedy material? The panel, which includes Simon Fanshawe, a Perrier Award winner; Tommy Sheppard, owner of The Stand comedy club; and The Scotsman comedy critic Kate Copstick; will discuss the serious politics behind what makes us laugh. Chaired by Trish Godman MSP, deputy presiding officer. Aug 17th, 1pm (2pm) Main Chamber – £6.00 (£3.50) Book in advance
Privacy and human rights It has been suggested that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights is being used to introduce a law of privacy by the back door, as evidenced by recent cases such as Max Mosley. Critics also assert that the human rights of ordinary people are not protected by such laws e.g. in cases of lost data. For those concerned about human rights, can press and media freedom be balanced with respect for private and family life in Scotland’s modern democracy? Aug 17th, 4pm (5pm) Committee Room 3, free
Power of the people Politicians and political institutions undoubtedly play a vital role in democracy. But politics is not the exclusive reserve of our elected representatives and democratic institutions. This event will examine how people who are not professional politicians can have a significant impact upon the political landscape. Panelists include Annie Lennox, providing an insight into how her SING Campaign is combating HIV/AIDS in South Africa; Martin Bell recounting his successful campaign to become a “sleaze-busting” MP; and Mark Thomas, leading political campaigning comedian and Perrier Award nominee. Aug 18th, 1pm (2pm) Main Chamber – £6.00 (£3.50) Book in advance
Is peace worth fighting for? There is a strong tradition of both pragmatism and ethics in international affairs. The idealism of past generations established the League of Nations and the United Nations in attempts to reduce conflicts and aggression. Politicians have to wrestle with the national interest, the security of citizens, and their own principles – amongst many competing pressures – before coming to momentous decisions. Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC MP, and Joel Rosenthal, president of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, will debate the ideas of just war, peace, and security in a modern global society. Aug 18th, 4pm (5pm) Main Chamber – £6.00 (£3.50) Book in advance Comedian and political activist Mark Thomas (top left) will be joining former journalist and “antisleaze” MP Martin Bell on panel that examines how ordinary people can influence politicians and the political system. Singer and activist Annie Lennox will join them. Former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell (bottom left) will join a debate on the importance on conflict mediation and peace agreements, while Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP (bottom right) will debate the notion of a just war.
Now widely acclaimed, it combines the worlds of politics, media and the arts in an attempt to reach out to the general pubic and get more people involved in politics in Scotland. A festival session on 18 August about the power of the people in politics will discuss how those who are not professional politicians can have an effect on the political landscape. The contributors include the singer Annie Lennox, who will provide an insight into how her SING campaign is helping to combat HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will also speak at the event. As Britain’s longest serving deputy prime minister, he will be discussing his life in politics. Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who has served as both defence secretary and foreign secretary, will lead a debate on the idea of a just war and peace and security in modern society. Meanwhile Des Browne, who was defence secretary in the recent Labour government, will join with former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell and David Coltart, Zimbabwe’s minister for education, sport arts and culture, to discuss the role Scotland could play in conflict mediation. And, as the festival takes place in a World Cup year, there will also be a debate on the future of Scottish football. Holyrood presiding officer Alex Fergusson said: “The dynamic nature of politics and the constantly developing relationship between politicians, political institutions and the public will lie at the heart of the 2010 Festival of Politics, under the over-arching theme of changing politics.” In the past five years the festival, together with the World Press Photo exhibition, welcomed more than 175,000 visitors to the Scottish Parliament. “This proves that whilst politics may be changing, people remain keen to engage with it,” he added. “We have another interesting, imaginative and thought-provoking programme which I hope the public will enjoy.” Other participants include political comedian Mark Thomas and Martin Bell, the journalist and
former independent MP who has developed a reputation as a campaigner against sleaze. Bell says he stood for election to the Commons because he felt that politics was far too important to be left to politicians. He believes there is still a profound sense of disconnection between the voters and those they choose to represent them. “Take the Iraq war, for example. People still feel disenfranchised and dispossessed – that their views weren’t taken into account,” he explains. “The expenses scandal also has a big effect on public opinion. Politicians aren’t automatically trusted anymore.” Bell admits that once you are elected to the Westminster parliament, it is very easy to be tempted by its charms. “You do have to watch yourself. People do have a sense of entitlement and you can very easily feel very pleased with yourself for getting elected.” Added to this, he says, the atmosphere can be seductive. “Remember the House of Commons is a bit of a fortress – indeed, its emblem is a portcullis.” According to Isla Mair, Scottish Parliament media officer for the Festival of Politics, it’s that idea that the festival is attempting to overcome and is succeeding in doing so. The event, now more popular than ever, has played host to a selection of inspiring presentations, speeches and debates from a cast of famous faces including political icons, campaigners and journalists. “It is encouraging to see how people have taken to it,” she says. “Our remit is to get more people involved and that is what is happening year on year. We want to make politics more open and this is a good way of doing it.” The Parliament also plays host to the world’s premier photojournalism showcase – the World Press Photo exhibition, featuring winning photographs from the World Press Photo competition. “It’s planned so there is something for everyone, young, old, novice, professional – it’s all there. Most of all we want the breadth and depth of Scottish society to come and see how politics shapes their lives. It affects us all and even a visit to see the parliament building is in itself intriguing.”
Hopes and dreams – being a young carer in Scotland Over 100,000 children and young people in Scotland provide care and support to family members and others who are ill, disabled or caught up in substance misuse. Caring can be hugely positive, but it can take over life at the expense of normal childhood experiences. In this event hosted by Cathy Peattie MSP and Louise Morgan, of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, young carers involved in creative media training – as part of the Scottish Government funded Young Carers’ Festival – will share their experiences, hopes and dreams. Aug 19th, 11pm (12pm) Committee Room 1 FREE
Annie Lennox and the SING campaign – one year on Following her highly moving and engaging appearance at the 2009 Festival, renowned Scottish musician and campaigner Annie Lennox returns to the Scottish Parliament to provide an update on developments in her SING Campaign, fighting HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Find out about the positive impact SING and the Treatment Action Campaign continue to have on people living with HIV. Chaired by Alex Fergusson MSP, Presiding Officer. Aug 19th, 6.30pm (7.30pm) Main Chamber – £6.00 (£3.50)
Zero-carbon Scotland of the Future Scotland has some of the world's toughest climate targets, but when we have reduced our carbon emissions to almost zero, what will Scotland be like? Where will our energy come from? What will our homes be like? How will we get about? Chaired by Rob Edwards, our panel of experts will paint a picture of life in a zero-carbon Scotland. With transport behaviour expert John Pinkard from Transform Scotland, community practitioner Rachel Nunn from Going Carbon Neutral Stirling and energy expert Stuart Hazeldine from Edinburgh University. 19th August 1.30pm (2.30pm) Free Entry
The trouble with transition – moving into adulthood and becoming older with a learning disability Most people move smoothly from school into further or higher education, work and when they finish their working lives, they move into old age. For people with learning disabilities this journey is disrupted and disjointed, often because services don’t work well together and, most importantly, don’t help to inform those involved. This event will higlight to professionals and providers the need to plan together, to have the person at the centre of the journey. Aug 20th, 11am (12pm) Committee Room 3, free
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
in association with
FUNDING THE NATIONWIDE FOUNDATION - SMALL GRANTS PROGRAMME Deadline: ongoing One off grants of up to £5000, with priority going to registered charities who work to assist both the elderly and survivors of domestic abuse tackle financial exclusion and housing needs. Applicants must not have an income exceeding £500, 000 in the last financial year Visit www.nationwidefoundation.org.uk for and application form and more information
WINSTON CHURCHILL MEMORIAL TRUST FELLOWSHIP Deadline: 5 0ctober The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is now inviting applications for its 2011 travelling fellowships. Fellowships provide an opportunity for individuals to spend time overseas pursuing an interest, which falls within one of the specified categories, and potentially offering a great way to enhance their careers. Visit www.wcmt.org.uk
HATCHES, MATCHES AND DISPATCHES 25 Aug (Inverness) 21 Sept (Glasgow) 28 Sept (Aberdeen) 19 Oct (Edinburgh) For board directors and trustees from charities and social enterprises looking for new models of growth to learn a little more about how buying a profitable private business can fit into that model and meet like minded people from the private sector. Free Visit http://acquiringbusiness4good.com/buyingevents
EVENTS & TRAINING
EVALUATION SUPPORT SCOTLAND EVENTS Various dates between 26 Aug – 28 Oct, The Go Group, Glasgow Evaluation Support Scotland are holding a series of workshops on various subjects, inlcuding: what are my outcomes? Collecting information to report on outcomes, Using Visual Approaches to Evaluate Your Project, Telling My Story – Analysis and Reporting Outcomes, and, Outcomes and funding (for funders). Cost: between £64-£105, for more information visit www.evaluationsupportscotland.ork.uk
SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT DEVELOPING YOUR EVALUATION METHODS Deadline: see contact details Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector has won funding from Glasgow Community Planning to provide bursary support for ten ambitious organisations who, over a four month period, would like to learn how to use a powerful analytical tool called Social Return on Investment (SROI).This is the second time that we will run the SROI development course. The first session ran in early 2010, and the level of interest - and the first-rate feedback from participants - has persuaded us of the real need in the sector for SROI development training. Our SROI development programme is designed to lead participating organisations through a series of training workshops (along with homework and coaching) so that participants can learn to apply SROI techniques to improve their own organisation. The pace and coaching in the programme is designed to be flexible to the needs of individual organisations Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details
SUPPORTING RELATIONSHIPS ACROSS SCOTLAND-SMC-DIPLOMA IN RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING We’re looking for dedicated volunteers to continue to strengthen and develop SMC’s counselling service across Scotland. We offer you the chance to enrol in a 2 year part-time DIPLOMA in Relationship Counselling, jointly awarded by SMC and York St. John University. Information evenings are being held across Scotland. For more information please contact Maureen Hally or Christina Smiley on 0141 222 2166 or e-mail email@example.com
BBC CHILDREN IN NEED SMALL GRANTS Deadlines:15 Oct 2010 BBC Children in Need are inviting not-for-profit organisations working with disadvantaged children and young people 18 years and under to apply for grants of up to £10,000 through their small grants scheme. Organisations that can be supported include registered charities, voluntary organisations, schools, local authorities, churches, social enterprises, community interest groups, universities etc.. For more visit the Children in Need website at www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey and look under main grants.
EVERYONEIN INTERSECTION INCLUSION Tues 10 Aug, Fri 19 Sept, Tues 12 Oct, Fri 5 Nov, various locations in Edinburgh & Glasgow Free training and support on making services more inclusive for minority ethnic people who may identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender. Session 1: Being aware of ME/LGBT people and issues, Session 2: Making services more inclusive for ME/LGBT people, Session 3: Gender and Gender Identity, Session 4: LGBT Asylum Seekers and Refugees. These sessions are proudly brought to you by EveryoneIN in association with the LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing Free, For further information please contact: Sam Rankin firstname.lastname@example.org 0774 704 0355 or Emma Boyd email@example.com 0131 652 3281
CASHBACK FOR COMMUNITIES FUND: ROUND FOUR Deadline: 27 Aug, 28 Jan, 16 Sept Youth projects throughout Scotland are invited to apply for funding from a £2.5 million pot of cash created from the proceeds of crime. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced that a fourth round of funding for youth projects from the CashBack for Communities scheme is now open. The scheme, to be administered by YouthLink Scotland, the national agency for youth work, has been allocated £2.5 million to distribute over the next two years to local youth projects in the form of grants up to a maximum of £30,000. For more information visit www.youthlinkscotland.org ENVIRONMENTAL KEY FUND Deadline: 3 Sep Any not-for-profit organisation in North Lanarkshire is eligible to apply for EKF funding. The EKF is seeking applicants for its flagship programe which can provide grants of up to £150,000 to projects that promote transformational change. The EKF is also seeking applicants for the quarters Main Grants Programe which can provide grants of up to £30,000 to a variet of initiatives. Visit www.environmentalkeyfund.com. Contact: 01698 302121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org CORE FUNDING AND FREE TRAINING FOR HEALTH CHARITIES Deadline: 24 Sep GSK’s IMPACT Awards are designed to reward charities that are doing excellent work to improvepeoples health. Organisations must be at least three years old, working in a health related field in the UK with an income between £10,000 and £1.5mil. Up to 20 awards will be made with an overall winner receiving £35,000, nine other winners receiving £25,000 and highly commended runners up recieveing £5000 and £3000. Apply at www.kingsfund.org.uk/gskimpactawards VOLUNTARY ACTION FUND: CASH FOR YOUR GROUP Deadline: 30 Sept 2010, 7 Jan 2011 The Community Chest, a grant aimed at smaller community groups and voluntary organisations across Scotland, will provide grants of up to £1,000 and free training to groups with an annual income under £25,000. Groups can apply for funding for a wide range of activities or operational costs. However, we are particularly keen to fund activities that will help build and develop strong organisations, for example; training for committee members and volunteers; visits to other organisations and conferences or professional support and consultancy. Application form and guidance notes at www.voluntaryactionfund.org.uk
CVS FIFE TRAINING COURSES Wed 25 August, Fife Variety of courses on representing your organisation, improving your management skills, Health and safety and risk management in your volunteer programme and vulnerable adult awareness level 1. Contact email@example.com or visit www.cvsfife.org/courses/index.htm
WORKING WITH REFUGEES, ASYLUM SEEKERS, MIGRANTS & EU NATIONALS Wed 11 Aug 9.30am-4.30pm, Positive Action in Housing, 98 West George Street, Glasgow This one day course examines the rights of migrants under UK and European Law. You will be briefed on all the fundamental issues such as barriers faced by different groups and their respective entitlement to services. As a participant, you will be given up-to-date knowledge on the housing, employment and welfare entitlements of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and EU nationals.This course is highly participative and the course packs are comprehensive. Cost: non-members £220, community/voluntary organisations £150, members £125, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org GETTING READY TO BUY 23 Aug 2010, Orkney For Staff, board members or committee members from development trusts, community organisations, social enterprises, Social Firms and charities who are investigating various models of growth and income generation for their organisation, as well as those already considering acquisition as a way of achieving their mission. Free Visit http://acquiringbusiness4good.com/buyingevents MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS: BEST PRACTICE STRATGIES Tues 24 Aug 9.30am-4.30pm, Positive Action in Housing, 98 West George Street, Glasgow This course will give you an understanding of the signs and symptoms of the most common forms of mental illness. You will explore the range of factors in people’s lives that can have a negative impact on their mental health. You will also explore the additional pressures which can affect people from refugee and new migrant communities. You will be able to identify appropriate support for those with mental heath problems. Cost: non-members £220, community/voluntary organisations £150, members £125, e-mail email@example.com FACING UP TO CLIMATE CHANGE LECTURE Tues 24 Aug 6pm, City Chambers, Glasgow Global Action on Climate Change: the Road to Cancun: Managing climate change effectively is a fundamental challenge of our century, requiring global action. A shared understanding across three issues is required: the magnitude of the risks; the options for action; and how nations of the world might work together. Free, register online at www.royalsoced.org.uk
GETTING READY TO BUY 26 Aug (Inverness) 22 Sept (Glasgow) 29 Sept (Aberdeen) 20 Oct (Edinburgh) For Staff, board members or committee members from development trusts, community organisations, social enterprises, Social Firms and charities who are investigating various models of growth and income generation for their organisation, as well as those already considering acquisition as a way of achieving their mission. Free, visit http://acquiringbusiness4good.com/buyingevents ENGAGING WITH SELDOM HEARD GROUPS IN PLANNING Fri 27 Aug 2010, 10am - 4pm, The Renfield Centre, Glasgow The event will be particularly useful for those volunteers involved with (or wishing to get involved with) our Reach Out programme, to encourage the engagement of Seldom Heard Groups (specifically BME groups and Gypsy/Traveller Families) with the planning process. It will also be useful for any other PAS volunteers who have an interest in working with Seldom Heard Groups or who just want to learn more. Free event but places should be booked, PAS volunteers only, to book please call 0131 220 9730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. “PREVENTATIVE SPEND” – SCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC SERVICES IN SCOTLAND Wed 1 Sept 1-3pm, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh Rapidly rising demand for services and unprecedented pressures on public financesmeans that we will have to find new ways of delivering public services. The discussion seminar will concentrate on how public spending can best be focussed over the longer termon trying to prevent, rather than deal with, negative social outcomes. Following this event, outcomes of the day will be taken to The Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee as input to their Inquiry on the topic of “preventative spending”. Free, to book a place contact Donald Jarvie at Donald.Jarvie@scottish.parliament.uk
WANT TO SUBMIT AN INFORM LISTING? INFORM listings for funding announcements are free. Events and course listings are free to all charities and voluntary organisations. If you would like your event, course or funding announcement mentioned in INFORM please send two sentences of description and all the relevant details to email@example.com. We always appreciate organisations who follow the current style of the page. Please also submit a relevant photograph if you have one. We reserve the right to edit entries and will make every effort to include them all, but due to space cannot guarantee entries. Public and private sector organisations should ring Susan Smith on 0131 474 8049 to find out how to get a listing in INFORM or take out a box advertisement.
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
Unprecedented opportunities for the third sector Scotland is on a journey towards zero waste and the third sector needs to be a key player, says Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland. IN June this year, the Scottish Government published its Zero Waste Plan – a bold, long-term view on how as a country we will move towards high levels of recycling and waste fewer of the natural resources within our economy. The aim is for 70 per cent recycling of all waste – whether from homes or businesses – and just five per cent to landfill by 2025. This will be achieved by a new, more holistic policy approach which focuses on materials as resources, not waste. First, there will be a new carbon metric, so that recycling or waste reduction performance is no longer just measured by tonnage, instead it will take into account the climate change impacts of materials. This will encourage a new focus on things like plastics, aluminium and textiles which are lower in weight, but higher in terms of their embedded energy. Following on from this, detailed plans will be put in place for how we manage these materials, starting with waste prevention and moving on to collections systems which maximise both quantity and quality, and reprocessing and market development support to recycle materials back into new products, close to home where possible. This will also be backed up with new regulations, including steps to introduce landfill bans and to regulate which materials can be used as inputs for energy from waste plants. However, with such high aspirations, the government also realises that delivering zero waste will need more than policy and regulation – it will need everyone in Scotland to play their part. To this end, the government has established a new support body, Zero Waste Scotland, to bring together sectors of the economy and help them work towards the new targets. Zero Waste Scotland will operate as a one-stop-shop, bringing together seven former Scottish Government funded programmes into an integrated approach, aligned with the Zero Waste Plan. The third sector is very much part of that equation. Throughout 2010/11, Zero Waste Scotland will operate a third sector support programme, which will aim to build on the best that the sector can offer, including creating networks to support the delivery of waste prevention campaigns locally and the repair and reuse of household items destined for landfill. On top of the INCREASE programme, which combines investment and capacity support, this amounts to a focused programme of work designed to help community-led resource management organisations to flourish. Key to this is our relationship with the Community Recycling Network of Scotland (CRNS). The CRNS will continue as an independent membership-led organisation, representing its members and providing a number of important services, but it will also start delivering support services as Zero Waste Scotland. This is a positive
step which will see services to support the third sector fully aligned with those that exist for other sectors. Indeed, one of the government’s main aims through the Zero Waste Plan is to create a level playing field for anyone involved in resource management, be they private sector, local authority or community organisation. For example, action will be taken to make it mandatory for waste collectors to offer certain separate collections, regardless of
sector. While the main driver is about capturing more materials of higher quality, which means they can secure higher value markets, it will also mean better services to end users and allow for a wider range of service providers, including third sector organisations, where there may already be a wealth of skills and experience. So, the journey towards zero waste should bring unprecedented opportunities for the third sector.
Case study – Hebrides Alpha CIC By running recycling services in areas where others can’t reach, Hebrides Alpha CIC is showing how community organisations can play a part in making Scotland a zero waste country. Since December 2007, Hebrides Alpha CIC has provided a fortnightly kerbside collection service to over 120 households in remote and rural areas within the Isle of Lewis. It currently collects over 14 tonnes of plastics, glass and cans from these households a year. Before, householders only had residual bin collections and to recycle they had to travel to a bring site, which could be up to three miles away. Recyclates are delivered to the local authority recycling plant where the plastics and cans are baled for sale to reprocessors and glass is broken down and sold as aggregate for building or chips for patios. It also has 15 textile banks where it collects unwanted items on behalf of Blythswood Care, which sells them for charity or recycles into rags. Robert Sinclair, manager of Hebrides Alpha, sees their role as part of a zero waste ethos.
“We live in a world of limited resources. In the same way that we are careful with the budgets that we have for the year, we should also be very careful with the resources which our planet provides. “All of the goods which we collect via kerbside collections and textile banks are either re-used or recycled which means that they are not returned to landfill but go on to continue their usefulness for many more years.” The project won the Community Recycling Network for Scotland (CRNS) Member of the Year Award for 2010. It is a social enterprise which works with individuals with a history of alcohol and other drug addiction problems, but who are serious about addressing them. CRNS chief executive Pauline Hinchion sees this social and economic dimension as a key driver for zero waste: “The focus on resource maximisation and sustainable economic growth will not only assist Scotland meet its Climate Change Act obligations, but will also create green jobs for many peoples and communities across Scotland.”
SCVO Information Service Whatever you need to know, we’re here for you. Our friendly information team will help meet your information needs for a variety of topics from setting up and managing a charity to managing people and money and much more. And our national helpline number is FREE! So get in touch. We’re here for you.
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THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
0800 0192 149
goodmovers ing three pilots in Ayr, Hamilton and Kirkcaldy and after the three year secondment Victim Support Scotland offered me a job. What does your role involve? I am now Head of Quality. I work closely with the policy, research and learning and development people aligning standards across operational services. I am basically a functional manager at a strategic level. I am a member of the Voluntary Sector Network (VSN) and that is a very useful and supportive forum lead by Quality Scotland.
PERSON SPEC: NAME: FRANK RUSSELL JOB TITLE: HEAD OF QUALITY ORGANISATION: VICTIM SUPPORT SCOTLAND How did you get you job? I had been working with Scottish Courts Service for seven and a half years when a secondment opportunity appeared offering an opportunity to work with Victim Support Scotland as lead officer in rolling the Witness Service out across Scotland. It follow-
Did you choose the voluntary sector or did it choose you? I made a conscious choice, but it was supposed to be a learning opportunity. I never intended it to be long term. I soon found out the voluntary sector is more about passion than tasks and roles. Sure, you must have goals and outcomes – but it’s much, much deeper than that. I have worked in the private sector and the public sector but I should have been in the voluntary sector long before I was. What’s good about your job?....and bad? The people I work with are amazing. Every day is a day in class as my skills are tested each time I come through the door. I have developed senses that I did not have or need in the public and private sector. Crime is
complex, charity law is complex and communication is complex, put them together and you have a job of substantial challenge. Sometimes you feel, even after all you have done, it’s a system you are fighting and not support you are providing. What would make your job easier? I don’t think you can do that in the voluntary sector because when things ease up we just try harder and constantly stretch ourselves to the max. If volunteers are doing it for nothing how can we not give 150% as paid staff? Most important lesson learned? We can’t do this on our own and we don’t have to. There are a number of voluntary organisations out there and we all need to get that connection aligned, not only for the people we serve but in the interest of the public pound. It’s got to be good service and good value and joined up working in the voluntary sector is the place for that to happen. Is this a job for life? There is no such thing these days. But the sector is the place for me without a doubt. I love it. Who would be your ideal boss? Shackleton, he failed a lot but was an inspirational leader.
Make your next move a good move. Visit www.goodmoves.org.uk
Voluntary Arts Ambassadors Co-ordinator We are recruiting a paid staff member to continue to develop and operate our Scotland-wide Voluntary Arts Ambassadors scheme taking the local arts & crafts voice into community planning. Based in Edinburgh, this post is three days a week (22.5 hours) – on a salary of £21,777 pro rata per annum plus pension. Deadline: Monday 16 August 2010. Interviews will take place 1 September 2010. We would also like you to be available for all or part of the VAA Induction training 9-10 September. Applications must be made on the form provided and will be accepted by email. Please do not just send a CV – these will not be considered.
Organisational Development/Training Work We are also looking for experienced organisational development trainers to be considered for our pool of such people to deliver organisational development and training to arts and crafts umbrella bodies in Scotland. Deadline: Tuesday 31 August 2010.
VAA Co-ordinator Application packs and the organisational development/training information brief are available to download at www.vascotland.org.uk; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0131 225 7355. “VAN is an Equal Opportunities Employer which means we make appointments based solely on ability to fulfil the duties of the post. Our Equal Opportunities Policy is available in the recruitment pack” Voluntary Arts Scotland is an initiative of The Voluntary Arts Network (VAN) which is registered in Scotland as Company No. 139147 and Charity No. SC020345. Voluntary Arts Scotland acknowledges funding from the Big Lottery Fund, National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council, Legacy Trust UK, The Bacher Trust, Binks Trust, Hugh Fraser Foundation and the Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust. VAN acknowledges funding from the Arts Councils of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the Carnegie UK Trust. Voluntary Arts Network’s aim is ‘to promote participation in the arts and crafts’.
Funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
0800 0192 149 Glasgow & West of Scotland Development Officer. £22,000 p.a. (pro rata) 21 hours per week worked flexibly. Home-based in Glasgow area but free to travel.
Contact the Elderly is a UK wide charity working to alleviate loneliness & isolation in people over the age of 75, through small, local volunteer-led groups
To develop sustainable new groups and maintain existing groups, by recruiting, motivating and supporting volunteer drivers, hosts, and co-ordinators, identifying elderly beneficiaries, and raising awareness regionally amongst the public, voluntary, and business sectors as potential referrers of beneficiaries or volunteers. Self-motivated, you will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and empathy with the issues affecting older people who are isolated, and lonely. Recent experience of recruiting and managing volunteers is essential, as is computer literacy to ECDL standard. Travel will be required. For application pack Email email@example.com or Tel 0207 240 0630 CV’s will not be accepted Closing date: Tuesday 24th August. Interviews in Glasgow: Tuesday 7th September.
Contact the Elderly is a registered charity in England and Wales (244681) and in Scotland (SC039377)
Young Carers Health Liaison Community Workers (x3) 1x 35 hour post (Falkirk district) 1 x 28 hour post (Stirling district) 1 x 14 hour post (Clackmannanshire) Funded for 12 months Salary : SJC Grade F
£20,237 (pro-rata for 28 & 14 hour posts)
The post holders will raise awareness of young carers with professionals across Forth Valley, Voluntary Sector Organisations, Social Services and particularly Education. The post holders will facilitate person centred training for young carers and develop age appropriate resources to raise awareness of young carers, supporting early identification and informing them of their rights as a young carer. We are looking for enthusiastic, self motivated applicants with excellent communication skills who can demonstrate a commitment to partnership working together with an understanding of the needs of young carers. The successful applicant will be required to complete an enhanced Disclosure Scotland check.
Vacancies and Volunteering opportunities, please get in touch!
For an informal chat contact Holly Hoskisson or Agnes McMillan on 01324 611510. Please download an application pack (CV’s will not be accepted) from www.goodmoves.org.uk or send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org
HealthLink360 (formerly Care for Mission) seeks committed Christian doctors and a senior manager to work with us. Based on the outskirts of Edinburgh, we provide healthcare to those going abroad on mission.
Closing date for all applications is Friday 20th August 2010 at 1.00 pm.
For more information, please contact 0131 6531927 email@example.com or visit our website www.healthlink360.org
Home-Start Stirling SENIOR CO-ORDINATOR Salary £24,741 - £27,897 (SJC Points 29-33) Contributory pension Home-Start is the UK’s largest family support organisation. We are looking for a senior Co-ordinator to join our small team. Reporting to the Board of Trustees you will hold ultimate responsibility for effective day to day management and overview of the scheme in accordance with Home-Start governing documents and Quality Assurance Standards. You will also be responsible for the supervision of staff and volunteers.
We provide services and a programme of activities to promote the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. We are looking to recruit skilled and motivated individuals for our groundbreaking new Mental Health Project. LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing 9 Howe Street Edinburgh EH3 6TE
PROJECT ASSISTANT Salary AP 2 (1922) £18,321 – £19,830 To support the delivery of a specialist mental health service, provide a reception and general enquiry service, assist with events management and coordinate administration and publicity of programmes. For an application pack visit www.lgbthealth.org.uk call 0131 523 1100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date: Monday 23rd August Interviews: Wednesday 1st (PA) & Thursday 2nd (PM) September
Knowledge of the voluntary sector and of the roles of agencies providing services for children and families. •
Parenting experience and an understanding of the needs of families with young children. •
Experience of leading a team. •
An ability to undertake strategic management, planning and prioritising. •
Qualifications for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council, or willingness to obtain such. Car owner essential (expenses paid) CRBS Disclosure required for successful candidate. Closing date: 20 August 2010. Interview date: 2nd September 2010 Applications and enquiries to: Home-Start UK West of Scotland Office, Eldon House, 74 Townhead, Kirkintilloch, G66 1 NZ. Phone: 0141 776 3042. Email: email@example.com Home-Start Stirling is committed to equal opportunities. Scottish Charity No SCO 23619
The Zone is a drug and alcohol service that works with anybody affected by drugs and/or alcohol and we are looking to recruit the following post:
Family Support Worker (36 hours per week) Job Ref FSW/10 AP2/20 – AP3/26 (£18,813 £22,370) The Family Support worker will be required to develop a responsive support service to anyone affected by someone else’s drug and / or alcohol use, including children, families, friends and the wider community. They will deliver high quality information and support services by a number of means including one to one, group work and training sessions. Candidates should be able to demonstrate:
Candidates should have: •
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 31st August
Salary PO (3537) £29,259 – £30,861 To lead the development of the Project, do capacity building work with local and national partners and stakeholders, pull together LGBT mental health research and develop an evidence base for diﬀerent interventions.
ASC is a successful charitable voluntary organisation providing a range of support services to people affected by addictions. We are looking to appoint an
Administrator (Part time 14 hours per week) £16,710 to £17,874 pro rata 4 days per week; 3 at Falkirk, 1 at Stirling Suitably qualified to a minimum of SVQ level 3 or equivalent, you will be accustomed to working in a busy office with experience of providing a reception function in meeting and greeting members of the public and colleagues. You will have a helpful telephone manner, excellent word processing skills and a thorough knowledge of Word, Excel and Outlook packages. Closing date for applications is noon 20 August 2010. Interviews will be held on 1 September 2010 For an application pack e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01324 874 969 The post requires an enhanced disclosure. ASC aims to be an equal opportunities employer. SCO Charity Number SCO23353
• Experience of and an ability to work with family members and friends, affected by someone else’s drug and/or alcohol use, along with knowledge of the issues that affect them. • Experience of working with a range of ages including early years. • Understanding of Harm Reduction. • Minimum of a SVQ 3 in Health and Social Care or equivalent. • Experience in Group work training and facilitation • Knowledge of key legislation in relation to substance misuse both locally and nationally. • Clear understanding of Fife Child Protection guidelines. The post is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure Scotland Check. For an application pack please email email@example.com or call the number below: The Zone Units 4548 Crosshill Business Centre Main Street Crosshill Fife KY5 8BJ Telephone: 01592 862315 Website www.thezonebc.org.uk The closing date is Friday 13th August at 5pm
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
0800 0192 149
Fundraising & Campaigns Officer £25,000 Business Development Officer £25,000 The Scottish Mediation Network is recruiting two energetic, and results focussed people to join our small team in Edinburgh. The Fundraising and Campaigns Officer should have experience of fundraising from Institutional donors and Trust Funds. The Business Development Officer should have experience of marketing training and other services. An application form, and details of both posts can be downloaded from SMNs website www.scottishmediation.org.uk. Closing Date is Noon on Monday 16th August 2010.
Regional Support Coordinator SJC Scale AP4/5: £23,657 - £29,396* Based primarily at Perth Prison Visitors’ Centre and covering the Northern & Tayside Community Justice Authorities, you will provide direct information and support to families affected by imprisonment and liaise with regional organisations to promote awareness of service for these families. One year post - extension dependent on funding. *estimated salary – awaiting SJC Salary Scales from April 2010. Please download an application pack at www.familiesoutside.org.uk or tel 0131 557 9800. Closing date: 5pm Friday, 27 August 2010 Interview date: 3 September 2010 Starting date: 4 October 2010
Both posts are fixed term appointments until March 2011 with the possibility of conversion to permanent posts thereafter.
Office Administrator Salary range £19,014 to £23,240 Fixed-term contract (with possibility of renewal)
Universities Scotland is the representative body of Scotland's 20 universities and colleges of higher education. We develop policy on behalf of the higher education sector and campaign publicly on higher education issues. We need an organised and enthusiastic administrator to support our work.
Development Officer – Scotland
This full-time post, which is available initially on a fixed-term contract for up to 12 months (with the possibility of renewal/subsequent permanent appointment), will be at the heart of the administrative work of the office. Responsibilities include organising events and meetings (with some Minutetaking); travel management; financial administration; office supplies management (including liaison with the IT service provider); reception duties; drafting correspondence; and efficient provision of other administrative services as required. The postholder will work alongside an experienced Office Manager who also provides PA support to senior management.
Applicants should have at least three Highers (one of which should be English) or equivalent. Some experience of having worked within a higher or further education environment would be an advantage.
One person in five in Scotland & Northern Ireland is affected by a lung disease. Whether it's mild asthma or lung cancer, the British Lung Foundation is here for every one of them. The charity focuses its resources on providing support for people affected by lung disease today; and works in a variety of ways (including funding world-class research) to bring about positive change, to improve treatment, care and support for people affected by lung disease in the future. The British Lung Foundation Scotland has played a significant role in the Scottish Government’s commitment to clinical standards on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and the development of respiratory managed clinical networks as a means of delivering them. We are currently seeking an enthusiastic individual to join our team which is based at our office in the centre of Glasgow. You will be responsible for developing, supporting and training the Breathe Easy (self help support) groups across Scotland. There are currently 24 groups in Scotland in varying forms of development, age and activity. There is also potential to extend the group network even further throughout Scotland and you will play a key role in enabling this to happen. Having a successful track record of recruiting and supervising volunteers, you will also be an excellent communicator, organised and self motivated. Experience of developing and supporting patient groups would be desirable. The role will involve frequent travel throughout Scotland. Travel expenses will be reimbursed. Closing date for the post is Friday 13 August 2010, with interviews taking place on week commencing 23 August 2010. To download an application pack please visit www.lunguk.org/jobs or www.goodmoves.org.uk.
The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is a leading charity working to end child poverty in the UK.
The successful candidate will be working in a small team where enthusiasm, initiative and the ability to work with others will be required. An application pack is available online at www.universities-scotland.ac.uk or from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office and Training Administrator
Completed applications should be returned by post or by hand (one hard copy) to Jill Powlett Brown, Office Manager, Universities Scotland, 53 Hanover Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PJ by 1000 on Tuesday 10 August 2010.
Grade 2 pts 1-5 (£27 731 to £31 882) per annum (gross) plus a non-contributory (5% of salary) Group Personal Pension Scheme. A cost of living increase is under review.
Interviews are likely to be held in the week beginning Monday 16 August 2010.
Based in our Glasgow office you will play a central and vital role in delivering the important work of CPAG in Scotland. You will administer all aspects of our office lease, supplies and maintenance of equipment as well as undertaking general administrative duties. You will take responsibility for our training and office related budgets, and, with the support of our London based finance team, undertake the financial administration of our Scotland activity. Together with a part time Training Administrator you will be responsible for our training and conference administration.
Please contact Jill (email@example.com) if you wish to discuss the post in greater detail. UNIVERSITIES SCOTLAND IS COMMITTED TO BEING AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES EMPLOYER
Experience of office administration, Microsoft Office packages, prioritizing your work and managing budgets will be essential to this role as will excellent customer care, knowledge of electronic booking or database systems and an ability to maintain accurate financial records and communicate effectively with a diverse range of people. This post is part funded by the Scottish Government under a funding agreement currently lasting until March 2011. CPAG continues to seek new and replacement sources of funding in order to continue activities in accordance with our strategic priorities. To apply for this post please download a jobpack from www.cpag.org.uk/jobs or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0141 552 3303. The post is Glasgow based, with very occasional overnights in London, and involves 35 hours p.w with 35 days annual leave plus public holidays. Job-share applicants are welcome to apply • Closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 13 August 2010 • Interviews in Glasgow on 27th August 2010
CPAG aims to be an equal opportunities employer
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
0800 0192 149 Mayfield and Easthouses Youth 2000 Project (Y2K), Dalkeith, Midlothian.
North Glasgow Community Food Initiative delivers practical healthy lifestyle projects to the diverse communities of North Glasgow.
We seek flexible and passionate individuals:
28hrs (£30,861 pro rata) Main duties: Strategic development, staff, funding and finance management. You will possess strong leadership skills with a track record of securing funding and developing projects. Closing date: Noon on Thurs 26th Aug 2010 Application packs downloadable from www.goodmoves.org.uk, or request a pack from Liz Campell on 0131 454 9805, email@example.com.
Policy Assistant Salary range £19,014 to £23,240 (Operational 2) Fixed-term contract (with possibility of renewal) Universities Scotland is the representative body of Scotland's 20 universities and colleges of higher education. We develop policy on behalf of the higher education sector and campaign publicly on higher education issues. We seek to fill a full-time post to support the policy work of the office, initially on a fixed-term contract of up to 12 months (with a possibility of renewal/subsequent permanent appointment). The post holder will provide research and policy support in the areas of learning and teaching, teaching quality, widening participation, equality and diversity and international issues; as well as drafting briefings, correspondence, papers and reports.
Energy and Finance Campaigner 17.5 hours a week £20,388- £25,671 pro rata Friends of the Earth Scotland is looking for an enthusiastic campaigner to work on Energy and Finance issues with our small, friendly team in Edinburgh. You will join the Projects and Campaigns team, working to promote renewables and fight fossil fuel developments in Scotland. You will have a good understanding of Scottish energy policy, including new technologies and financing mechanisms. Closing date 1 September 2010 Interviews week commencing 6 September To apply please go to
www.foe-scotland.org.uk/jobs to download a
Applicants should have at least three Highers (one of which should be English) or equivalent (SCQF level 6), and be numerate. The post would also suit graduates. The post offers the opportunity to develop experience in a policy-making organisation. The successful candidate will be working in a small team where enthusiasm, initiative and the ability to work with others will be required.
Salary: 14 hours per week at £8,155 pro rata + 6% pension contribution. Funded to Sept 2013. Working with children and young people living with significant deprivation, in partnership, design and deliver our Youth Gardening Project’s activities whilst engaging children in growing fruit and vegetables. Funder: BBC Children in Need Closing Date: Wed 25th August 2010
Volunteer Support Worker (Sessional) Salary: £10.00 per hour, average 10 hrs per week for 40 weeks You will support volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities to settle in their roles. Funder: Awards for All - Big Lottery Fund. Closing Date: Thur 19th August 2010 Interview: afternoon Thursday 26th August
Cooks (Sessional) Salary: £10.00 per hour Passionate about cooking, with healthy eating knowledge, you will deliver cookery classes / food tasters to a wide range of groups and ages. Closing Date: Mon 30th Aug 2010
An application pack is available online from www.universitiesscotland.ac.uk or from firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed applications (one hard copy only) should be returned to Jill Powlett Brown, Universities Scotland, 53 Hanover Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PJ by 1000 on Tuesday 10 August 2010. Interviews are likely to be held in the early part of the week beginning Monday 16 August 2010. Please contact Dr Kirsty Skidmore (email@example.com) if you wish to discuss the post in greater detail.
job description and application form. UNIVERSITIES SCOTLAND IS COMMITTED TO BEING AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES EMPLOYER
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Youth Gardening Worker
Board of Directors NGCFI invite enquiries for new Directors. We particularly seek individuals with skills / experience in Social Enterprise/Business, Health and Safety, Administration and HR who can strategically lead our charity’s next stage of growth and development. Closing Date: Mon 30th Aug 2010 For more information / application pack go to www.goodmoves.org.uk NGCFI is an equal opportunities employer. Charity No SC036842 Company No. 290958 www.ngcfi.org.uk
THIRD FORCE NEWS : FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010
DEVIL’SADVOCATE Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a great volunteer... SCOTTISH Labour’s “second stage consultation document” (‘Ideas for a Fairer Scotland’) commits to “re-invest in Project Scotland”, which, if you don’t know, is a charity, born of a Scottish Executive initiative, that engages young people in volunteering. I have no particular objection to supporting it but I hope that, should Scottish Labour win in 2011, there will be investment in the other organisations doing the same. David Cameron also launched the Big Society (BS) recently. Voluntary action is a key feature of it, albeit in England. BS got a mixed reaction: it’s either a great way to unleash the true power of the people or a terrible way to run public services on the cheap using volunteers instead of paid staff. With these things in mind, I was thinking about what government can really do to inspire people to support one another (more than they already do) through voluntarism? First, if you have organisations (third sector or otherwise) with extensive experience and demonstrably good track records in engaging high numbers of volunteers of whatever kind in whatever activity, then it makes sense to resource them in return for engaging even more people. Project Scotland, the NHS, Community Service Volunteers, the RNLI, whoever it is. My own organisation increased its young volunteer numbers in England by over 100 per cent using funding from the Government-backed V initiative. On the other hand, whilst community activists give their time freely for the benefit of their fellow human beings they generally don’t see themselves as volunteers. Inspiring them needs a different approach. So second, I believe that, since they are al-
ready up for action, the best way to motivate these folk is to offer them some new things that will increase their propensity to act and also get rid of obstructions to action. My priorities would be 1) increasing the transfer of viable, sustainable, incomegenerating assets to community ownership 2) introducing an urban right to buy under the Land Reform Legislation to mirror (indeed, improve upon) the rural one and 3) making sure the never ending reels of red tape affecting people’s ability to act are finally trimmed down. This can be done rationally through identifying
We’re not about to see volunteers from Medecins Sans Frontieres conducting heart surgery in Greenock. There will always, rightly, be a role for the welfare state. needless regulation in a list created by those hidebound by it and actually repealing legislation over the heads of the tabloid-fearing “but-its-for-their-owngood” brigade who rarely know what is good for anyone apart from the bureaucrat at the next desk. Such legislation is often obscure in the first place and is then interpreted ludicrously on the ground by over-zealous and risk-averse enforcement agencies composed of too many individuals who are easily trapped by the letter-of-the-law and have lost all sight of the big picture. The
Charity? Social Enterprise? Looking for income generating and growth ideas?
last one is a problem that no government in my lifetime has ever done anything meaningful towards. In fact each one always increases red tape, always for “a good reason”, exactly like Dr. Bureauctapus in my last column. By the way, I don’t buy the argument that encouraging voluntary action is a proxy for mass public sector lay-offs and essential public services run by volunteers on a do-it-or-lose-it basis. Volunteers may act out of necessity because nobody else is doing anything about issue X or problem Y but that doesn’t mean they’re a bunch of easily-fooled suckers who are going to form a new phalanx of social workers, nurses or teachers while the dole lines lengthen. We’re not about to see volunteers from Medecins Sans Frontieres conducting heart surgery in Greenock. There will always, rightly, be a role for the welfare state. On the other hand, the prospect of more public services being run by the voluntary sector, which may involve a few or loads of volunteers, is a good idea and does not represent some fundamental scrapping of the pay-tax/get-service social contract. To suggest that the talents, abilities, enthusiasm, creativity, invention and drive of socalled ordinary people should be suppressed because of some outdated notion that the-state-shall-provide is just daft. It belongs to a different age. What counts is the outcome, not the method. If the sector can deliver cracking services it should be enabled to do so. And if you violently disagree, don’t clam up! Send me an abusive email, making sure to use lots of hyphens and inverted commas!
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