Yesterday evening, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council welcomed guests to celebrate its 150th Anniversary with a reception at the Scottish Parliament.
Event sponsor Ben Macpherson MSP welcomed attendees to the event and spoke about the importance of the third sector in improving the lives of people in Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s communities. He also explored a personal connection to EVOC and Edinburgh’s third sector as a former pupil of the Flora Stevenson school, named after the woman who did so much to improve education in the city.
Speeches were also heard from EVOC Convener Joan Fraser, EVOC Chief Executive Ella Simpson and Diarmaid Lawlor from Architecture and Design Scotland. A wide variety of guests were in attendance and represented Edinburgh’s public, private and voluntary sector organisations, very much in the spirit of the collaborative nature of the EVOC’s founders.
Marking our 150th Birthday
The event marks the beginning of a year of activity to uncover the unique heritage of EVOC and how it, and the voluntary sector of Edinburgh responded to the needs of its citizens. As part of EVOC 150, the organisation will pay tribute to the extraordinary people that have been involved throughout its history and look to the future of civic action in Edinburgh.
As part of this, EVOC 150 will incorporate the ‘Memory Box‘ project with aims to recognise the involvement of citizens and organisations in the campaigns it has supported throughout the years by encouraging people to share their memories and stories.
Looking to the future
The future of civic action and intergenerational learning are as important as the organisation’s rich past and as such, Media Education Scotland were in attendance at the event to collect experiences and interviews from established activists and campaigners.
EVOC is working in conjunction with Media Education Scotland and it’s youth media team to inspire young people to become ambassadors for social justice.
Ella Simpson, EVOC Chief Executive, said: “We will be working with young people because they will be the policy makers in the next 100 and 150 years, and we will be working to explore what civil action and social justice means to them”
EVOC Chief Executive, Ella Simpson had the pleasure of announcing to those in attendance that the Heritage Lottery Fund will be supporting the EVOC 150 project with a grant of nearly £69,000.
The fund will go towards helping EVOC deliver a programme of events and projects to uncover the organisation’s own unique heritage and the history of the third sector in Edinburgh.
Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Never afraid to challenge – 150 years of EVOC is a great project as it shows clearly how local heritage can be a catalyst for lots of different activities and bring people together behind a common purpose. HLF is pleased to support Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council in its plans to recruit volunteers of all ages, offer skills training and, thanks to National Lottery players, enable people to enjoy the history on their own doorstep.”
EVOC would like to thank all in attendance for joining us in marking this auspicious occasion.
Mind the Craic
Also announced at the reception was the start of a new programme to hear from 1,001 citizens of Edinburgh. The aim is to find out from local people what preventative approaches have worked to improve people’s lives. Under the banner of “Mind the Craic: Listening to 1001 Edinburgh voices of what works in our communities”, Diarmaid Lawlor, Director of Place, at Architecture and Design Scotland has agreed to chair this really important work.
To find out more about what we are doing to mark our 150th Anniversary click here.