As I write this we are all assimilating the Scottish Government announcements on 10th September which brought in changes to rules around social gatherings. We have never said transition out of full lockdown would be a smooth trajectory back to what we would recognise as “normal” and many of us know this will be a long hard haul. However, our commitment to our communities is also in the long term. As a sector we are passionate, tenacious, stubborn, and downright bolshy. We are united in our drive for social justice and ensuring people’s voices are heard loud and clear.
So how do we listen and amplify people’s voices in this uncertain world? It’s clear that returning to face to face discussions is a long way off but it’s more important than ever that people are at the centre of our altered world. How can we make the digital world more inclusive and less impersonal? How do we make sure the hard learning from the last six months isn’t lost in a cacophony of voices focused on budgets rather than assets and resources? How can we make sure the interests of our communities are front and centre to any and all planning and decisions that impact directly on them?
These are not easy questions but we need to address them honestly and quickly. EVOC in partnership with the Third Sector Strategy Group will be holding a series of roundtable discussions to explore these questions over October and November.
Please join us – the details are below. These discussions will build on the findings from Mind the Craic which will be launched 21st September.
The more voices the greater the noise!
Chief Executive, EVOC
SAVE THE DATE: EVOC ROUND TABLE EVENTS
We will be holding a series of ‘Round table’ events in partnership with TSSG and would invite you to save the dates in your diaries.
Our first session will be on : People’s Story
What can we do about the experience of inequality and urgent need?
Date: Thursday 1st October 2020
This session will use the Mind the Craic report as a foundation for our discussion, taking what we have learnt from Food Fund work carried out over the pandemic and using data from the Poverty Commission. Poverty is still an endemic and inherent structural problem, we want to use this session to hear about the problem, discuss, and explore what the solutions are.
The next session will be: An Urban Commons
Date: Wednesday 14th October 2020
A facilitated discussion focused on how we can continue to increase participation in existing networks, build purposeful partnerships and make our local communities more resilient by focusing on community wealth building.
Please note, our AGM will take place on Tuesday 3rd November 2020.
Full details including exact timings and links to book your place at these sessions will be circulated very soon.
IMPORTANT PUBLICATIONS TO READ
The ‘Mind the Craic’ report is due to be published next week 21st September and will be available to view on the EVOC website.
As always it details lots of important information relevant to us all, the report will also form the foundations for our up-coming round table events
GOVERNANCE: KEEPING THE POSITIVES AND REACHING OUT FOR ASSISTANCE
I don’t know if anyone is keeping track of all the unpredicted consequences of COVID-19 but the list will be long.
Whichever sphere we operate in, we are noticing the effects of this pandemic across our work and our operations, the good and the bad. Some of those more positive aspects we are hoping to retain as we manoeuvre into our changed working lives.
We’ve written an article that looks at the importance of reviewing your governing documents and where you can turn to if you need some help.
It’s a short but important read that you can view here
YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE THEIR SAY
The City of Edinburgh Council recently launched Edinburgh Talks, starting a new phase of engagement and collaboration around climate change.
In February, they talked to some of the young people attending the Edinburgh Youth Summit to find out what they feel the key issues are around climate change. They also discovered why they felt it was important to be included in work and discussions aimed at creating a better, fairer, and more sustainable city.
A follow-up challenge has been launched aimed at the interests of younger people in Edinburgh and what changes they think need to happen to make Edinburgh a more sustainable city.
We’d be grateful if you could share this with your colleagues and networks and ask them to join in the discussion here
UPDATES ON FUNDING
We have been adding details of new funding opportunities to the funding section of the EVOC noticeboard and the external funding channel on Slack so please to check these channels for this information.
Some of the new funds added that are open for applications include:
- The Digital Inclusion Fund: used to facilitate the purchase of laptops, tablets, and other devices in order to promote digital inclusion and connectivity, and is open to organisations working with young adult learners.
- Macmillan Community Grants are available for community groups and organisations to apply for small grants of up to £500 to work in their local community to support people with cancer.
- NHS Lothian Tobacco Prevention programme is now accepting applications for grants to deliver work relating to tobacco prevention among care experienced young people and young people affected by homelessness.
You can view the funding section of the noticeboard here.
See below for details on how to join our external Slack channel if you haven’t already.
UPDATES ON TRAINING
September sees lots of new online courses running!
As we detailed in our last newsletter, we know that there is an increasing need to support staff with their own mental health and wellbeing especially as much of our work is still being carried out online.
To go along with the internal support already on offer in many organisations, we are running various courses to further enhance this by offering FREE courses that provide a range of tools and techniques to assist with your self-care.
Some of the courses open for booking are listed below,
- Selfcare in difficult times: Intro to Shiatsu (24th Sept 9.30am – 12.00pm)
- Working remotely – practical skills for wellbeing, resilience and communication (29th Sept 9.30 – 12.30pm
We also resume our usual training programme with our Effective Support & Supervision Course (29th Sept and 10th Oct 10 – 4pm). EVOC members will benefit from a discount on the course price.
All courses are to be held over Zoom – visit our website for a full course list and to book.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME: ONLINE FESTIVAL FOCUSING ON HOW CREATIVITY CAN SUPPORT OUR MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
On World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2020, Thrive Edinburgh, the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival and Health in Mind will be hosting an online festival focusing on how creativity can support our mental health and wellbeing.
In these times of uncertainty, confusion and chaos people have reached to the arts for support, solace, fun, and understanding. To celebrate and provoke the resilience and imagination of the human spirit there will be a series of online events, discussions, and workshops.
At 6.00 pm GMT our Thrive city sisters – New York City and London will join together in the International Chatroom. Frank Ross, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sidaq Khan, the Mayor of London, and Chirlane McCray, New York City’s First Lady will share their thoughts and experiences on how they have looked after their own and their city’s mental health during these troubled times.
In light of current guidelines and social distancing measures this festival will be hosted online and will include both pre-recorded and live content.
A full schedule of events published by the end of September.
How can I attend the events?
You can simply register your interest via eventbrite and you will be updated with the programme of events nearer the time. You will be able to choose what events you would like to attend on the day and hopefully, you can join in for an international plenary at the end of the day!
For tickets visit here
If you are interested in providing content for the online festival please do drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the Team will get back to you to talk through your ideas.
RED BOOK ONLINE DIRECTORY
The Iconic EVOC RedBook online directory is getting a make-over!
There are currently over 330+ services and activities provided by voluntary organisations across the city to meet local needs and overcome adversity.
We will be sharing the new look RedBook with you very soon. Until then please view your entry HERE and check to see if it is up to date and share.
Watch this space for the updated directory being launched soon.
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
As a reminder: our Slack channel is still open to join. With many of us still working remotely this means of online communication and sharing is vital to keep us all connected.
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
SCVO recently held a webinar to discuss the public health issues for voluntary organisations and charities of emerging from lockdown and moving into recovery and renewal.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch live, you can watch the replay here.
EVOC MEMBERSHIP AND BENEFITS
Thinking about YOUR organisation joining EVOC and YOU becoming a Board Member?
As a member, your joining fee 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.
EVOC Member Benefits:
- All members benefit from our partnership with Law at Work including up-to-date Covid-19 information
- Opportunities to be elected to the Board of EVOC · 10% discount on EVOC Training Courses
- Priority booking for the EVOC AGM, events, and training
- Priority bespoke training, both free and paid
- An exclusive range of courses and seminars that are available to members only
- The right to vote at the AGM or other General or Extraordinary General Meetings of the organisation
- A say in the governance of EVOC
Partnership with Law at Work
All members benefit from our partnership with Law at Work. You’ll be able to access their exclusive online client area which contains their employment law and HR template letters, style policies and guidance notes – there’s even a complete template staff handbook to download You will also be able to see at a glance what legislation is changing soon, and there’s a section that shows any new document uploads in the portal. Please note that we will have to share your information with Law at Work.
How much does it cost to become an EVOC member?
There is a tiered subscription structure based on income, which reflects the known categories in Scottish Charity Accounting regulations:
- Income below £25,000, full membership is FREE
- Income between £25,000 and £500,000, full membership is £35 annually
- Income above £500,000, full membership is £55 annually
Full information and to sign up to EVOC membership can be found here
The Edinburgh City Archives has been working on a particularly exciting project cataloging of the records of Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council (EVOC).
This collection dates from 1868 through to the present day and the fact that the project has been ongoing since April 2018!
Lots of interesting records have been discovered. These include a fascinating personal account of an ex-serviceman’s experiences when visiting two Scottish lodging houses and the records of the Edinburgh Night Asylum and Strangers’ Friend Society (1840-1989). Originally called the Night Asylum for the Houseless Poor (1840-1871), this series includes minutes, accounts, admission registers, and reports.
More records will be added and we hope to be able to share some more information over time, more information can be viewed here.