Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been involved in an ever-increasing number of meetings that are planning for the transition from the COVID-19 crisis/responsive situation to planned re-opening and adaptation.
During each of these meetings I have been worried and have voiced the opinion that we also need to contingency plan – what happens when there is a local spike or (heaven forbid) a return to national lockdown. I have worked in the voluntary sector all my life and it seems we always have to plan for the worst and hope for the best!
The need for a local lockdown in Aberdeen should surely be a wakeup call to all our statutory partners. More importantly, it’s a stark reminder to us of the fragility of our communities as we consider how we are going to continue to support people and communities during such uncertain times. If it wasn’t enough to deal with our own financial and capacity concerns, we know the anxiety in our communities is at a level we haven’t experienced before.
Our strength is our ability to work with people, support our staff and volunteer teams, and to collaborate with each other.
Over the next few months, I believe it’s even more important to continue to come together through the various networks supported by EVOC and many others to share our intelligence and hard learning from the last 5 months.
Please also check out EVOC website – we are about to launch a series of free courses/seminars for voluntary sector staff focused on building and support their resilience and wellbeing.
This is a long haul and we must support the very people we know make a difference.
Chief Executive, EVOC
REPORTS, SURVEYS AND LESSONS LEARNED
We are currently pulling together as many surveys, reports and reviews carried out by the sector and local communities as possible – to compile a summary of the findings to share with organisations and decision-makers across the city.
We would be very grateful indeed if you have done any pieces of work like this in the last three months and we were willing to share to add to a bank of knowledge we plan to hold about the pandemic and the voluntary and community sector response in the city. Please submit reports/surveys to email@example.com
EVOC IS RECRUITING
Do you know someone who is passionate about the voluntary sector?
Someone who believes that by working collectively as a city we can tackle some of the issues contributing to poverty and inequality?
We are seeking to recruit a skilled individual to a new and exciting post to lead on the marketing of EVOC, the wider Edinburgh voluntary sector’s work and to develop our communications:
Marketing & Stakeholder Affairs Officer Full-time
- EVOC Grade 4 – SJC Points 28-32 £27,916 – £31,708pa
- Fixed-term to 31 March 2022
Full details of the vacancy can be found here we’d be grateful if you could please share amongst your networks!
CELEBRATING THE POSITIVES
In our previous newsletter, we spoke about recognising and celebrating the positives that have come out of the past few months.
Organisations of all sizes have come together to maintain connection and collaboration as well as look at the future, adapting the delivery of their services and their own thinking in response to Covid-19.
We wanted to continue to share with you all the positive stories and encourage you to share yours too whether that be on your social media or within your communities.
Inspiring stories of change and adapting
Our inspiring story is one is around Inspiring Change: how organisations in Edinburgh have come to adapt, maintain connections, and collaborate for the benefit of their local community. There are many local Edinburgh organisations that have contributed to this story and shared their viewpoints, if you haven’t already read this article then we would encourage you to do so as it really serves to highlight how organisations have adapted to make a difference: Inspiring Change article
Sharing positive stories is something that is very important to us as a way of facilitating change and supporting the adaptation of the services we provide.
We have adapted our training sessions taking them online, as we discussed in our last newsletter there were lots of factors that we needed to consider but we really enjoyed delivering the course online as did our participants:
“Excellent pre-course administration and distribution of course materials. The online course was managed very well. The speakers were knowledgeable and friendly.
Please have a think and share any positive stories of change or how you have adapted your services during recent times.
As a sector, we have done a brilliant job in supporting our local communities so it would be great to celebrate our stories together.
We will soon be adapting our own website to enable you to submit your positive and inspiring stories (more to follow soon), but until then tweet your stories and tag @EVOC so that we can see them and share!
UPDATES ON TRAINING
We have lots of new training information to share with you.
As the summer continues we are delighted to announce three areas of training provision for the coming weeks and into the autumn:
We are aware from the discussions in the various networks and forums we support, that there is an increasing need to support staff with their own mental health and wellbeing.
Many organisations have good internal support, supervision policies and procedures and the aim of this programme is to augment this support by providing staff with a range of tools and techniques to assist with their self-care.
We are pleased to be able to work with our existing and highly qualified trainers and to introduce new people to our network.
- Manage time. Harness energy. Avoid staff burn out: Thu 20th Aug (3pm – 4:30pm) To note your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you the link to book a place. Note we have a limited number of places available on this course.
- Cultivating a Positive Mindset: Tue 25th Aug (10am – 12noon) then will be run again on 15th Sept at the same times.
- Coping with Change and Building Resilience: Wed 26th Aug (9:30am – 11:30am)
2. Our Governance training continues with two new dates added. These two hour courses are FREE to charity trustees and senior staff exploring good governance and context in law.
- 25th August: ‘Governance Four’: An introduction to Charity Finance Reporting session.
- 16th September: ‘Governance Four’: Trustees Roles and Responsibilities.
Full details for of all of our courses visit the training page of the EVOC website here
Feedback from our previous online sessions has been really positive with one of our recent participants saying: ‘Courses are always interesting, well presented, enjoyable, and very informative‘
3. The traditional EVOC training programme starts again in September with our ‘Support and Supervision: An Essential Guide online course’.
The programme will be further developed in the coming days and weeks. We will also resume our training bulletin, if you would like to sign up to receive this please you can do so here
Further information on training can also be found at the Institute of Fundraising.
RED BOOK ONLINE DIRECTORY
As we emerge from lockdown and more organisations and services restart, we have dusted down the EVOC RedBook and repopulated all the data to reflect exactly what is happening across the city right now. There are currently over 330+ services and activities provided by voluntary organisations across the city to meet local need and overcome adversity. We have archived the original directory data ready for further reopenings and relaxing of lockdown – but all organisational data is searchable even if services are currently mothballed.
SHINING A SPOTLIGHT ON ORGANISATIONS THAT ARE A LIFELINE FOR COMMUNITIES
We are shining a spotlight on something a little different in this newsletter.
Working together whether it be in the community or local organisations coming together has brought about new connections. One of the South Edinburgh Voluntary Sector Forums, early on in the Covid crisis came together to collaborate and produce a leaflet for the elderly in their communities.
Perhaps not your ‘traditional’ format of leaflet, but one that contained all of the information that people in their local communities needed in an easy to read visual format and was very well received by the recipients!
CYBER RESILIENCE & COVID SCAMS: LATEST NEWS
Advice and information is changing daily as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, so please ensure you only take information from trusted sources.
FORUMS AND NETWORKS: KEEPING US ALL CONNECTED
Edinburgh Pact – City Wide Workshop
An opportunity for voluntary organisations and community groups from across Edinburgh to come together with officers from Edinburgh Health & Social Care Partnership to discuss the ‘Edinburgh Pact’, which is currently being developed to create a different type of relationship with residents, communities and organisations across the city.
To read more, book a place and receive details of the log on to Zoom conferencing:
Slack online channel
As well as the EVOC networks and forums that we all attend and enjoy, did you know that there is a thriving online community of 350+ organisations sharing information and ideas on our EVOC Slack Channels? Each network and forum will also have a more focused ‘private channel’ which members will be invited to join – both the geographic Voluntary Sector Forums and the various thematic networks and forums.
To join, please contact the forum leads as below:
|Older People’s Forum||Roisin Hurst|
|Substance Use Network Edinburgh||Maria Arnold|
|Edinburgh Mental Health Forum||Christina Hinds|
|Edinburgh Disabilities Forum||Hugo Whitaker|
|Children, Young People and Families Forum||Katherine Anderson|
|Voluntary Sector Forums – across Edinburgh’s localities||Kate Barrett|
|Voluntary Sector Carers Forum||Maria Arnold|
EVOC’S REMINDERS FOR YOU, YOUR NETWORKS AND YOUR COMMUNITIES
With one eye on the coming Autumn and Winter months, we’ve already started the discussion around keeping on top of the day to day things that we take for granted.
Building on the things we know make a difference to the local community as well as the key messages from local and government bodies will we hope, make a difference as we approach the Autumn and Winter, and what this often brings health and wellbeing wise.
Please help us in sharing these key messages with your local communities and networks.
- Keeping on top of your medication: make sure that you request your repeat prescriptions in plenty of time so you don’t run out of or leave getting your regular medication to the last minute
- If you aren’t already then register with a local GP. Details on how to find a GP local to you, and on how to register can be found here
EVOC MEMBERSHIP AND BENEFITS
Full EVOC membership is open to all voluntary and community organisations.
Membership helps to support EVOC’s work and whilst membership is not necessary to be part of any of our networks or forums, membership does provide an established network of all kinds of voluntary and community organisations working in Edinburgh.
All EVOC members can now benefit from our partnership with Law at Work.
Find out about all the benefits of EVOC membership here
It’s August and at this time of the year, Edinburgh would usually be alive with all things festival related.
However, with the festival having being cancelled this year, that isn’t the case, so we wanted to share some information from Edinburgh Festival City.
Even though the festival isn’t happening as usual in person, there are in fact lots of events both online and offline that are taking place.
You can find more information on what is happening by visiting the Edinburgh Festival City website here, please do share this information with your networks and communities.