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Community Development Alliance Scotland

April 2016



Sanctuary, Solidarity and Social Capital

The presentations by speakers, notes of the discussions in the workshops and the priorities for action suggested by the participants at last month’s ‘Sanctuary, Solidarity and Social Capital’ event on community development and refugees are all now available.


Community development in election manifestos

We have looked at manifestos for the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections and extracted statements and promises that we think may be of interest to people involved in community development. For practical reasons we have confined our review to the three parties with the current highest opinion poll shares: Conservative, Labour and SNP. However, SURF has produced shorter extracts of regeneration–related pledges from seven parties, which covers some of the same issues and may be helpful.

People involved in community development are interested in a wide range of the issues covered by the manifestos, for example poverty and welfare, health improvement and educational attainment. We have concentrated here on a rather narrower range of topics, similar to those that we cover in most detail in CDAS information bulletins, particularly issues relating to community engagement and empowerment, service user involvement and democratic participation at community and local levels. The selections made are entirely our own. There is little if anything in any of these manifestos about a specific role for community development work.

Creating a Fairer Scotland summary report

The Scottish Government has produced a summary report from the ‘Creating a Fairer Scotland’ conversation that took place over the last few months., They have identified five core themes:

  • Work and living standards.
  • Homes and communities.
  • Early years, education and health.
  • Community participation and public services.
  • Respect and dignity.

Asset Transfer consultation – Easy read version

The Scottish Government has produced a summary ‘easy read’ guide to the consultation on Asset Transfer under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act that was launched last month.

Local policing consultation

Police Scotland has launched a local policing consultation which looks find out the priorities for policing in local communities. This process takes place each year, but this is the first time the consultation can be completed online. The online consultation is open all year

Highland Democracy

Highland Council, building on the recent work of CoSLA, has announced the launch of its own Commission for Highland Democracy.

National Performance Framework

An updated National Performance Framework (NPF) indicator set was published on 11 March 2016. Five new indicators have been added to the existing 50:

National Centre for Resilience opens

Scotland’s National Centre for Resilience (NCR) officially opened on 21 March 2016. The NCR works to ensure communities across the country are fully and adequately prepared for natural hazards such as flooding and landslides. The NCR will help improve understanding of the impact of natural hazards and provide support to them including practical toolkits, learning and exercise opportunities. The NCR has a core staffing presence on the Crichton Campus in Dumfries and brings together strategic partners which make up its core membership.

National Walking Strategy – next steps

March saw the release of the National Walking Strategy Action Plan and a new walking infographic ‘A Step Change for Scotland’.

Communities get help to take over sports clubs

Community groups looking to get involved in the running of any kind of sports team are to be offered legal, financial and governance support to do so. Groups attempting to become more involved in anything from grassroots athletics teams or running a professional football club can now get free advice, information and access to business experts from the newly formed Club Development Scotland (CDS).

Set up by Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS), which itself was set up in 2002 to make football clubs more sustainable through supporters involvement and community ownership, CDS will help community groups transition clubs from companies into third sector organisations that deliver social and community benefit.

Partnerships with the Institute of Directors and legal firm DWF will also see dedicated professional support offered in areas including fundraising, due diligence and how to restructure businesses.

Creative Place Reviews

Education Scotland, in partnership with Creative Scotland, undertook three reviews of Creative Place Award winners in late 2015. The Creative Place Awards recognise communities where people work together to celebrate and promote their town, village or area through the arts and culture.

Creative Scotland and three Creative Place winners wished to have an objective evaluation of their impacts and outcomes. Each organisation produced a self-evaluation and engaged in dialogue with HM Inspectors as part of the process. In each of the reviews, inspection teams visited a wide range of provision. At the end of the review week, HM Inspectors reported the findings to those involved.

Rights for Life Declaration

The Rights for Life Declaration is a statement of the rights that people affected by mental health issues in Scotland are calling for. Its aim is to help achieve transformational change to the way people affected by mental health issues enjoy their rights. The Declaration reflects the principles and standards of international human rights agreements. The Declaration and Change Agenda are based on the views of hundreds of people with experience of mental health issues and their family and friends. It started to take shape at a Rights for Life conference in June 2015. Following the event, the Rights for Life Steering Group organised widespread consultation on early drafts regionally, nationally and online.

Funding to champion care experienced young people 

Scotland’s care experienced young people are to have a bigger say in the decisions that affect their lives thanks to funding of £2 million from the Lottery funded Life Changes Trust. The money will be used to set up and support a number of ‘Champions Boards’ across Scotland. Champions Boards provide a platform for young people to talk directly to local authority staff, elected members and service providers to ensure that decisions which affect their lives are informed by their own experiences.

Sharing Scottish learning from community ownership

The Carnegie UK Trust and Community Land Scotland have announced a two year strategic partnership to share learning from community ownership in Scotland with stakeholders across the UK and Ireland. Scotland’s experience and growing expertise in the matter of community ownership has been attracting widespread interest. The Trust will provide funding to support Community Land Scotland to develop resources and events as well as attend events and connect with stakeholders outside of Scotland.

Scotland in pilot programme to make governments more open and transparent

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) will lead the civil society response for Scotland in a pilot programme which has selected Scotland as one of 14 pioneers across the world to make governments more open and transparent. The programme is led by the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a project set up by 69 of the world’s leading nations that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

UN role for Anastasia

Anastasia Crickley has been elected Vice President of the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination. Many people met Anastasia at the international community development conference in Glasgow two years ago. She is a board member of the International Association for Community Development and has been a long term leader of community development education in the Republic of Ireland, at Maynooth University.

Another English organisation closes

Community Matters, the English National Federation of Community Organisations, is to close after 70 years. (This news follows the recent closure of the Community Development Foundation). Locality has offered a new home for its advice, guidance, toolkits and training resources. A new venture, Advising Communities, will host and deliver many of the key services to community organisations across England and Wales.

Whisky Galore?

A Community Share Offer has been launched to help raise over £1.5 million of investment to create Scotland’s first community-owned craft whisky distillery. Glenwyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society, based in Dingwall, has launched the Community Share Offer in conjunction with Community Shares Scotland (CSS).


MORE Communities at the Centre CHEX has launched its latest case studies of community-led health: MORE Communities at the Centre. The case studies show the significant contribution each organisation makes to health and wellbeing in their local communities.
Public Participation in Decision Making – draft report The Democratic Society has published a draft paper which outlines methods of implementing the new public participation in decision making power described in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act.  The paper is a result of an event, hosted by the Scottish Government, which brought together people from Scottish public bodies and civil society. The aim was to develop a list of suggestions and tangible actions to assist the development of the policy. These suggestions included:

  • There should be a duty for public bodies to enable staff to engage the public in decision making processes; including training, realistic timescales and resources
  • A percentage of public body funding should be assigned to supporting processes for public participation in decision making
  • There should be reserved budget for funding public participation programmes
  • There should be a duty for public bodies to report on the public participation activities they undertake as a result of the Community Empowerment Act
  • The number of physical and digital places where people can come together to participate in decision making should be increased
  • There should be a clear outline of decisions that people can participate in
  • All public bodies should have an accountable senior officer responsible for participation and there should be a non-executive on public body boards appointed as participation champion.

The recommendations in the report will be considered by the Scottish Government and the advisory group for public participation in decision making.

Locality Planning: a New Duty for Community Planning Partnerships Regeneration forum SURF has provided an overview of new local authority responsibilities emerging from the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act.

Digital Learning Guides The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has produced a suite of learner guides for people who need help getting online for the first time. These guides are a suite of training videos to help people with some common online activities from carrying out a search to using social media, playing games, booking tickets, shopping and more. SQA are seeking feedback on the use of the guides in practice.

Social media for elected members ‘#FollowMe’ is a new guide to social media for elected members in Scotland. It is produced by the Improvement Service and the National Communications Advisory Group (Scotland), which represents communications staff in all Scottish councils, and is designed to provide a good shared starting point for elected members interested in using social media.

CPAG Early Warning System CPAG’s Early Warning System has held a seminar to look at their early findings on the roll out of universal credit and discuss what measures can be taken at a Scottish, local and personal level in response. You can read the briefing for the seminar here.

The Improvement Hub launches The Improvement Hub will support Health and Social Care Partnerships and NHS boards to improve the quality of health and social care services. It integrates and builds on the combined expertise, resources and best practice of the improvement support of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the Quality and Efficiency Support Team and the Joint Improvement Team.

Alcohol licensing toolkit Alcohol Focus Scotland has developed a toolkit to help people raise concerns about the impact of alcohol in their local community. It will help people understand and navigate the licensing process, and make sure their voices are heard.

SP=EED Community Engagement tolkit SP=EED is Planning Aid Scotland’s practical toolkit for effective community engagement produced by planning advice and training charity. The toolkit is referred to in Scottish Government guidance and can be downloaded free from the PAS website.

Youth Work Outcome Indicators Organisations from both statutory and voluntary youth work sector have contributed to the development of a Suite of Outcome Indicators which support the Youth Work Outcomes Model they developed earlier. The revised post consultation draft indicators can be found here. They will be seeking agreement from their networks over the coming months to approve and adopt these Indicators. It is also the intention for YouthLink Scotland to prepare an Outcomes ‘handbook/toolkit’.

What a Funding Officer wants to know In a Big Lottery Fund blog, Awards for All Funding Officers are asked “What should an applicant include in their application?“ and the top 5 tips are presented.

Charity Trustee Guidance OSCR have updated their guidance to reflect the practical experience of many Scottish charities. The law and charity trustees duties have not changed, but they are trying to set out in a more straightforward way what charity trustees must consider, so that they meet legal requirements, ensure that their charities are well-run, and avoid some of the common problems that can arise.

Year of the Dad Conference online Audio files of keynotes or conversation strands, plus written summaries, slide presentations and posters from February’s Year of the Dad conference are now available.

Why we need to build social capital in cities A lecture given by Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as the Human Cities Institute’s sixth Annual Lecture.

Co-Production-Making it happen At a Scottish Co-Production Network learning event colleagues from People Powered Health and Wellbeing, Independent Living in Scotland (ILIS), Governance International, East Dunbartonshire Council, Iriss, NEF and SCDC shared their experiences. As well as giving an overview of the day, this report details some of the tools and techniques highlighted in the workshops.

European Union Community Development Network The European Union Community Development Network website offers free resources, publications and their latest newsletter.

Social value – history and principles In a blog for the Social Audit Network, Alan Kay examines the recent history of social accounting and social audit and ends by suggesting “a tweaked set of principles for social value”.


Place-based approaches to public services An overview of place-based working both historically and in the context of current practice across Scotland has been published by the Improvement Service. Place-based approaches to joint planning, resourcing and delivery – An overview of current practice in Scotland captures activities within 27 local authority areas and includes a synthesis of published materials on the subject. The report includes a practical checklist that summarises key issues that partnerships may wish to consider, either when embarking upon a new place-based initiative or when reviewing existing activities.

‘I don’t smoke; don’t drink. The only thing wrong with me is my health’ A series of interviews with people living in two towns in Ayrshire has highlighted the impact that wider social issues have on people’s health – and need for local communities to be at the centre of solutions. The report from the University of the West of Scotland links the experiences of austerity, de-industrialisation and welfare reform over the last 40 years with people’s experiences of ill-health. It adds further evidence of the need to tackle root causes of poverty and inequality when facing the health issues of deprived communities. It also notes that tendency for public health campaigns, even ones which are well-meaning, to suffer from ‘lifestyle drift’ where the poor are often blamed for their problems. You can read a summary on the Herald website here and an opinion piece here or, during April 2016 only, download the full report for free here.

Poverty and children’s relationships New research by the National Children’s Bureau explores the associations between poverty and children’s relationships with parents, peers and siblings, using Millennium Cohort Study data.

The impact of economic recovery and continued changes to social security on health and health inequalities in Scotland This report ‘Pulling in different directions?’ from the Scottish Public Health Observatory is an update to the baseline report Making a Bad Situation Worse?, published in 2013. It provides an update on developments in the social security system and changing economic context and monitors relevant changes in population health and health inequalities in Scotland. It also presents findings from a rapid review of the literature to identify whether and which subgroups of the Scottish population have been disproportionately affected by the social security reforms.

What Works in Community Profiling? This paper discusses the experience of What Works Scotland, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and the West Dunbartonshire Community Planning Team in developing community profiles for the purposes of place-based working and locality planning.

The contribution of youth work A Report “The contribution of youth work to address the challenges young people are facing, in particular the transition from education to employment” presents results from the work of an expert group set up under the European Union Work Plan for Youth for 2014-2015.. The report seeks to make employers, Public Employment Services and policy-makers aware of the crucial role youth work can play – either as a lead agency or in partnership with others – in supporting the employment and employability of young people. In this context, youth work is defined as ‘actions directed towards young people regarding activities where they take part voluntarily, designed for supporting their personal and social development through non-formal and informal learning’.

Measuring wellbeing for effective placemaking The Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR) and the Geddes Institute for Urban Research held a symposium in November 2015 in Dundee aiming to address the following questions.

  1. How should we measure wellbeing? How do we distinguish between identifying what people perceive wellbeing to be from the factors that actually impact on wellbeing?
  2. What measures are appropriate for different contexts/schemes?
  3. What kinds of approaches are needed for evaluating the contribution of placemaking to well-being?
  4. How can the evaluation of wellbeing of collaborative community placemaking approaches be better integrated?

A paper outlining the discussions and conclusions from this seminar has now been published.

Affordable credit Carnegie UK Trust have launched a major report on the future of affordable credit. Gateway to Affordable Credit is supported by over 20 organisations from across the public, private and charitable sectors and sets out a route map to achieving better access to more affordable loans for some of the most deprived communities in Scotland.

Partnership working between academics and the third sector A new report published by the Carnegie UK Trust suggests that public policy outcomes could be improved if academics and the third sector were to work more closely together. The report, written by Carnegie Fellow Professor Mark Shucksmith challenges traditional views of universities as sole producers of knowledge and identifies opportunities for academics and charities to work together for the public’s benefit.  The report sets out two models for better interaction including a radical co-production model which merges the boundaries between universities and the public. It also identifies 19 specific recommendations for universities, the third sector and funders to aid more effective collaboration.

Relationships Matter IRISS has published the story of the Relationships Matter project. The two-year project was led by the Relationships Matter Collective, a group of practitioners and young people who were brave enough to challenge, and confident enough to promote, continued relationships between practitioners and young people as they leave care. This story provides an overview of the rationale, activity and learning from those who piloted new ideas as part of the project.

Nonprofit news portal Nonprofit is a news portal (in English) on the third sector and volunteering that is managed by Catalan non-profit organisations. The portal aims to be a meeting point for international non-profit and third-sector leaders, professionals and other interested stakeholders and has a dual objective:

  • Reflect and generate opinion and discussions on the third sector and volunteering.
  • Being a space to exchange and disseminate good practices and the more relevant experiences developed by Catalan non-profit organisations and others from around the world.

NI good governance website A revised Code of Good Governance was recently approved for Northern Ireland charities and the accompanying DIY committee guide website has now appeared. These resources have been devised to provide practical information and a self-assessment framework for voluntary boards to assess their own governance practices, identify areas for improvement and demonstrate accountability.


Tracking the Impact of Welfare Reform – Dissemination Seminar

The Poverty Alliance Welfare Trackers project operated in Glasgow from April 2014 until October 2015. During this time the project carried out a wide range of activities to engage individuals and organisations affected by welfare changes. This work was a combination of awareness raising, networking and research. A range of publications have been produced from the project, including a final report and five briefing papers which summarise key outputs from the research that was conducted during the project. This seminar will share the learning and findings from the project to audiences outside of Glasgow.

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act – Learning Journeys for Decision Makers.

As part of its Community Empowerment Act awareness-raising events for officers and senior managers of public bodies and other relevant agencies for whom the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 is relevant., the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) has arranged four Learning Journeys in locations across Scotland. Each Learning Journey has a general theme and involves visits to established groups with a story to tell. The host groups have been chosen as examples of projects that are able to demonstrate the delivery of considerable social and economic benefits to their communities.

Interactive workshop on everything you need to know about community organising Wednesday, 11 May, 10:00 to 16:00, Adam Smith Building, Room 717, University of Glasgow

With Kay Polley, Lead Organiser, Together Creating Communities (TCC). TCC was founded in 1995 to tackle social injustice by supporting diverse communities to gain the power they need to enact change. This is achieved through community organising: bringing together local groups, so they can set their own agenda, take action, and improve their communities. All are welcome, but a reservation is essential. Please RSVP to cradall@gla.ac.uk (link sends e-mail)to book your place.

Lifelong, life-wide and learner centred – thinking about learner centred approaches to adult education in Scotland Thursday 12th May, 14.00 – 16.00, room 432, School of Education, University of Glasgow, St Andrew’s Building, 11 Eldon Street, Glasgow G3 6NH

The Adult Learning in Scotland Statement of Ambition states that adult learning should be lifelong, life-wide and learner-centred. This interactive workshop will explore what we understand by a learner centred approach to adult learning and how it impacts on our practice.  The key address will be from Professor Michele Schweisfurth who is Professor of Comparative and International Education at the University of Glasgow. Jackie Howie from Learning Link Scotland will set the context for the discussion within the development if the Statement of Ambition for Adult Learning. The event is free and open to all but please register.

Exploring evidence, tools and strategies to expand the scope of prevention in public services Monday May 16th, 9.30am – 1.00pm, Hilton Aberdeen Treetops Hotel, 161 Springfield Road, Aberdeen, AB15 7AQ

Despite substantial progress in public health, this progress has not been shared equally. Health inequalities persist, with many related to inequalities in the social and economic determinants of health such as income, employment, housing and the environment. Pressures on health and public services have led to an emphasis on prevention to help square the circle of rising demands and constrained resources. This seminar will summarise recent evidence on the economics of prevention and discuss the challenges of developing effective strategies and tools to support prevention, preventative spend and reducing inequalities.

Recognising and Realising Children’s Rights Wednesday 18 May, 10.00-13.00,  Scotdec, 3 Alva Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4PH

The Recognising and Realising Children’s Rights resource was originally developed for teachers. Education Scotland and YouthLink Scotland have been working together to re-develop the resource for youth workers. This professional learning opportunity for Youth Workers, Volunteer Leaders, Young Leaders and adults working with young people will be delivered by Scotdec and YouthLink Scotland and is  part of a pilot programme before the new resource is officially launched in late summer 2016.  The event is free, but places are limited.  To book a place, contact Susan Hunter at YouthLink Scotland or call: 0131 313 2488

Community Land Scotland Annual Conference 27th – 28th May, Stornoway

Community Land Scotland’s sixth annual conference entitled ‘Community Land Ownership – What’s next for the sector?’ will hear from speakers on the new joint protocol with Scottish Land and Estates, pre and post acquisition experiences, the economic impact of community land ownership, community land policy and practice, recording the sector’s history and plans for the year ahead. If you are interested in coming along, you can find full details and booking information on their website.

VHS Health Inequalities Research In Scotland: Knowledge Exchange Conference Wednesday 1 June, University of Stirling.

Voluntary Health Scotland (VHS) is hosting a one-day conference to explore research into health inequalities in Scotland. The knowledge-sharing event plans to bring together a range of sectors and organisations from across Scotland to discuss research into the causes and nature of and how to tackle health inequalities. The conference will be chaired by Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust. Conference speakers include Neil Quinn, Co-Director at the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Strathclyde. Register your interest by emailing lauren.blair@vhscoltand.org.uk.

LEAD Scotland 5th National Conference – Are We There Yet? Thursday 9th June

Lead Scotland’s 2016 national conference aims to bring together a diverse range of partners across the college, university, skills, health and community learning sectors to meet new and emerging challenges, develop important networks, showcase new technologies and share examples of effective strategies, partnerships and programmes to meet the challenge. The conference will be of interest to anyone working with disabled learners.

CPAG Scotland conference Friday 10 June, 10am to 4pm,University of Strathclyde, Technology and Innovation Centre. Cost per delegate £155

The pace of change in social security is unrelenting as universal credit rolls out, new powers are devolved to Scotland, wider UK welfare ‘reforms’ continue to impact on families and the Scottish Welfare Fund gains a statutory underpinning. Book now to hear the latest developments as well as explore how rights to social security can support children’s rights to achieve the goal of ending child poverty.

Scotland’s National Active Travel Conference Tuesday June 14, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

The annual event is host to a variety of speakers, stalls, and networking opportunities, and acts as a catalyst for a large scale discussion on active travel in Scotland. For more information on the conference and how to book, visit the Walk, Cycle, Connect website.

World Towns Summit 15-16 June, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

The Scottish Government is hosting the inaugural World Towns Summit. They are targeting this event at urbanists, Towns and Community Practitioners, CEO’s, Directors, senior civil servants, policymakers and leaders. The current draft of the World Towns Agreement will be developed over the course of the World Summit. The Agreement proposes 4 new pillars – Unique Identity, Environment, Economy and Leadership.

Education, Social Justice, and Democracy: Critical Issues in 21st Century Education Friday, 17 June, 9:00 to 17:30, Edinburgh

The Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB) branch conference is in celebration of the centenary of Dewey’s Democracy and Education (1916). John Dewey’s statement that democracy is not just a political system, but also a “mode of associated living” has inspired philosophers and educators to think seriously about critical issues surrounding living together in inclusive, pluralist, and just societies. Academics, practitioners, students, teachers in schools, and policy makers are invited to discuss questions concerning the relationships between education and democracy today.

 “Where Community Meets Enterprise : The nature and scale of community owned enterprise within Scotland’s growing family of social enterprises. A debate and a celebration” Friday 24th June. 9.30 till 12.30, Norton Park Conference Centre, nr Easter Road Edinburgh

Community Enterprise are organising a half day symposium: Last year’s Social Enterprise Census not only pointed to a very significant volume of activity across Scotland but also highlighted that innovation is often happening at a very local level.   These are community based enterprises serving and re-investing profit in their own communities often in very small ways responding to local need and local market demand as it changes over the long term. This event is aimed at community enterprises operating at a local level but also at support providers, policy makers, funders and intermediaries who form the social enterprise and community regeneration eco-system in Scotland.

How Scottish communities are driving sustainable community led solutions to housing 13 July,  Glasgow, free

This Development Trusts Association Scotland event explores two very different models of community owned housing in Scotland: the oldest community owned housing association in Glasgow, Cassiltoun Housing Association and the provision of affordable housing in rural and remote Sutherland by Helmsdale and District Development Trust.

Community and Dementia Conference 21 September, Perth Concert Hall

The theme of the Life Changes Trust first national conference, on World Alzheimer’s Day,  is ‘Community and Dementia’. The conference will focus on what we can learn from dementia friendly communities across Scotland, both geographical communities and communities of interest. This dementia-friendly event will provide a wide range of presentations and activities to make the day engaging and inspirational.



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