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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.

SCVO's COVID response

The coronavirus pandemic 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 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. From the start of lockdown we worked to give a strong voice and representation to the sector. We: 

  • Ensured the sector’s voice was 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 Advisory Board which our CEO, Anna Fowlie was part of
  • Worked with Scottish Government and independent grant-makers to create a Coronavirus Funding Hub which offered a single entry point to a range of emergency funds and information about others. We worked with independent funders and third sector interfaces to try to ensure that funding being made available was co-ordinated, accessible and met 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 the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign 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 
  • Partnered with a range of stakeholders to build a Scotland focused research community called the Scottish Third Sector Tracker.

Information, resources and support 

We also provided practical information, resources and support. We: 

Support services 

And we responded quickly to flex and adapt our support services to meet people’s changing needs. We:  

  • harnessed our Funding Scotland portal and networks to share news of funding opportunities  
  • claimed over £600K 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.

Please contact us at enquiries@scvo.org.uk if you have any feedback on our work or ideas about what we can do to support you now and in the future. 

Last modified on 14 July 2022