Following this week’s publication of the report ‘If not now, when?’ from the Social Renewal Advisory Board – established in June 2020 by the Scottish Government to consider Scotland’s social renewal in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic – SCVO’s Chief Executive, Anna Fowlie, said:

 “The advisory board’s report offers hope that Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic can lead to a fair and equal society if there is the determination to make it happen. The wellbeing of current and future generations must be at the forefront of our national planning, and there is no time to lose in progressing Scotland’s renewal. That’s why I was pleased to be a member of the advisory board.

 “The collective response of the voluntary sector to the pandemic has been exceptional. The importance of the sector to the very fabric of Scottish society has been recognised in the development of this report, both through the involvement of a range of voluntary organisations throughout the process and the prominence of our sector in the report’s recommendations.

 “SCVO particularly welcome the focus on building on what worked well during the pandemic and resisting the pull to revert to how things were before it. I welcome the collective commitment to empower people and communities to actively participate in decision-making. The voluntary sector’s significance to Scotland’s social and economic fabric has shone throughout this crisis, where in the past it’s been undervalued. Delivering a secure and sustainable future for the sector is rightly part of this call.

“If acted on, the changes this report calls for will make a long overdue difference to people’s lives, from the families who are digitally excluded to those furthest from the labour market. We all have a role to play in what must be a collective effort, and SCVO will be doing whatever we can to contribute and challenging others to do their bit over the coming months and years, because if not now, when?”