Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council – EVOC – helps to support, develop and promote the interests and work of voluntary and community organisations in Edinburgh.
It does this by:
- Providing services that enable voluntary sector organisations to thrive
- Working to influence the statutory sector in the creation of conditions that will allow the voluntary sector to flourish.
EVOC is the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) for the City of Edinburgh. EVOC is a partner in the Edinburgh Third Sector Interface (TSI), which is part of a national network of Third Sector Interfaces.
Mission and Vision
Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council’s mission is to support the third sector to build and enable resilient, sustainable and inclusive communities.
Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council (EVOC) is an organisation which is highly respected, regarded and trusted as an effective strategic partner. EVOC is the first point of contact for the third sector in Edinburgh and for other bodies concerning issues which affect the Sector.
We are a trusted leader in supporting, building the capacity of and a model of good practice for the Sector.
- Enabling – we work to enable and build capacity of organisations;
- Independence – we work in partnership and collaboration with the statutory sector but we are an independent organisation, representing the interests of the third sector;
- Connectivity – we work to maximise the connectivity of the Sector – to share good practice; to promote collaboration and coalitions and to catalyse action. We support collaboration and partnership within the Sector and between Sectors;
- Creativity – build on good practice and embrace change positively;
- Supporting – we work with the Sector to find solutions to individual and collective issues;
- Pursuit of excellence – we work towards the highest possible standards in everything we do;
- Leading edge – we are a leader in the development of practices and approaches for the benefit of the Sector;
- Bold – we are confident in our expertise and willing to take risks.
EVOC has a unique role in this exciting, challenging and complex landscape. We have a very specific mission and purpose which is focused on:
- Supporting our colleagues in third sector organisations;
- Building bridges to enable partnership working within the Sector and across sectors;
- A role model in solution-focused partnership working.
As a strategic partner within the service delivery and community planning structures EVOC is particularly well placed to ensure the contribution from the third sector to the health and wellbeing of Edinburgh’s citizens and economy is recognised and our expertise in planning, management and engaging with people is acknowledged.
EVOC agreed five strategic objectives in 2012 which have stood the test of time and will continue to be at the core of the 2015 – 18 strategic plan. These objectives will be central to all potential developments, team and individual work plans.
- Consulting, supporting and representing the Sector
- Building the capacity of and developing the Sector
- Developing partnership approaches, principles and practice
- Providing improved services by supporting and developing our people
- Being a high quality, effective and developing organisation
Consulting, supporting and representing the Sector
Following extensive consultation with the third sector and other stakeholders it is clear that at a time of increasing pressure on the sector their ambition is that EVOC is an assertive, strategic representative bringing understanding of the significant contribution the Sector makes to the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Edinburgh, as well as the economic benefits of such a vibrant sector. The strong message from the Sector is that an EVOC which has a wide reach within the Sector and strategic credibility with the public sector will provide a foundation to build a collaborative working.
Building the capacity of and developing the Sector
The third sector contributes time, energy, expertise and capacity to the City. To be a credible and sustainable partner in addressing poverty and inequality and furthering the agenda of social justice the Sector must be able to evidence robust governance and reliable service of a high quality. EVOC has a pivotal role in supporting the Sector to achieve these high standards.
Developing partnership approaches, principles and practice
EVOC believes that only by working together across and within the Third Sector will the citizens of Edinburgh receive services and support that truly meets their needs. This approach has the benefit of value for money and fostering a community-based approach. Through partnership working we share learning, increase knowledge of different sectors and provide the necessary checks and balances for our own practices
Providing improved services by supporting and developing our people
Our strength and reputation relies on the quality of the staff team. As an organisation our services are based on the skills and expertise of our team and the public profile we have is dependent on the quality of our partners’ experience.
Being a high quality, effective and developing organisation
No organisation can afford to relax and rest on their laurels at any time but particularly in the current climate of legislative and fiscal change and challenge. EVOC is no exception. We, however, however tend to be shy in publicising our learning and achievements.
Joan Fraser, Convenor of EVOC
EVOC has a long and proud history of working with partners from all sectors and our continued commitment to this approach is reflected in our strategic plan.
There is no denying the changing environment that we are all living and working in and EVOC is focused on supporting the third sector to find solutions to the many challenges that lie ahead. We can be sure that the next few years will continue to see increasing demand and fewer resources. The third sector has a justifiable reputation for working with people in their communities and this preventative work is at the core of resilient communities.
It isn’t only the fiscal environment which is changing the legal context is also changing. The Joint Working (Public Bodies) (Scotland) 2014 and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 are 2 of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation the Scottish Parliament has passed. The role of citizens is clearly at the heart of both Acts with the stated ambition of taking decisions as close to communities as possible.
EVOC has a unique role and responsibility in this changing landscape. Facilitating partnerships and collaboratives, creating bridges to support the third and public sectors to find ways to work together is at the heart our purpose.