In “normal times” next week would be the start of school holidays and we would all be looking forward to well-earned breaks. I know that my team are feeling the strain and getting tired and I’m sure you will be seeing the effects of the pressures on yourself and your colleagues. I have therefore taken the unprecedented decision to close EVOC for a week from Monday 29th June. We need to make sure we are looking after ourselves to be able to continue at this pace for the longer term. We will be in touch with everyone re any work which was planned for next week to let you know how we are going to ensure we are continuing to support you and your amazing work.
Looking forward there are a number of things which COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus for us all but fundamentally we know that at the wellbeing of people must be at the heart of every decision. EVOC is a member of a national network of Third Sector Interfaces (TSI) and across Scotland we have just completed a questionnaire. The full details will be published by the end of this week. It won’t be a surprise to you to hear that the concerns we hear in our networks and forums are being echoed nationally.
- Sustainability of the voluntary sector: the short-term crisis funding has supported incredible work in communities but it all comes to a grinding halt early autumn. We are increasingly hearing about the longer-term issues of statutory funds and how these have been depleted during the last 4 months – what of the future planning?
- People: there are growing concerns for mental health and wellbeing of a large number of people who were already vulnerable pre-COVID-19
- Poverty: the greatest economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt by people who were in jobs which were already unstable. This will only increase the levels of poverty in our communities.
- Partnership: all the statutory bodies have praised and thanked communities and the voluntary sector for their incredible work over the last few months. How can we ensure this new found understanding of the power and reach of the voluntary sector translates into a partnership approach going forward.
All big questions which we will be discussing at the various networks and forums and Third Sector Strategy Group over the next couple of months. Please join us for these meetings – it is important that our collective voice is heard as recovery/refresh/review work forges ahead within the statutory sector.
Finally – please take time for yourselves. This is a marathon and there will always be urgent, important and vital work to be done but unless we look after ourselves, we really won’t be able to have either the headspace or the energy to best serve our communities.
Chief Executive, EVOC
UPDATES FROM SCVO AND OSCR ON THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON THE SCOTTISH VOLUNTARY SECTOR AND CHARITIES.
SCVO and OSCR have both published their results from their respective surveys on the impact that COVID – 19 has had on the Voluntary Sector and Charities. The survey results outline how voluntary organisations and charities have had to adapt through the crisis in order to continue to provide support.
Various themes emerge from both surveys:
Finance and Income: OSCR’s research showed that 51% of charities had lost fundraising income and taken action financially, 25% had applied for emergency funding of some kind.
Both OSCR and SCVO reported financial stability being of concern: 20% of charities foresaw decrease in income within next 6 – 12 months, (strongest for charities with an income over £25K (OSCR)) and SCVO reporting that income drops and reduction of funding meaning that over 50% of charities will run out of funds within 6 months fearing closure.
Adaptation of services: Both reports showed that charities have had to adapt the way they provide services.
OSCR reported that the most common reaction from charities was to change the way in which they deliver services (84%), whilst SCVO stated that many leaders are looking at ways to ‘build back better’ to make the most of new ways of working and delivering services.
Methods of Support:
OSCR reported that guidance on funding, making funding applications and processes easier were considered to be the most beneficial methods of support by those responding to the survey. With SCVO reporting the importance of transitional funding that will help charities impacted by closures and loss of revenue being highlighted across a number of surveys.
SCVO are continuing to collect surveys, briefings, case studies or blogs on the impact of coronavirus on voluntary organisations. All research and insights shared will be collated in their searchable Evidence Library.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any that you would like to share.
The national Third Sector Interface (TSI) survey that many of you will have completed is also published shortly and we will analyse the Edinburgh results in our next newsletter.
INSPIRING CHANGE: VOLUNTARY SECTOR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
“Thanks for still being there for me.”
‘Said by a young person who is being supported by The Junction, it was the shortest and simplest, but summed up the fact that in the toughest of times, local organisations have found a way to adapt, focus on people in need and make people feel heard and looked after.’
We’ve written a blog article to highlight how Edinburgh’s voluntary sector has collaborated to create new opportunities and meet the needs of the city’s most vulnerable.
People Know How, The Junction, Health Opportunities Team, The Yard and Go Beyond gave us their insights. It’s an article that looks to the future and inspires change – you can read the article here.
If you have an inspiring story to share, contact Tessa Williams (email@example.com).
UPDATES ON TRAINING
We are also planning on holding a Writing Funding Applications workshop on the 21st July.
Both sessions will be online sessions.
To find out more or to book your place please visit the EVOC website here
EDINBURGH COVID – 19 SERVICES MAP
The map is continually being updated with information submitted to the Directory – please use and share it to promote what you’re doing.
In the sector we talk a lot about ‘partnership working’ but we want to shine a light on the fact that ‘partnerships work’.
We’re collecting examples from across the city and across thematic areas to show Government, the statutory sector and the public that the voluntary sector rises to current challenges again and again, that we’ve done it quickly, effectively and together.
Please also share your partnership stories
with SCVO #nevermoreneeded campaign which is focused on how essential the voluntary sector is in society.
CYBER RESILIENCE & COVID SCAMS: LATEST NEWS
As a result of the significant rise in COVID-19 related scams, over the next few months, the Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Unit will share important information. They aim to share these updates weekly.
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: CONTACTS
Join us on Slack
If you haven’t already, you can now join all of our networks and forums online via Slack.
Slack is a very accessible and easy to use platform. We can provide guidance on how to get set up and use it well.
Please join if you are an Edinburgh voluntary sector organisation – it is where you’ll get the most up to date information, be able to share things quickly and stay connected.
How it works
When you join you’ll have access to a number of ‘public channels’ on topics such as community food, funding, legal regulation, offers of help and training.
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.
How to join
We’ll be supporting you all the way to get to grips with Slack – once you’ve got started it’s easy to use.
Please contact the forum leads for access to specific channels: please just get in touch:
|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 MEMBERSHIP + LAW AT WORK PARTNERSHIP
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.
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 a template staff handbook to download and you’ll also see legislation updates.
They also have a wide-ranging Covid-19 resource section with toolkits and checklists.
Find out about all the benefits of EVOC membership here