The coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp focus the critical contribution of our members and the wider voluntary sector in supporting Scottish people and communities. SCVO is proud to be the national membership body for this vital sector.
We have had to adapt what we do at speed in response to the pandemic, making changes to our own working practices whilst also responding to the rapidly evolving needs of the voluntary sector.
Voice and representation
SCVO has long championed Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. This is more important now than ever. From the start of lockdown we have worked to give a strong voice and representation to the sector. We have:
- Ensured the sector’s voice is heard in national discussions on the impact of Coronavirus, the future we’d like to rebuild and what the sector needs to help contribute to that future, including the Social Renewal Advisroy Board which our CEO, Anna Fowlie was part of
- Worked with Scottish Government and independent grant-makers to create a Coronavirus Funding Hub which offers a single entry point to a range of emergency funds and information about others. We have worked with independent funders and third sector interfaces to try to ensure that funding being made available is co-ordinated, accessible and meets the immediate and longer-term need of the sector and our communities
- Worked with the Scottish Government and a wide range of partners to develop and deliver the Connecting Scotland initiative to bring devices, training and connectivity to 50,000 people across the country who are digitally excluded
- Kept regular contact with our sister organisations across the UK, co-ordinating support to the sector across the UK
- Launched a new piece of work, #NeverMoreNeeded to capture the impact of coronavirus on Scotland’s voluntary sector and to stimulate debate about the sector’s future
- Liaised closely with Scottish Government regarding the impact of the pandemic on CJS funding
- Joined with TSEF to set up a new third sector employability community on basecamp
Information, resources and support
We have also provided practical information, resources and support. We:
- created the Coronavirus Hub updated with information and resources on areas including funding, running your organisation, governance, fundraising, volunteering and much more.
- upscaled our activity on digital capacity building in the voluntary sector with a particular focus on digital services, digital inclusion and remote working, providing information, resources, webinars and 1-2-1 advice surgeries
- produced two reports, one looking at the impact of coronavirus on the voluntary sector in Scotland and the other giving an overview of the financial profile of the voluntary sector pre-coronavirus
- Hosted a range of practical and discursive webinars for hundreds of attendees including Digishift zoom calls to talk about all things digital and Opendoor webinars where we discuss the big issues for organisations with key stakeholders and subject experts
- Hosted Community Jobs Scotland zoom sessions to support young people, staff and employers
And we have responded quickly to flex and adapt our support services to meet people’s changing needs:
- harnessed our Funding Scotland portal and networks to share news of funding opportunities
- Claimed £606k (to date) back from the HMRC job retention scheme on behalf of our payroll clients
- switched to publishing our monthly Third Force News (TFN) magazine in an e-reader format and opened up the TFN archive online
- supported tenants from our shared office space and managed IT client to work remotely using digital tools to do so
- continued to deliver payroll for over 400 customers to make sure people get paid, while supporting them to navigate the complexities of processing furlough claims
- supported employers advertising through Goodmoves on how to recruit quality candidates remotely
- launched an HR and Employment Support Service to help voluntary organisations manage the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and support best HR practice across the voluntary sector.
As restrictions continue to change, and the vaccine is rolled out, we are continuing to respond to the needs of the voluntary sector as we look to the future.
- Scheduling more Digishift and Opendoor webinars to provide practical support and learning opportunities to our members and the sector. These will be listed on our website and promoted widely as they become available
- Building on the success of the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign so far to ensure we capture the story of the sector through the coronavirus campaign and engage in debate about issues arising
- Working with partners to deliver new phases of Connecting Scotland
- Working with our members and the wider sector to further develop our suggestions for future sustainable funding arrangements and to ensure the sector’s voice is heard in discussions about rebuilding after coronavirus
- Contributing to national thinking on recovery and renewal to ensure the voice, needs and aspirations of the voluntary sector are front and centre.
- Continuing to collate and understand research about the impact of coronavirus on the voluntary sector and its work, and working with others to identify and seek to fill gaps in our knowledge
- Adapting and flexing our support services so they reflect the needs of our members and the wider sector
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any feedback on our work or ideas about what we can do to support you now and in the future.