You are absolutely amazing! You have responded not just to the needs of the people you were already in contact with but to the wider community.
There has been much publicity about funds to support your incredible work. I have been working (and shouting and arguing) to get this promised funding released as quickly as possible so you can keep going. I know you are living on promises and goodwill, and that’s not good enough.
There is a Wellbeing Fund (£50 million nationally with approx. £3million for Edinburgh) sitting somewhere, while national organisations and civil servants create a system. This is a piece of nonsense – you know and I know that EVOC has the systems in place. We’re already working with many of you and we know how to make the best possible use of this fund. There is a Supporting Communities Fund – £40 million nationally which is promised “soon”. To put it mildly, my blood boils. It isn’t good enough.
I promise I will continue to shout and scream at people who have decided that creating a bureaucratic system is more important than getting the resources to the people who will make best use of them.
COVID-19 Sector Survey
Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey – the response has been absolutely fantastic and is already helping to shape the support we’re providing here at EVOC. If you haven’t had a chance to complete it yet there’s still time.
The work you are doing is absolutely critical to the pandemic response and the survey is helping us to co-ordinate and understand the city-wide picture. It’s helping us make sure that the statutory sector is connected in as much as possible and we’re also looking for extra resources to support you from the Scottish Government and local sources. The next step is a more thorough analysis of what organisations need across different localities and thematic areas, and to share it with other strategic partners providing support.
EVOC continues to advocate for and raise the profile of the voluntary sector through participation in:
Edinburgh Resilience Partnership
This group is supported and administered by CEC and has representatives of all statutory sectors, interfaith groups, the voluntary sector, transport, Forth Ports and Chamber of Commerce. Regular updates on what each organisation is doing and looking at common issues e.g. HR. EVOC has highlighted the directory of voluntary sector responses and emerging issues, including funding to sustain the level of activity. Initially there has been a significant focus on people who are homeless and supported.
Lothian and Borders Caring For People Group
This group is supported and administered by Scottish Government and is similar to the above but covers a larger geographical area. Considers emerging issues e.g. protocols for shielding were high on the agenda, sharing data etc. Issues re PPE, adult protection, public messaging, compliance with “stay at home” and “social distancing” etc are all discussed.
Edinburgh Care For People Group
Bringing together the NHS, Health & Social Care Partnership and voluntary sector to work out how to support vulnerable people locally in Edinburgh in a co-ordinated way, and tapping into the national recruitment of local people wishing to volunteer.
Online Local Sector Forums
Finally, one of the key actions we’ve taken is to move all Local Sector Forums online through Slack. Find out more below and please join in, now more than ever we need to collaborate and stay connected.
Best wishes and good luck.
Ella Simpson, Chief Officer