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!


EVOC’s AGM 2014 – Save the Date

EVOC will be holding its annual AGM on 11th November 2014 (am) at Norton Park Conference Centre in Edinburgh. Further information will be available at a later date, and will be circulated in our newsletters and social media channels.

Date: Tuesday 11th November 2014

Time: AM

Address: Norton Park Conference Centre
                   57 Albion Rd, Edinburgh,
                   EH7 5QY

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


Compact 10 year gets under way

Edinburgh Compact is 10 – and you’re invited!

The Edinburgh Compact Partnership – the city’s Strategic Partnership where the main Public Agencies meet a range of Third Sector representatives – first met in 2005. This followed about 18 months of discussion within the city’s Third Sector about whether or not an Edinburgh Compact Partnership was needed, and what form it should take. Now, in its 10th anniversary year, Compact Partners want to enable a fresh debate on how to renew the Edinburgh Compact Partnership – to make it fit for these times.

The Compact 10 project will lead and facilitate a city-wide exchange of views – starting this August. The project has four linked objectives, to:

  • reflect on partnership working within Edinburgh, particularly on progress to date;
  • consider how best to capitalise on this progress and how best to articulate the Third Sector’s shared vision for the next 10 years;
  • develop more effective relationships between the Third Sector and the breadth of the city’s Strategic Partnerships (encompassing the entirety of the Edinburgh Partnership ‘family’;) and to
  • build Compact Voice as:

o   the go-to source of quantitative and qualitative data on the Third Sector’s contribution to the city’s resilience, health and wellbeing; and

o   the definitive articulation of the value and impact of the Third Sector – for the sector itself and for others.

Two part-time staff will take primary responsibility for delivering this project. For more information, contact Denise Horn – Compact 10 Project Officer, or Sarah Wade – Compact 10 Communications & Administration Officer at EVOC on  0131 555 9100.

Edinburgh Compact Voice – Make Your Voice Count!

A central purpose of the Compact 10 project is a re-imagining of our shared future. This ‘futures thinking’ must be based not only on people’s own experiences, but also on credible evidence. The central source of this evidence will be Compact Voice. This is a programme of gathering, analysing and promoting quantitative and qualitative data, statistics as well as the stories which give the stats real life and meaning.

Starting this year, we will reach out to a representative basket of 100 voluntary organisations – to gather stats and stories, evidence of innovation and evidence of impact. Compact Voice will become the city’s go-to source of evidence on the rich and varied Third Sector, for a broad audience: Public Agencies and other Funders; the Third Sector itself; and – crucially – the people of Edinburgh (because, at the end of the day, we all work for Edinburgh’s people.)

The Compact Voice project will start off during the Compact 10 year, supported by Compact 10 staff (above) – after which EVOC’s Community Planning Officer will have primary responsibility for taking the work forward.


Network representation vacancies – July 2014

The Network is looking to fill a number of vacancies in its Third Sector representation on various partnership meetings.  A list of the vacancies and further information about the partnerships themselves are listed below. 

Representatives are there to represent the Sector as a whole rather than their own organisation. Reps will be expected to write a short feedback note about the meetings for circulation to Network members and to be a frequent attendee at monthly Network meetings. Further information about the role of a Network Rep can be obtained from Louise Rogers  You will be expected to sign a code of practice which outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the role in more detail.

 Expressions of interest in any of the below vacancies should be sent to Louise at the above email. 

Mentors in Violence Prevention Steering Group – NEW VACANCY

 The MVP programme is a peer-mentoring project that uses a Bystander Approach to prevent gender violence and bullying. It is delivered in partnership with school staff, youth and voluntary sector staff, CLD and Police. It is a whole school/organisation approach and leadership programme that creates a culture and climate where the behaviours and attitudes that can lead to gender violence, homophobia and bullying are challenged and prevented before they escalate. Young women and men are not engaged with as victims or perpetrators but as friends, classmates and teammates. MVP focuses on prevention by exploring gender norms, making these explicit and exposing their connection to violence in relationships, homophobia and bullying.

The MVP programme covers domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault and alcohol & consent, bullying, homophobia, sexual harassment, controlling behaviour, healthy relationships, gender stereotypes, media, attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence all through the lens of a Bystander. In particular MVP engages young people in a way that motivates them to challenge abusive behaviour among their peers and become part of the solution to reducing gender violence and bullying.

 The four aims of the MVP programme are:

1. Raise awareness of the issues.

2. Challenge thinking by countering mainstream messages about gender, sex and violence.

3. Open dialogue by creating a safe environment for boys and girls to share their opinions and experiences.

4. Inspire leadership by empowering participants with concrete options to effect change in their communities.

MVP has a steering group in Edinburgh made up of representatives from Children’s and Families, Elected Official, Health, Edinburgh’s Violence against Women Partnership, Police Scotland and Education Scotland. This group feeds into the Edinburgh’s Children’s and Community Safety Partnership. We are looking for a representative from the Voluntary Sector to join this group.

The group meets four times a year and is responsible for the strategic lead on how MVP develops within the City of Edinburgh. The majority of the members are at management level so an equivalent level from the Voluntary Sector would be appropriate. We are looking for someone with a background in youth work, experience of working with or a good understanding of some/all of the following issues; peer mentoring, bullying, violence against women, homophobia and delivering/developing training programmes. 

Edinburgh Children’s Partnership Strategic Objective 4 sub group- Healthy Lifestyles Advisory Group – PREVIOUSLY ADVERTISED July 14

We now have a vacancy as Network Representative on the Strategic Objective 4 Healthy Lifestyles Group of the Children’s Partnership.

The Children’s Partnership comprises of a series of oversight groups. Each oversight group has responsibility for a particular Strategic Outcome within the Edinburgh Children’s Partnership’s Integrated Plan for Children and Young People.

The SO4 group main aim is “Our children and young people are physically and emotionally healthy”.  The group looks to provide support, service and resources that enable and equip children and young people to make healthy lifestyle choices, and reduce exposure to, and therefore the negative impacts of, risky behaviours such as obesity, unsafe sex, unintended pregnancy, smoking and substance misuse. 

The group contains representatives from Public Health, City of Edinburgh Council, Community Nursing, Education, CAMHS and the voluntary sector

Early Years Collaborative Workstream 4 (Years 5-8) – PREVIOUSLY ADVERTISED July 14 

The Early Years Collaborative is a group of partners from services including police, education, health, social work and third sector professionals committed to ensuring that every baby, child, mother, father and family in Scotland has access to the best supports available.

Workstream 4 includes factors influencing a child from start of primary to the end of P4.  The aim of this workstream is to ensure that 90% of all children in each Community Planning Partnership area have reached all of the expected developmental milestones and learning outcomes by the end of Primary 4, by the end of 2021.

Edinburgh’s Early Years Collaborative is keen to include the third sector in its workstream 4 group.  The attached mind map (see below) gives an indication of the range of issues that the group have identified as priorities and influences.

This will be a key role for a Network representative, with an opportunity to influence the priorities of the group and ensure that third sector views are canvassed and fed in.

Edinburgh’s Early Years Collaborative Mind Map: WKS 4 What are the barriers to reaching developmental milestones

Child Protection Committee Quality Assurance sub group – PREVIOUSLY ADVERTISED MAY 14

Robust performance management, self-evaluation and quality assurance processes need to be in place across services so that Chief Officers and Child Protection Committees can assure themselves that the needs of children at risk are being met and that services are improving outcomes for all children, and in particular vulnerable children in both the short and longer term.

The Quality Assurance Sub-Committee is inviting expressions of interest to join the group from a suitably experienced individual, who can represent Edinburgh’s thirds sector through the EVOC network. It is crucial that the individual will be able to effectively contribute to the core functions of the group:   

  • Oversight of significant case reviews, commissioned by the Child Protection Committee; consideration of appropriate recommendations; and monitoring of any recommendations agreed by the Child Protection Committee
  • Systematic approaches to self-evaluation and quality assurance, which focus on the experiences and outcomes for children and families
  • Establishing effective systems to monitor the quality of key child protection processes, such as core groups, risk assessment and child protection plans
  • Involving all key stakeholders, including children and families, in self evaluation and review
  • Implementing and monitoring improvement plans effectively, following external scrutiny or internal assessment to ensure improvements in services and outcomes for children
  • Communicating learning effectively to staff, including learning from self-evaluation
  • Building capacity among the workforce by supporting the development of practitioner fora and other methods of sharing good practice
  • Providing an overview of management information and statistics relating to children and young people on the local Child Protection Register, which includes analysis of trends to inform a strategic assessment of service need; and
  • Ensuring that management information and statistics reports inform the development of inter-agency child protection policy and practice.

Quality Assurance Sub-Committee membership

The QA Sub-Committee meets monthly at 0830 or 1500hrs. The membership is:

  • NHS Lothian / Community Health Partnership (Assistant Director, Public Protection) (Chief Nurse, Edinburgh CHP)
  • Police Scotland (Detective Chief Inspector, Public Protection Unit)
  • Children and Families (Senior Education Manager); (Head Of Service, Support to Children and Young People), (Service Manager, Support to Children and Young People); (Senior Performance & Information Officer)
  • Health and Social Care (Chief Social Work Officer – Chair)
  • Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (Locality Reporter Manager)
  • Lead Officer: Child Protection
  • Public Protection Administrator

Other vacancies will be advertised shortly

  • Edinburgh Play Forum
  • City of Edinburgh Mentors in Violence Prevention Steering Group


Our Health, Our Care, Our Future

Friday 22 August, 9.30am – 12.00noon

At EVOC’s offices – 14 Ashley Place, EH6 5PX

NHS Lothian are currently consulting on their Draft Strategic Plan for 2014-2024.  EVOC is delighted to host a thinkSpace event to look at the plan and its proposals.  Chaired by Ella Simpson, EVOC Director, this morning event will discuss in a workshop format, the Draft Plan with input and presentations from NHS Lothian staff, including the NHS Lothian Health Inequalities Plan and the patient- centred  pathway work.

We hope to have present:

  • Alex McMahon, Director of Strategic Planning
  • Jamie Megaw, Stategic Programme Manager -Integration and Older People’s services
  • A public health representative to be confirmed.

This thinkSpace is a great opportunity for Edinburgh’s Third Sector to influence the strategic direction of our Health Board on the priorities for health and care and the actions needed to achieve these.

To book a place, please email by Friday 15 Aug.

More information on the Draft Strategic Plan is available on the dedicated webpages which also hosts a copy of the plan.

Adult Protection Committee – Third Sector Representative Vacancy

We are currently looking to fill a vacancy in Third Sector representation on the Edinburgh Adult Protection Committee.

The Representative attends the meetings of the committee to represent the Third Sector as a whole rather than their own organisation. The Representative will be expected to write a short feedback note about the meetings for circulation to members of various Forums and Networks that are involved in adult health & social care, sharing the work with the existing representative, Marion Findlay from Volunteer Centre Edinburgh – there are two representative places for the Third Sector on this committee.  Further information about the role of the Rep can be obtained from or

You will be expected to agree a code of practice which outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the role in more detail.

If you are interested and wish to be considered for the role, please email Ian at the address above by Friday 15 August.

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

The long-heralded Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill has now been laid before the Scottish Parliament. This creative and forward-looking legislation begins its journey through the Scottish Parliament at a critical juncture, as the debate on Scottish Independence is in the final 100 days of campaigning.

The Bill is clearly founded upon the aspiration that Scotland’s communities should have more say in how public services are run (ie – planned and delivered.) To what degree the legislation will make that aspiration a reality is debatable, as communities (particularly those least well-resourced and those less able) will need support to make the most of the Bill – when it becomes law. The Bill apparently does little to level the playing field. It is also a disappointment that the Third Sector does not feature in this Bill. Third Sector enablers and community anchor organisations could – with the right supports – go a long way to ensuring that communities across Scotland have equal access to (for example) their ‘right to request to participate in an outcome improvement process’ (read the Bill, you’ll find that i’m Not kidding.)

The SCVO’s Felix Spittal has written a thoughtful blog titled ‘A little less engagement, a little more action,’ where he expresses his aspiration that the Bill might be amended to go further.

If you’d like to read the Third Sector Strategy Group’s input to the consultation before the Bill was published, you can find it on our website.

Please do think about this emerging legislation, and speak about it to your legislators – it could, it just might, deepen democracy for us all in Scotland today.

Make Your Voice Count!

The Edinburgh Compact Partnership is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a programme of work under the ‘Compact 10’ banner.

This year-long project aims (among other things) to support and enable the city’s Third Sector to ‘re-imagine our shared future.’

This ‘re-imagining’ will be informed both by the Third Sector’s aspirations and by meaningful, reliable data (stats And stories) on all aspects of the work we do.

The Edinburgh Compact Voice strand of activity will seek out and gather such useful information from the city’s many and varied voluntary organisations.

The information you share with us will feed in to the Compact 10 project, build on data in the ‘Social Economy’ section of Edinburgh By Numbers, and support the City of Edinburgh Council’s annual ‘State of the Third Sector’ report.

To find out more, please speak to any member of the Third Sector Strategy Group (TSSG,) Edinburgh’s Third Sector Interface (TSI) or EVOC’s Community Planning Officer (Secretariat to the Edinburgh Compact Partnership.)