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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.


Some call us the third sector
Some call us the voluntary sector

We are the #EssentialSector

We are village halls, sports clubs, youth clubs, cafes and shops
We are organisations working in housing, health, social care and transport
We are advice services, campaigns to bring about change and so much more...

Our work changes people’s lives for the better, brings communities together, improves policy and contributes to the economy. What we do, and the benefits we bring, are constantly at risk if we do not have the support and funding we need to thrive and survive.

So, we started a campaign called #EssentialSector.

We are

46,000+ organisations

1,000,000 volunteers

133,000 staff

The #EssentialSector story so far...

Back in May 2023, 10 organisations were selected to showcase their work in short films. These are just 10 of 46,000 voluntary organisations in Scotland.

All unique. All essential. All the time.

The films feature real people, telling their stories in their own words and paint and inspiring and raw picture of the value and impact of our sector. The films show the challenges the sector faces, as well as its many achievements.

10 organisations have told their stories through short films. Watch this short compilation to find out more.

Meet the #EssentialSector contributors and watch their films

The organisations who contributed to the #EssentialSector films are are unique and brilliant in their own way.

Their short #EssentialSector films celebrate their work and the work of the wider voluntary sector in Scotland by highlighting just a snapshot of the work that goes on in charities, social enterprises and community groups every minute of every day, in every corner of Scotland.

Watch our #EssentialSector short films

Get involved and make your own films

Please share these #EssentialSector films far and wide and make your own films too.

If you'd like some expert support to use your mobile phone to create video for your organisation, catch up on our mobile journalism - or 'mojo' - webinar delivered by professional filmmakers media co-op and access lots of helpful supporting resources too.

Access webinar and resources

Got questions, feedback or would you like to share your work with us? We'd love to hear from you!

Get in touch

#EssentialSector campaign partners