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Community Development Alliance Scotland

November 2016



Our 100th Bulletin

This is CDAS’ one hundredth information bulletin. Originally sent to 35 people, it now goes direct to 602 people and is passed on, we know, to 100s more.

In our first bulletin in June 2007 we recorded, amongst other things:

  • The new appointment of Nicola Sturgeon as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, and other colleagues
  • Establishment of ‘Local People Leading’, now the Scottish Community Alliance
  • Work underway to establish a new Community Learning and Development Standards Council.

In one of the first couple of bulletins we noted that “The latest issue of Community Development Journal contains an article about ‘humour in community activism’ which ‘describes how activists use humour to enliven popular education, and to create liminal atmospheres conducive to non-violent conversion’”. We asked if members had any good jokes about community development. We have still had no responses.

Ideas for a national commitment to community development

Last year the Scottish Government announced that it will ‘take the lead for national policy for community development’ through its Community Empowerment Unit. This perhaps represents a recognition that community development is essential to the successful implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. It certainly creates the potential for a clearer statement of the shared commitment to strengthening communities that is essential to the delivery of many aspects of government policy.

Community Development Alliance Scotland has in recent years argued, following discussions and consultations with its member organisations, that the Scottish Government and partners should work to create a new overarching statement of vision on the role of stronger communities, with a process for its implementation; and that this vision should express a central commitment to the promotion of community development.

As a contribution to dialogue about this, we have offered our own draft version of what we think a statement or charter of common Scottish commitment to community development might include. Any government statement would no doubt spell out the policy context in more detail and would, we hope, be enhanced by specific practical examples of community development in action. We would be very interested to hear your comments and ideas.

CDAS Participatory Budgeting discussion

A CDAS Members’ Meeting in September looked at Participatory Budgeting in policy and practice. Jez Hall, PB Partners and Chris Harkins, Glasgow Centre for Population Health gave presentations, followed by a lively discussion. A note of the presentations and discussion is available here.

European conference on Sustainable Development Goals

CDAS supported the joint International/ European CD networks event on CD and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which was held in Glasgow on 8 November. Speakers from Ireland, Norway, England and Scotland made contributions. There will be more from the event later. Meantime, here is a short video (as shown at the conference) from SDG Watch Europe showing the wide alliance of civil society organisations that is working on the SDGs..

CDAS funding

CDAS is pleased to report that it has been offered and accepted funding from the Scottish Government, via the Community Planning and Community Empowerment team, for ‘support to facilitate and raise standards of community development practice across Scotland’. This allows us to meet our core costs in the current year and effectively takes the place of our funding received from Education Scotland in previous years.


Community Empowerment Act: ‘Near final Guidance’ and Regulations on Community Planning

The Scottish Government has published ‘Near Final Guidance’ on Part 2 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act (which imposes duties on community planning partnerships and community planning partners about the planning and delivery of improved local outcomes, and the involvement of community bodies at all stages of community planning).

Among the main principles that the Guidance states are:

  • “The Community Planning Partnership and community planning partners work with community bodies to ensure that all bodies which can contribute to community planning are able to do so in an effective way and to the extent that they wish to do so” and that
  • “The CPP should build the capacity of communities, particularly those experiencing inequality, to enable those communities, both geographic and of interest, to identify their own needs and opportunities; and support their efforts to participate effectively in community planning, including in the co – production of services”.

The guidance states that “statutory community planning partners must contribute such funds, staff and other resources as the CPP considers appropriate to secure participation of community bodies in community planning.”

These points are further elaborated in the more detailed sections:

  • “Securing participation from communities requires commitment from the CPP and partners to strengthen the capacity of community bodies, wherever this is needed to build effective community involvement in decision-making, policy development and service provision. Community capacity building is especially important to secure the participation of those sections of the community which are otherwise less engaged than other sections in community planning. This includes in particular community bodies which represent the interests of persons who experience inequalities of outcome which result from socio – economic or other disadvantage.”
  • “Local needs, circumstances and opportunities … are likely to be complex and constantly evolving, and so the CPP and its community planning partners will need to maintain ongoing engagement with community bodies”
  • “Also important [for ‘understanding of local communities’ needs, circumstances and opportunities’] is evidence from communities themselves. The CPP must use engagement with communities (including the business and third sectors) to establish their perspectives; both of needs and opportunities within the area and how they differ for particular sections of the community. Strong and up-to-date evidence as a result of community engagement and participation is powerful in shaping decision making that improves outcomes and tackles inequalities. The refreshed National Standards for Community Engagement will set out best practice guidance for engagement and participation between communities and agencies delivering public services. ”

A community role in monitoring and improving performance is also emphasised.

We think that one thing that this implies (perhaps not fully stated) is the need for planning partners not only to strengthen existing ‘community bodies’ but to develop and support communities so that they can come together and get organised to respond when required.

In terms of overall purposes “Community planning is not expected to be a place from where all public sector activity for a local area is co-ordinated and steered. Its focus should be on where the collective efforts of community planning partners and communities can add most value in improving local outcomes and tackling inequalities …” The guidance emphasises the need for a ‘focus on prevention’.

“CPPs should recognise the role that communities can perform in primary prevention. Their input, based on their understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities, can help focus public sector resource to where it has greatest preventative benefit. Communities can also provide an important part of the response, through co- production of local preventative activity”

The draft Regulation published along with the Guidance describes the localities into which community planning partnerships must divide local authority areas for the purpose of carrying out locality planning

“A locality must be (a) an electoral ward; or (b) a geographic area with a population which does not exceed 30,000. “ (The guidance suggests no more than 10,000)

We suspect that in most areas the use of electoral wards might be contrary to the Guidance, which states “the CPP can determine locality boundaries for itself, provided it does so in a way which ensures that the locality area constitutes a natural community.”

Community Empowerment Act: ‘Near final Guidance’ on Asset transfers

‘Near Final Guidance’ has also been produced on how to invoke the asset transfer provisions (Part 5) of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act. These provisions will come into force on 23 January 2017.

.. and on Participation Requests?

Also still to come is Guidance on the use of Participation Requests. Although the date of ‘September 2016’ for this has not been updated on the Scottish Government website, the Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee was told on 16 November, when it looked at the other sets of Guidance and Regulations, that “Further [Regulations] relating to Part 3 (Participation Requests) are expected to be laid later in the year”.

First urban use of Act

Edinburgh community group Action Porty in Portobello has become the first urban community in the country to successfully register interest in buying a community asset under the extension of the community right to buy to urban areas contained in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act. If Action Porty can secure the necessary funding, it will purchase the former Old Parish Church in Bellfield Street. The government has agreed the project is of community benefit and given the campaigners’ first option on buying the buildings, provided they can pay the market value.

New priorities for policing

The Scottish Government has set new Strategic Police Priorities:

  • Localism – Ensure that the needs of local communities are understood and reflected in the planning and delivery of policing at a local and national level
  • Inclusion – Ensure our police service is accessible and responsive to the needs of all people in Scotland
  • Prevention – Ensure our police service works to protect people by preventing crime and reducing fear of crime through communication, education, innovation and partnership working
  • Responsiveness – … responding to and investigating incidents effectively and efficiently
  • Collaborative Working – Ensure that our police service works productively with partners …
  • Accountability – … being transparent, accountable and acting with integrity, fairness and respect
  • Adaptability – … .

Scottish Government Climate Conversations

The Scottish Government has initiated a series of ‘conversations’ – facilitated group discussions – across Scotland to encourage a public discussion on climate change. Their purpose of is to ‘take the temperature’ of public views on climate change and actions that might be needed to tackle it. Resources have been developed including a How to Guide to help as many organisations and community groups as possible to participate in the conversations.

£250,000 for community schemes to promote healthy food initiatives

The first ever recipients of the Scottish Government’s Good Food Nation funding have been announced. The £250,000 fund will be shared across 14 projects which aim to improve Scotland’s food culture. Schemes supported include community food growing, cafés, community and school food education, training and cooking skills and farm visits.

Future licences for community radio

Regulator Ofcom has started a consultation on ‘Community Radio: future licensing and technical policy’. After more than a decade issuing of Ofcom issuing licences, there are now nearly 250 community radio stations in the UK.

Ofcom is coming to the end of its third round of community radio licensing and would like to offer more licences where suitable spectrum is available.  It proposes to run a fourth round, which will be shorter and more focused than previous rounds, and this consultation seeks views on our preferred licensing approach for this forthcoming round. The consultation runs to 22nd December.

Commission on Parliamentary Reform

The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament has established an independent Commission on Parliamentary Reform. The aim of the Commission is to look at how the Scottish Parliament can engage better with the people of Scotland and how its work can be improved to deliver better scrutiny. It hopes to report to the Presiding Officer in June 2017.

“As part of our work, we are keen to get out and about around Scotland. We want to meet as many people, communities, groups and organisations as possible and hear how the Parliament can better meet the needs of people … If you are holding an event, meeting or gathering between January and mid-March 2017, and would like to invite members of the Commission to take part, we would like to hear from you. We want to meet people who have not been involved with the Scottish Parliament previously, as well as those who have”. Please get in touch by the 25 November 2016 at cpr@parliament.scot. They are also interested in any general views about how the Commission should undertake its engagement.

Commission on Highland Democracy

Highland Council has established a Commission on Highland Democracy, which has published its Call for Evidence, and wants the public’s views on local democracy in the Highlands. Members of the public are invited to view the Call for Evidence on the Commission’s website and to complete a short survey online, or join the discussion at Highland Dialogue

A Better Way

A Better Way is a new network of social activists dedicated to improving services and building stronger communities. The network is looking for members who share this vision. The aim is to connect people to share ideas, knowledge and inspiration and to build a movement for change. The network is hosted by Civil Exchange and supported by the Carnegie UK Trust and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

Citizenship 4.0: an invitation to power change

The RSA Action and Research Centre, in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, have launched a new programme ‘Citizens and Inclusive Growth’. This will interrogate what citizenship means and how it is manifest. It will examine international and UK citizen engagement methods, mechanisms and systemic infrastructure to identify and evidence what works, and to draw out and understand the reasons at the core of what doesn’t.

In its first — and open — call for evidence the programme is seeking national and global examples of projects and good practice in supporting inclusion, innovation or impact in citizen engagement. These might include collaboration tools such as participatory budgeting, citizens’ juries or forums, and online methods such as crowdsourced polling, sentiment analysis and opinion mining. The project will include a pilot series of intensive place-based case studies, working with selected UK cities and city-regions. It welcomes ideas, nominations, inside knowledge, connections, pointers, introductions and contributions.

New Urban Agenda 

The UN has developed a new Urban Agenda, which is a Road Map for building cities that can serve as engines of prosperity and centres of cultural and social well-being while protecting the environment. The Agenda also provides guidance for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

2016 SURF Awards Shortlist

SURF’s panel of 18 independent judges, experts drawn from national regeneration bodies and community groups, have assessed this year’s applicants and selected 13 shortlisted projects for 2016 across four categories. Winners will be announced on 6 December.

2017 Epic Awards

The Epic Awards were set up in 2010 by Voluntary Arts, an organisation that works across the UK and Republic of Ireland to promote participation in creative cultural activities. The Awards celebrate the achievement of voluntary arts groups by recognising the skill, innovation and hard work that goes into their activities. Applications for 2017 awards are being accepted until 12 January 2017. See the 2016 winners.


Kinder Communities: The power of everyday relationships There is a body of evidence that consistently shows that positive relationships and kindness are at the heart of our wellbeing. In this discussion paper Carnegie Trust Associate Zoe Ferguson explores the evidence on the impact of everyday relationships and kindness on individual and societal wellbeing and community empowerment, and develops a theory of change. Over the coming months the project aims to learn with communities and organisations involved in developing practical approaches to encourage kinder communities.

‘How-to’ guide to grant making through participatory budgeting Launched in September 2016, this guide was written by PB Partners, at the request of the Scottish Government, to support the £2m Community Choices programme. Specifically written with community led organisations in mind but also useful for front line workers or local authorities starting out on using Participatory Budgeting (PB) it condenses PB Partners’ learning from over 15 years of doing PB in the UK. It lays out a simple 10 step process for PB grant making, from forming a planning group right through the monitoring and evaluation, with a range of customisable templates and links to further information.

The guide is complemented by a briefing ‘Mainstreaming Participatory Budgeting: Ideas for delivering PB at Scale’ which aims to support public sector organisations wishing to develop ‘mainstream’ Participatory Budgeting initiatives.

Report of the International Participatory Budgeting Conference The International PB Conference which was held in Edinburgh on the 20th and 21st October 2016.

Food Growing Strategies Greenspace Scotland is keen to work with local authorities to help develop Food Growing Strategies (as required by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act) making use of their resource pack and the community placemaking principles. They would be delighted to hear from Council colleagues who are interested in developing partnership projects with them – email Ea O’Neill to find out more.

Developing a Scottish Co-production Strategy for Health and Social Care The ALLIANCE brought together leaders from Health and Social Care Partnerships, third sector representatives, and people with long term conditions to have a conversation about co-production in health and social care, and share their experiences and best practices and produced this report of the discussions.

Living Well in Communities The Living Well in Communities programme on Anticipatory Care Planning recently issued a programme update.

Loneliness in Scotland In September, Befriending Networks hosted ‘Loneliness in Scotland: A National Summit’ in Edinburgh. They have launched a You Tube channel that shares the speakers’ presentations from the day along with interviews with some of the delegates.

Social value in public procurement Ready for Business is the third sector led consortium that works with commissioners and buyers to encourage the adoption of social value in public procurement and to increase the share of these services that the third sector delivers.

Scottish Government measuring outcomes In a blog for Carnegie Colin Mair, Chief Executive of the Improvement Service, examines the Scottish Government’s journey in measuring outcomes since 2003.

Becoming an open educator ‘Becoming an open educator‘ is an open course that has been written collaboratively and produced as part of the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) project It is aimed at anyone who is curious about how free and open education might change our approach to teaching and learning and has been designed for administrators, educators and facilitators in all sectors.

Forming new futures through appreciative inquiry Insight paper 33 from IRISS by Cathy Sharp, Belinda Dewar and Karen Barrie argues that:

  • Appreciative inquiry is an action research approach that offers a powerful contribution to meeting the appetite for real change in public services.
  • Appreciative inquiry is both a personal and professional practice that has many applications across health and social care
  • More mature understandings of appreciative inquiry, beyond a simplistic focus on positivity, can help to us to see old issues in new ways and offer fresh and welcome ways to challenge the status quo.

Transition Scotland has a new website to keep up the discussion around why, how, and when we transition to a low-carbon, resilient, local and happy society.

New REconomy Guide: ‘The Do-Ocracy Handbook’ The UK REconomy Project, supported by the Transition Network, have published a ‘How To Guide’, entitled ‘”The Do-Ocracy Handbook: organisational types and legal structures”.  “Whether you are organising a short term project, setting up a voluntary or community group or creating an enterprise that may trade, own assets and employ people, you will need to come to a common understanding of how you will collaborate. It is likely that you will need to create some sort of formal organisation around your initiative. This guide is an overview of options, both in terms of the different ways to organise and the legal structures available in the UK.”

Advice for flat owners A new website Under One Roof (supported by Architecture and Design Scotland) aims to provide a useful resource for anyone who owns a flat in Scotland, providing impartial advice on repairs and maintenance for flat owners (including a section on ‘Acting together: Working well with your neighbours).

International news The IACD official Facebook page has seen greatly increased posting of news from around the world on community and international development. The office is now using this site as a daily newsletter updating and networking the community development field internationally. There is also a members’ Facebook page, open for IACD members and others to post information about events they are running, new publications etc.

Sustainable Development Goals in Action The SDGs in Action app has been developed to highlight the Sustainable Development Goals – the world’s to-do list to end poverty, reduce inequalities and tackle climate change. It is brought to you by the GSMA, which represents the interests of nearly 800 mobile operators worldwide, and Project Everyone, a non-profit global campaign to spread the messaging of the SDGs. The app features information on all 17 goals, including targets, videos, and key facts and actions and events to support the goals. 

Guidebook on sustainable neighbourhood development ‘Develop the sustainable neighbourhoods you want by applying practical solutions to common challenges. Includes case studies, a resource list and more’ promises this free guidebook from Canada.


Enabling Empowerment – Community Development in Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces The Scottish Community Development Centre has produced a report for Voluntary Action Scotland which is intended to stimulate debate within the Third Sector Interface network as to how to consolidate and strengthen the community development role of TSIs.

The report illuminates the issues that need to be addressed internally and in the wider environment to enable the TSI community development role to be more fully recognised. It also highlights the need for community development to be explicitly resourced by funders, including the Scottish Government and other local community planning partners. Headline Findings include:

  • TSIs are doing excellent community development work already as “the mortar between the bricks” of their other roles.
  • TSIs play a critical role in amplifying community voices and helping services engage with communities.
  • Despite the developing Community Empowerment agenda which is central to reforming services and combating inequality, many TSIs are under-resourced to meet this challenge.

Looking at partnerships affecting community development, it concludes:

  • Community Planning Partners have good commitment to working with communities in principle but have varied practice and relationships on the ground.
  • Community Learning and Development Partnerships are new and not all of them are fully prepared for the challenges of the new Community Empowerment Act.
  • TSIs experience varying levels of involvement in these partnerships – from leadership roles to more tokenistic relationships.
  • Partnerships for delivering community development are key to maximising resources and delivering ethical, independent support. No sector has the resources to do this on their own.
  • Expectations of communities and Community Planning Partners are high – but development capacity is in very short supply and co -ordination of support is in its early stages.

Review of First Generation Participatory Budgeting in Scotland A paper from What Works Scotland reviews the evidence about participatory budgeting processes in Scotland up to June 2016. It examines the growth and development of the first generation of participatory budgeting in Scotland in order to generate insight to support the strategic and operational leadership and delivery of future PB. Conclusions include:

  • Participatory budgets ranged from £750 to £200,000, the average expenditure being £28,400 per PB process. Smaller budgets were not necessarily indicative of lesser PB processes or diminished potential impacts for participants.
  • Funded PB projects reflect an impressive mix of prioritised demographic groups and thematic issues as well as support for a range of geographically defined facilities, projects and local community representation groups (e.g. community councils).
  • Only 7% of PB processes were located in rural areas (less than 3,000 people).
  • Where geographical information was available, 90 % of PB processes were located within disadvantaged areas (lowest 20% in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation), yet only one fifth of PB processes stated the explicit goal of addressing inequalities.
  • There is little evidence available of PB processes that feature substantial opportunities for public dialogue and deliberation between participants.

Community Led Plans Last month we linked to an Executive summary of Scottish Community Alliance’s ‘Review of Current Practice in Community Led Plans and their Connection with Spatial Planning’. The full report is available here.

The impacts of migrants and migration into Scotland European migrants to Scotland have made a more positive fiscal contribution than non-EU migrants and people born in the UK, according to a new study for the Scottish Government. It finds that migrants are, on average, younger than the general Scottish population and economically active and healthy, with many sectors of the Scottish economy reliant on migrant labour, particularly the NHS. Europeans are also less likely to claim out-of-work benefits than people born in the UK. Also available:

Measuring national well-being in the UK A National Statistics assessment of UK progress against a set of headline national well-being indicators which include health, natural environment, personal finances and crime. Change over time is assessed to establish whether national well-being is improving or deteriorating.

Social impact of council savings Researchers from Glasgow and Heriot-Watt universities and the Scottish Parliament Information Centre studied the social impact of council savings.

They found that the greatest impact was on poor communities – even though councils are trying to cut back most on services which benefit the most affluent. Council spending on services defined as “pro-poor” is falling by 2% year-on-year, whereas “pro-rich” services like museums and galleries are seeing 12% cuts. However, because more cash in total is spent on pro-poor services and because the poorest have few other means, the impact is felt disproportionately.

The report authors said that the spread of cuts suggest that local authorities are doing their best to lessen the impact on the poorest – but any cuts impact that section of the community the most. “This spread of expenditure means that, when dealing with budget reductions, councils have little option but to make most of their savings from services which are used more by lower income groups,” it states. “This pattern of spending is similar across all groups of councils, whether they are grouped by deprivation, population density and population size.”

The Living Home Standard 43% of people in Britain live in homes which fail to meet the ‘Living Home Standard’ – a new measure of what makes an acceptable home, developed as part of new research. Designed to be the housing equivalent of the Living Wage, the new Standard has been developed by the public. It is the product of nine months of research by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Shelter and British Gas, which involved discussion groups, workshops and quantitative surveys as well as an online community.

Most homes fall below the standard due to the impact of high housing costs, with 27% living in homes which fail on affordability. 18% live in homes which fail to meet the standard because of poor conditions, with problems including persistent pests, damp or safety hazards. The homes of almost 10% fail due to instability, largely driven by renters who feel they don’t have enough control over how long they can live in their home.

Child poverty map The End Child Poverty coalition has published a new child poverty map In certain areas of the UK, nearly 50% of children are living in poverty, after housing costs. The interactive map, which breaks down the statistics by both parliamentary and local ward constituencies, identifies Glasgow Central as having the highest concentration of children living in poverty.

Talking about poverty: how experts and the public understand UK poverty This JRF research identifies gaps and overlaps between public and expert understandings of UK poverty to suggest better ways of communicating about it and for building support to solve it. It is part of a wider Talking about poverty project.

Social Capital Evaluation Pilot The Social Capital Evaluation Pilot forms part of an ‘Investing in Social Capital’ partnership between the Voluntary Action Fund and Assist Social Capital.  Tools developed to evidence and measure social capital were tried out in various VAF-funded projects All projects thought that the tools provided helpful and interesting new information and that future use of them would be beneficial.

Learning from the Meaningful and Measurable Project This project brought together partners with a shared interest in a focus on personal outcomes in health, social care and other human services, in a Collaborative Action Research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project explored the tension between:

  • Meaning: the need for detailed, contextualised information on individual experience to inform individual planning and service improvement
  • Measurement: the need to aggregate information on personal outcomes to inform decision making at organisational and national levels.

The final report from the project, Key Messages, and Summary are available on the iHub website.

Turnaround towns The Carnegie UK Trust has launched a report: Turnaround Towns. This refers to cases where a town had previously fallen on difficult times, but where improvement resulted from deliberate efforts to address local challenges, creating towns that are lively and dynamic places to live, work and visit.

Alongside the report Carnegie are also launching Time for Towns. Based on their wide variety of policy and practice work to date, this document sets out key asks for all those interested and working in town socioeconomic development across the UK and Ireland.

Mediation, mentoring and peer-support to reduce youth violence This systematic review by the English based (crime reduction) What Works Centre aims to provide a comprehensive account of the range of violence prevention programmes for young people (aged up to 25 years) who have either been involved in, or are identified as being at high-risk of violence, and that included contact and interaction with a ‘peer mediator’, a ‘mentor’, or an influential ‘peer’ (peer support).

Transformative Innovation The International Futures Forum (IFF) have published a new book, Transformative Innovation: A Guide to Practice and Policy. It is a practical guide to how to pursue transformative innovation as a practitioner and how to support it as a funder or policymaker. The contents and first chapter can be read on line.

State of the Sector Local Trust has published a report on the state of the community sector in England, based on the confidential views of 26 leaders in the sector, It finds that a more collaborative approach to community development – giving residents a greater say in how local needs are met – could be a lifeline for a sector overwhelmed by funding cuts and contract culture

Community Business is growing in England Community businesses grew by 5 per cent over the past year, in response to community efforts to rescue public services under threat of closure, according to a report ‘The Community Business Market in 2016’ commissioned by the Big Lottery funded research institute, Power to Change.

The growth of community businesses outstripped the growth of charities by 1%.and small businesses by 2.3%. Some 300 local libraries in England are now run as community businesses, a 20% growth from 2015. Some 1,100 sports and leisure facilities are now run as community businesses, plus 40 local pubs and 330 local shops. The businesses are more likely to make ends meet through trading profits rather than grant income

UK Youth Research: Local Youth Groups Today In their new report UK Youth have sought to better understand the role of community based youth clubs and projects. They found numerous well run and high impact youth projects happening all across the UK. However there is also clear evidence of widespread concern that an ever increasing number of valuable services are losing support and funding,


Keep it local; Strength in numbers Wednesday 23rd November, Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh

Senscot is hosting this event in partnership with Social Firms Scotland, Community Enterprise, the Scottish Community Alliance – and sponsored by RBS. The theme for the day will explore how – through greater collaboration – the contribution of social enterprises in local communities can be strengthened. To book, see booking form.

Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve Excellence and Equity – a governance review The Scottish Government have planned a number of open consultation events. Those still outstanding are:

The deadline for consultation responses is 6 January 2017.

Loneliness – A Threat to Scotland’s Health: Working Together to Combat Isolation Thursday 24 November, Edinburgh

Voluntary Health Scotland’s Annual Conference and AGM  examines the damage that protracted loneliness causes to both physical and mental health, asks what difference a national strategy can make, and explores a range of third sector interventions making a difference on the ground.

Policy Forum Event: The Sustainability Challenge Friday 25th November, 2.00-3.45pm, Brough Hall, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus

The UWS-Oxfam partnership invites you to this special policy forum event, ‘The Sustainability Challenge’. The event will see Graeme Maxton, Secretary General of the Club of Rome, an organisation which promotes understanding of, and responses to, the global challenges facing humanity, presenting the latest Report to the Club ‘Reinventing Prosperity: Managing economic growth to reduce unemployment, inequality and climate change.

Making Space Conference 28 – 29th November, Glasgow
This two-day international event offers an opportunity for education practitioners, managers and planners, to come together with designers and architects from across the world to share good practice and innovative thinking around the design of spaces for children, young people, families and communities. There will be opportunities to visit exciting spaces across Scotland, and meet the designers.

A Watershed for Social work in Scotland? 30 November, Glasgow

This free ALLIANCE and Audit Scotland event is an opportunity to hear about the Social Work in Scotland report from the auditors themselves, followed by an overview of the challenges and solutions, with group discussions, alongside event partners IRISS, Scottish Care, Coalition of Care and Support Providers (CCPS), the Third Sector Health and Social Care Support Team and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Vibrant Communities Conference 6 December 2016, Kay Park Parish Church, 2 London Rd, Kilmarnock KA3 7AA

In 2011, East Ayrshire Council started on an ambitious transformation programme. This involved almost 18 months of listening to employees, partners and citizens. The result was the establishment of Vibrant Communities in 2013, a service which provides a new and unique approach to the challenge of public sector reform. Working with, rather than for communities, the aim is to change culture and unlock the knowledge, skills and experience of local people and employees, to harness the enthusiasm, talent and ‘can do’ spirit which exists across East Ayrshire. Now the council, in partnership with the Improvement Service, invites you to come and hear about the story so far.

Mapping Adult Learning Practices in Scotland: An Interactive National Consultation First event 6th December, 10.30 – 15.30, City of Glasgow College

The Adult Learning Statement of Ambition Professional Learning Working Group are running a series of events in order to

  • Make visible the richness of adult learning that takes place in Scotland’s communities
  • Identify challenges within communities that key themes in adult education policy, practice and research might address
  • Identify professional development needs of practitioners to better equip them to meet current challenges
  • Provide robust input on adult learning practices to current consultations around the ‘Statement of Ambition for Adult Learning’
  • Strengthen networks between academics and community organisations, local councils and government bodies
  • Record the results of the discussions and feed the collated results back to the Strategic Forum for Adult Learning

Course: The What, Why and How of Citizens’ Juries 13 December, Edinburgh Cost: £30 UK/EU registered students; £60 staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU research institutions; £220 all other participants.

Organised by the National Centre for Research Methods, the course covers:

  • Theory of deliberative democracy and introduction to mini-publics
  • The citizens’ jury method, history and applications (current and previous)
  • Options for designing and delivering citizens’ juries
  • Case study: the 2013/14 citizens’ juries in Scotland (about onshore wind farm development)
  • Key challenges (and possible solutions)
  • Evaluating success in citizens’ juries.
  • Combining other qualitative or quantitative methods with the citizens’ juries approach.

Mental Health and Social Support

  • 23rd March, 2017, 4.30pm- 7pm. Glasgow
  • 27th April, 4.30pm- 7pm, Oban

Voluntary Health Scotland, Support in Mind and The Open University Scotland will jointly host a series of seminars that focus on mental health and social support. These events are free to attend, but places are limited. Social support is the everyday assistance offered by family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, as well as the help offered by many charities and support services. It plays a vital role in maintaining mental health and wellbeing. Booking will be opened shortly. To register your interest, please contact Lauren Blair lauren.blair@vhscotland.org.uk.


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