Chasing Unicorns UPDATE

Chasing Unicorns

Sometimes illusive transformational change for the better seems a lifetime away, or if it’s nearer, it’s a shimmering mirage on top of a sand dune.

We don’t believe it needs to be like this. Chasing Unicorns is much more worthwhile, and might actually take everyone on a journey that makes things happen in a small but important break from the past – or as we hear all the time ‘how we’ve always done things’. Plus unicorns are cute and can do magical things, like Edinburgh’s Third Sector.

‘Chasing Unicorns’, Edinburgh’s Third Sector Conference and EVOC’s Annual General Meeting, will be held on 11th November 2014 at 10am at the Norton Park Conference Centre in Edinburgh. We will be exploring the future of Scotland’s Third Sector – and any opportunities or challenges that may arise post Referendum. 

Last year’s inaugural event generated a huge amount of discussion and debate, and we are sure that at this time of people-led change there will be lots to talk about!

Date: Tuesday 11th November 2014

Time: 9.30am for 10am start – 1.30pm

Address: Norton Park Conference Centre
                   57 Albion Rd, Edinburgh,

                   EH7 5QY


Time Event
10am Welcome
10.10am ‘People Power’ - Lorna Edwards (NESTA)
10.30am Chasing Unicorns
10.50am Compact 10
11am Coffee
11.15am Workshops
12.15pm AGM
12.45pm Networking Lunch
1.30pm Close


  • NHS Lothian Strategic Ten Year Plan
  • Business Continuity (Nicola Brown) Taster Session
  • Integrated Care Fund 2015/16
  • Compact 10 & Compact Voice
  • EVOC’s Forward Plan 2015 – 2018

Register your place on our Eventbrite page. The event is FREE, however there are limited spaces available so book early to secure your place!



Celebrating Janette’s 25 years with EVOT!

Janette 25 yrs GROUP

Congratulations to EVOT’s Trust Administrator Janette Scappaticcio, who recently celebrated her 25th anniversary of working with EVOC and EVOT!  EVOC certainly have good staff retention, with Office Manager Dianne Morrison having been with us for 30 years, and Course Programme Coordinator Julie Anne Hill for almost 25 years!

Janette 25 yrs CROP

EVOC Convenor Joan Fraser presented Janette with a card signed by all the team and a lovely gift from Swarovski; as well as lovely homemade scones and jam from EVOC Director Ella Simpson.

Well done Janette!




Health & Social Care: Integrated Care Fund

£8.19 million sounds like a lot of money doesn’t it?

This is the Scottish Government’s allocation for Edinburgh’s Health & Social Care Integrated Care Fund. Then you stop and think:

  • It’s for one year
  • It must build on the learning from the RCOP change fund
  • It must tackle multi-morbidity issues
  • Edinburgh’s plan for this fund must be signed by - 

                                        – CEC
                                        – NHS Lothian
                                        – Independent Sector
                                        – Third Sector Interface (EVOC)

and submitted to Scottish Government in December 2014.

Read more on the Integrated Care Fund Guidance.

As with RCOP EVOC is working with statutory sector colleagues to consider the realistic priorities for this fund.

Our Annual third sector conference will host a workshop on these issues. We will also ensure that the EVOC thematic forums discuss learning from RCOP and priorities and that this feedback will be strongly represented at the strategic discussion.


Footcare Service Exploratory Meeting – Friday 26 Sep, 10.30am at EVOC

Exploratory Meeting – Friday 26 Sep, 10.30am at EVOC

As many of us have discussed in the past, personal footcare is an issue for many older people we work with. EVOC is therefore holding a meeting to discuss how Voluntary Organisations in the city might come together to look at providing a service, using a social enterprise model.

Caroline Scott and colleagues from CVO East Ayrshire will talk about their long-standing social enterprise, Feet First .

Personal Footcare involves tasks a healthy adult would normally undertake themselves. It typically involves the individual looking after their own nail/skin care whilst checking for any foot related problems. Maintaining foot health has been found to improve mobility and quality of life, and the Scottish Government released personal footcare guidance in 2013 on this matter. Would you like to find out more information on how your organisation can be involved with basic foot care? If yes come along…

Colleagues Gillian Hawthorne and William McMurrich from NHS Lothian’s Podiatry Service will also be in attendance.  

Date: Friday 26th September
Time: 10.30am
Venue: EVOC, 14 Ashley Place, Edinburgh EH6 5PX

To attend this meeting please contact Ian Brooke (or telephone 0131 555 9100 ).

Psychology of Parenting Project (PoPP)– opportunity for training!

The Psychology of Parenting Project (PoPP) initiative is aimed at improving the availability of high-quality evidence-based parenting programmes for families with young children who have elevated levels of behaviour problems. Effective interventions are needed for these children because:

  • Approximately 10% of preschool children display atypical and persisting high levels of behaviour problems (such as aggression, non-compliance and poor temper control ) that are strongly predictive of a host of poor outcomes such as school exclusion, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and mental health difficulties later in life
  • By their late twenties, children with these difficulties are set to cost the public purse ten times more than their normative peers.

The development of the PoPP plan began with the identification of the most robustly-evidenced parenting programmes to help parents bring about positive outcomes for young children with elevated levels of behaviour problems. Two programmes, The Incredible Years Preschool BASIC and Level 4 Group Triple P were selected due to their extensive evidence base and their ability to offer support to parents with different needs and availability.

PoPP in Edinburgh

We are delighted that Edinburgh has been selected as one of the next sites for the national rollout programme and we are committed to delivering on this imitative in partnership across Children and Adult Services – statutory and 3rd sector. 

How to apply

If you are interested in training in either Incredible Years or Group Triple P and becoming part of Edinburgh’s Psychology of Parenting Project please read the important information below and complete the application form attached. Please note that any practitioners interested must have their manager’s approval.


The timescales are tight as training begins in October we are therefore requesting completed application forms are returned by 15 September. 

These should be sent to:  by 15 September 2014.

 Helena Reid  – Development Officer for Parent and Carer Support

5 Moredunvale Place
EH17 7LB

More information / questions

If you want to discuss the programme or your application please do make contact with Pat Southall.   Pat will be the Edinburgh PoPP Lead. 

tel: 0131 469 3417.

If you want to find out more about PoPP  there is lots available on their website.

Important Information

Psychology of Parenting Project Information

PoPP Application

PoPP Briefing

PoPP Implementation Guide 2014





EVOT News Update

Individual Grants

EVOT is currently inundated with applications for funds to assist individuals and families. We regret that we will have difficulty meeting the level of demand during the present financial quarter (June to September).

In the meantime, any applications for funds to assist individuals aged 18 and under, please consider seeking funds from the following other sources:

  • The Buttle Trust (grants for children and young people in need)
  • Elizabeth Finn Care (grants for people who have less than £4000 in savings and, lacking in enough household income, manage a bare hand-to-mouth existence)
  • Family Fund (grants for low-income families raising disable and seriously ill children and young people)
  • ECAS (grants for physically disabled residents of Edinburgh and the Lothians)

Organisational Grants

The closing date for our next round of applications for funding for Voluntary Organisations is Tuesday 30th September. The next EVOT Trustees Meeting will take place on Tuesday 4th November.



EVOC’s 4th Welfare Reform thinkSpace – Making the best of difficult times

EVOC’s 4th Welfare Reform thinkSpace – Making the best of difficult times

Join EVOC in our 4th series of Welfare Reform related thinkSpaces. The focus this time is on local solutions to national problems. We will be inviting speakers throughout October to talk around the following subjects:

  • Sanctions and the Claimant Commitment
  • Food poverty and Community food initiatives
  • Income maximisation and Financial inclusion
  • Challenge Poverty Week

National problems – Local solutions

Other thinkSpace events coming up in the series:

Friday 10 October: Income Maximisation and Financial Inclusion

Laura Plumb, Project Manager for Recovery Essentials at EVOC will talk about the work of this financial inclusion project based in drug and alcohol agencies in Edinburgh.  Ross Craig from Elizabeth Finn Care will talk about their work and share the Turn2Us tools that can help people find and claim the benefits they’re entitled to – and access grants too.

Friday 17 October: Challenge Poverty Week

Our final thinkSpace event falls during the Poverty Alliance’s Challenge Poverty Week. The main aims of this week are to highlight the reality of poverty and challenge stereotypes about it, as well as demonstrate what is being done across Scotland to address poverty, increase public support for more action to combat poverty. Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance will be with us to speak about this, and then Noel Mathias will talk about WEvolution’s work in bringing together people into Self Reliant Groups.    

The aim of these events is to offer help and solutions to anyone working with people affected by welfare reform, and we hope you will feel inspired by some of the creative ways organisations have found to help their community. It is also an opportunity for you to share your experiences and opinions so that EVOC can use this to inform our work.

These breakfast sessions will be on consecutive Fridays at EVOC with an ‘8.15 for 8.30’ start. What better way to start your Friday than with a coffee and a croissant and a bit of lively discussion?

Dates: Friday 3 October / Friday 10 October / Friday 17 October
Time: 8.15 for 8.30 start
Venue: EVOC, 1st Floor, 14 Ashley Place, Edinburgh EH6 5PX

 View the Welfare Reform thinkSpace – Making the Best of Difficult Times Programme

To book your place, please email with your details. 


Training @ EVOC – Autumn/Winter 2014

Now open for bookings!

We are delighted to announce EVOC’s Autumn/Winter 2014 training programme went live today. If you’re signed up to receive our Training Newsletter, you will have heard about it already.

Julie Anne, our Training coordinator has been working hard creating a varied and interesting  training programme that hopefully meets your training needs. We have a wide range of courses which include old favourites, as well as some exciting new ones. However, if there is a course you would like to see as part of our future programme please do not hesitate to get in touch at:

To make sure you are first to know about upcoming training and funding opportunities; please subscribe now to our monthly Training Updates Newsletter.  This is the best way to keep up-to-date with the last training news.


We do have funding available for free places for Edinburgh registered charities for certain events on our training programme. Registered Charities in Edinburgh can apply for funding to attend any course for free through the EVOT (Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Trust) Learning Grant. You can attend either 2 x half day courses or 1 full day course.

RCOP Courses

RCOP courses are part of the Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) Change Fund training programme for voluntary and community organisations working with older people in Edinburgh. These courses are FREE to community and voluntary organisations in Edinburgh that support older people.

When booking, please enter in the notes section of the booking form what services your organisation provides to older people.

Over 240 people have successfully accessed these free places. So, please make sure you don’t miss out.

Find our Autumn/Winter 2014 programme here

Happy Training!


Compact Voice Survey

 EdinburghCompact_Logo header


During this Compact 10 year anniversary, the city’s Third Sector will go through a process of both reflecting on the ten years of progress since the Edinburgh Compact Partnership was first formed, and looking forward to the next ten years.

As a result, the Edinburgh Compact Partnership have issued their first online survey to gather ‘Compact Voice’ data to help shape future thinking at the heart of the ‘Compact 10’ project .

This comes to our Third Sector Colleagues as a request to take ten minutes or so out of your busy day to share  information about your organisation, your people, your funding, and your hopes for the future in our ‘Compact Voice’ Survey.

This process of reflection and projection will be grounded not only in the experiences of the city’s Third Sector leaders, but also – crucially – on the evidence base that you provide us with.

Find and complete the survey HERE.

For any queries regarding the survey, please contact Milind Kolhatkar.







Unintended Consequences; Collateral Gain: a Report on Impact Assessment

While we are getting better at understanding that our actions might yield unexpected outcomes and impacts, we tend – naturally – to look out for the negative impacts (the ‘Unintended Consequences’ of our title.) This report argues that we should improve our understanding of just how inputs and outputs might come together to yield positive impacts – to coin a phrase: ‘Collateral Gain.’

A six month EVOC research project examined different systems of social impact assessment used in some different public sector and third sector bodies to inform and evaluate decision-making. How do public bodies assess social impacts of budget and project decisions?

The main conclusions from this report:

  • There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ impact assessment – there are many methods of completing impact assessment; any process that considers how decisions may affect service users is better than no process at all
  • There is no single ‘best’ system of impact assessment – different processes are needed in order to deal with differing needs or necessities.
  • Evaluation is key to impact assessment – simply predicting future outcomes is not enough because any data gained will not be accurate enough.  Looking forward is never as certain as counting backwards.
  • User Benefit = Encourage User Buy-In – Immediate user  benefits will encourage users to spend time conducting an Impact Assessment.
  • Outsourcing responsibility is not an option – service-providers should take responsibility for their choices.


  • Do something – With the growing understanding of and expertise in the subject, there is no reason for an agency not to conduct some form of  impact assessment
  • Conduct appropriate research – This report, those referenced within the report, and the agencies named within the case studies are intended to be useful and reliable resources.
  • Impact Assessment Network – By building a loose network of those who develop and practise impact assessment; current processes and their outcomes can be discussed in order to improve systems and potentially propose city-wide strategic solutions.


Read the Executive Summary and full report below:

Unintended Consequences; Collateral Gain Executive Summary 2014

Unintended Consequences; Collateral Gain Report 2014