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Community Development Alliance Scotland

CDAS Members

Here we list all the organisations that are members of CDAS (including some non-voting Observers). We give a brief description of the overall role of the organisation and a web link for each of them. (Links will open in this browser window).

Many of our members have also supplied short statements about how they see community development as relevant to their work, and how their work contributes to community development. These statements are included below.

Age Scotland

Age Scotland, an independently constituted charity, is the leading national authority on older people, age and aging.


Alcohol Focus Scotland

Alcohol Focus Scotland is Scotland’s national charity working to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. Itsvision is to create a culture where low alcohol consumption is the norm and people who choose not to drink are supported in their choice.


Big Lottery Fund Scotland

Every year, BLF distributes millions of pounds of the National Lottery’s good cause money to community groups and charitable projects around the UK.


Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure Scotland (BEMIS)

A national infrastructure organisation that aims• To act as the voice for the black and ethnic minority voluntary sector;• To provide advice and information;• To lobby and take a coordinating role


Statement: Community education is at the heart of BEMIS’ work. “By empowering and building the capacity of diverse and cultural communities to become active citizens by building knowledge, skills and attitude of individuals and communities to become active citizens with rights and responsibilities, both rights to education and equality of opportunities”.

British Red Cross

A volunteer-led humanitarian organisation that helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are.


Business Improvement Districts Scotland

Business Improvement Districts Scotland is the national organisation for BIDs in Scotland, providing support, advice and encouragement to business groups, communities and local authorities considering and developing a business improvement district. Helping to build stronger communities across Scotland.


Statement: A BID gives local people a structure and a recognised model to work with, a model not just recognised by other bodies and the Scottish Government, but one that is recognised over the world. BIDs are a unique example of business and community development, re imagining their communities, growing the local economy, whilst making a contribution to the national economy.

BIDs are a partnership between the private, public and third sectors and with their local community: It’s that strength of partnership at a local level that allows improvements to be made that will help grow an inclusive economy, feed into community development and deliver on the wider ambitions of the local community.

A BID partnership is built from the bottom up and are as individual as the area they serve, acting in many cases as one of the community anchors addressing issues that have been identified locally with a local solution, whilst having access to help and advice from not only BIDs Scotland and the local BIDs network across Scotland but also the many organisations, agencies and bodies that we all work with.


CADISPA (Conservation and Development in Sparsely Populated Areas) is an independent charity concerned with helping local people in rural Scotland to build a sustainable community ‘for themselves – by themselves’.


Care Inspectorate

The Care Inspectorate, or Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS) is the unified independent scrutiny and improvement body for care and children’s services.


Carnegie UK Trust

The Carnegie UK Trust seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing of people throughout the UK with particular regard to people who are disadvantaged. To achieve this goal we aim to change minds through influencing public policy and change lives through innovative practice and partnerships


Statement: The Carnegie UK trust’s work to improve wellbeing in 2016-20 is focused on three specific areas: Digital Futures, Flourishing Towns, Fulfilling Work and informed by our overarching strategic theme of Enabling Wellbeing.

Community development principles of empowerment, participation, inclusion, self-determination and partnership inform all areas of our work but are particularly central to our Enabling State work. Personal agency is a critical and under-exploited aspect of wellbeing and we support decision makers to empower citizens to take more control of their own lives.

Our Enabling State programme of activities began in 2012 with the aim of describing the paradigm shift that is transforming the UK welfare state to an enabling state. This shift is characterised by a recognition that traditional ‘top down’ approaches can no longer solve the complex social problems that we face as a society and that the state needs to play a more facilitative and enabling role which empowers individuals and communities to have more control over their personal  wellbeing and our collective wellbeing as a society. We work with charities, local government and devolved governments across the UK to better understand this shift and identify policy tools to encourage Individual and community empowerment.

Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the professional organisation for people who work in housing, with 18,000 members who work predominantly in local authorities, housing associations and the private sector in the UK and Asian Pacific.


Children in Scotland

The national agency for voluntary, statutory and professional organisations and individuals working with children and their families in Scotland.


Statement: Over 530 children’s sector organisations are members of Children in Scotland and we can support information dissemination on the importance of community development as a means for supporting improved outcomes for every child. We run a number of participation and engagement projects to support the involvement of children and young people in a range of national and local developments. There is close alignment with the principles of these projects and those of CDAS.

Citizen Participation Network

The Citizen Participation Network includes 600 citizens, researchers, practitioners and policy makers working in a range of policy fields in Scotland and beyond. It is open to anyone interested in citizen participation, deliberative democracy, public engagement and collaborative policy-making.


Statement: The Citizen Participation Network is a space for evidence-informed public dialogue and deliberation. We are interested in the research and practice of democratic innovation, and carry out projects that seek to advance participatory and deliberative democracy in Scotland and beyond. Community development is a central dimension in this democratic renewal agenda.

Citizens Advice Scotland

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is a national umbrella body that provides essential services to Scottish citizens advice bureaux.


CLD Standards Council for Scotland

The Community Learning and Development Standards Council is the professional body for everyone active in community learning and development in Scotland. It supports training and development for everyone in this field of work (paid or unpaid) and is establishing a registration model for this rich and varied field.


College Development Network

College Development Network leads on innovation, creating CPD opportunities and sharing best practice for the college sector in Scotland.



Comas is a social innovation charity using community development to engage disadvantaged and vulnerable people to tackle the barriers they face, empowering individuals and communities to design and deliver projects which help them to become happier, healthier and better off.


Statement: Comas works with communities on ground-breaking initiatives which inspire and encourage communities throughout the UK to replicate community-led projects. These include recovery cafes, based on our work with Edinburgh’s recovery community to develop the Serenity Café; community shops and our 20 More approach which aims to enable each local household to become £20 a week better off; the community-led electricity project Tower Power, which “bulk buys” electricity, passing it on at low tariffs, ending unfair penalties for prepayment customers.  We involve communities in identifying and challenging social issues such as lack of urban outdoor drying space in our Green Drying project; empowering people with health and social care needs to develop community-led care in our Best Days project; and in our Womanzone project empowering women recovering from trauma.

We have a strong focus on monitoring and evaluation, sharing our tools and resources, hosting visits from professionals and community groups, providing seminars for students, and providing training. Learning and development is core to our organisation, enabling community members to grow into paid roles in our projects and other organisations, with weekly CPD for staff and volunteers, in-house delivery of SVQ Community Development and our own accredited courses in coaching.

Community Food and Health Scotland

CFHS aims to ensure that everyone in Scotland has the opportunity, ability and confidence to access a healthy and acceptable diet for themselves, their families and their communities. It pursues this aim by ensuring the experience, understanding, and learning from local communities informs policy development and delivery. CFHS is funded through the Scottish Government and since 2013 has been part of NHS Health Scotland, following 16 years as part of Consumer Focus Scotland, formerly the Scottish Consumer Council.


Community Health Exchange (CHEX)

CHEX is the leading agency in Scotland that provides a resource to support community development approaches to health improvement and challenging health inequalities. It also facilitates a network of community health initiatives and works to support them in developing good practice and influencing health and social policies.


Statement: The Community Health Exchange, CHEX, is part of the Scottish Community Development Centre, SCDC, and community development approaches to improve health and wellbeing are fundamental to our way of working. We support a network of organisations across Scotland who espouse the concept of what has come to be known as ‘community-led health’. This is characterised by features which align exactly to the principles of community development and also align to processes which result in positive health and wellbeing outcomes for the individuals and communities that take part.

Community-led health begins with people coming together to address a common issue or concern and working collectively to find solutions that will improve not only their own lives, but also the lives of others in communities in which they live. By extension this brings improvement in health and wellbeing.

It is known that a sense of control is a significant factor for our health. It is also known that our social networks are key not only to our general sense of wellbeing but can be linked to improved medical outcomes. It is not surprising therefore that community development which delivers opportunities for meaningful participation with others and promotes inclusivity and partnership working results in mechanisms that can successfully address some of our most intractable inequalities in health.

Community Learning & Development Managers Scotland (CLDMS)

CLDMS exists to provide a national focus on professional issues and standards for local authority community learning and development provision, to improve the quality and extent of community learning and development provision and to promote the interests of local authority Community Learning and Development managers.


Statement: The focus for CLD is:

  1. Improved life chances for people of all ages, through learning, personal development and active citizenship;
  2. Stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive communities. (2012 Strategic Guidance)

 The principles that underpin practice are;

  • Empowerment
  • Participation
  • Inclusion, equality of opportunity and anti-discrimination
  • Partnership

These are embodied in the competencies and ethics for CLD practice set out by the CLD Standards Council for Scotland. CLD should be delivered in strong and effective partnerships. Each Local Authority is required to have a plan as to how they deliver their CLD services (CLD (Scotland) Regulations 2013).

CLD has a focus on prevention, primarily with disadvantaged and vulnerable communities and groups, to realise and build their own strengths and assets.  CLD helps to develop the resilience and ambition needed to combat the effects of factors which cause deprivation and inequality. It ensures that barriers to achieving better life chances are identified and overcome.

Community Development work in CLD focuses on building the capacity of communities to meet their own needs, engaging with and influencing decision makers. It contributes to a range of Scottish Government priorities including: community empowerment, social justice, community-led regeneration, health and well-being and local democracy.

Community Resources Network Scotland

Scotland’s national reuse, repair and recycling charity.


Statement: CRNS exists to build a stronger community reuse, repair and recycling sector in Scotland that can create real social, environmental and economic benefit within local communities.

Most members of the CRNS are local social enterprises managing waste resources at a local level through recycling, reuse, composting, waste reduction and waste education activities. They prevent tonnes of valuable products and materials from ending up in landfill, create local jobs and other economic opportunities, and typically work to help those on low incomes or who are disadvantaged. As well as representing its membership body, CRNS works on a number of projects and programmes to support the third sector in Scotland in pursuit of Zero Waste objectives.

Community Transport Association

The CTA is a  charity which provides leadership and support to a wide range of community transport organisations. It exists to support its members and to act as the lead UK body for voluntary and community transport.


Statement: Community transport is a bottom up approach to solving local transport problems. It forms in areas where public transport is limited or does not exist or if it does exist cannot be used by certain people perhaps because of disability. With community transport local people take responsibility for creating services themselves. Their motivation is to make their communities better places to live rather than transport per se. Community transport gives people mobility, access to services and enables people who might otherwise be isolated to participate in their local community. Community transport may be used by groups of people or can be designed around the needs of individuals.

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), is the representative voice of Scottish local government and also acts as the employers’ association on behalf of all Scottish councils and also acts as the employers’ association on behalf of all Scottish councils. One of our highest priorities is to maintain and enhance our relationship with member Councils.


Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations

CEMVO Scotland has the aim of building the capacity of Scotland’s minority ethnic voluntary and community sector. CEMVO Scotland is a strategic partner of the Scottish Government with a network of over 600 ethnic minority voluntary sector organisations and community groups throughout the country.


The Democratic Society

The Democratic Society (Demsoc) works for more and better democracy, where people and institutions have the desire, opportunity and confidence to participate together. We work to create opportunities for people to become involved in the decisions that affect their lives and for them to have the skills to do this effectively. We support governments, parliaments and any organisation that wants to involve citizens in decision making to be transparent, open and welcoming of participation. We actively support spaces, places and processes to make this happen.


Development Trusts Association Scotland

The national body for development trusts in Scotland. Development trusts offer a fresh approach to community regeneration. Independent and under community control, these organisations draw together the energy, commitment and creativity of local people to tackle local issues


Statement: As an organisation DTAS would see its work being informed by community development. A key element of our remit is to grow the development trust network (supporting early start-ups and guiding them through their initial stages of development), and to support our existing 240 members become stronger, more enterprising and more financially sustainable. Our approach to this is informed in part by traditional community development principles.

At best, DTAS can provide light touch support, so it would be great if newer / early stage organisations could always access local community development support (to become constituted, to carry out community engagement activities, to produce community plans and to form partnerships), although that community development support would need to have the relevant knowledge and skills.

As development trusts mature, the need for external community development support reduces, and the overwhelming majority of our members seek to build their capacity through the direct employment of their own staff (community development from within).

As development trusts grow into the community anchor role, some are in turn able to provide community development support to smaller community groups within their locality.

Finally, there is a great interest within the development trust network for the development of peer to peer support, and there is no reason why some community development support could not be delivered this way.

Disclosure Scotland (observer status)

Disclosure Scotland is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government whose primary objective is to provide an accurate and responsive Disclosure service which enhances public safety through enabling safer recruitment decisions.


Education Scotland (observer status)

Education Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government, responsible for supporting quality and improvement in education, from early years to adult and community learning.  This responsibility includes a remit to implement community learning and development (CLD) policy and improve CLD practice. Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education (HMIe) who are part of Education Scotland  have responsibilities to provide public accountability on education through inspection and review, from pre-school to further education and community learning and development, and local authorities.


Statement: Education Scotland advises and supports the Scottish Government in the development and implementation of national Community Learning and Development (CLD) policy. Community development (including building the capacity of communities to meet their own needs, and engage with and influence decision makers) is highlighted in national CLD policy as being key to the effective delivery of the overarching priorities for CLD which are:

  1. Improving life chances for people of all ages, through learning, personal development and active citizenship; and
  2. Building stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive communities.

Education Scotland works with its partners and other stakeholders to put CLD policy into practice and build the capacity of the CLD sector. We do this through workforce development; identifying and sharing good practice; supporting quality assurance and quality improvement; overseeing funding to third sector organisations; and carrying out CLD inspections and reviews. CLD inspections include a focus on measuring the extent to which communities are stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive as a result of CLD inputs.

Electoral Reform Society (Scotland)

ERS believes that a fair voting system will improve our democracy, allow politicians to better represent you and help them to tackle the serious issues facing our society.


Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission champions equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.


Statement: We are not a community development agency. We fully recognise the benefit of the approach, but it is not an approach that we ourselves use.

Equality Network

The Equality Network works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland. It creates ways for people to contribute to making Scotland a place in which everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can live free from hatred, prejudice and discrimination.


European Community Development Network

The European Community Development Network (formerly Combined European Bureau for Social Development – CEBSD) is a non-governmental European umbrella organisation which brings together a variety of partners from a dozen countries both inside and outside of the European Union. Scotland is represented by the Scottish Community Development Centre and currently provides the Chair.


Statement: As a network of community development organisations the primary aims of EuCDN are to raise the profile of community development across Europe, and to encourage learning exchanges between members, through study visits, contributing to seminars and conferences in different countries, and where possible designing and delivering collaborative projects to enhance the understanding and relevance of community development itself, and its role in terms of key European issues including migration, inequality, local democracy and sustainability. In 2014 we published a common framework for community development across Europe and an accompanying video, both of which can be found at the website. Regular briefings on the activities of EuCDN are also published on the website, along with summaries of the status of community development in member countries.

Evaluation Support Scotland

Evaluation Support Scotland exists to provide specialist support to voluntary organisations and funders to enable them to evaluate and learn and so provide better services for communities. It does this by helping voluntary organisations and funders access evaluation tools and expertise, and working to embed evaluation within funding and policy-making structures.


Statement: ESS is not itself a community development organisation as we work with other third sector organisations and funders.  Our values – http://www.evaluationsupportscotland.org.uk/about-us/mission-value/  – are not dissimilar to community development principles.  Many of the organisations we support work in communities and use community development approaches and our role is to support them to evaluate in ways that fit with community development values and principles.

Faith in Community Scotland

Faith in Community Scotland is an anti-poverty organisation. Its board, staff and volunteers are from across the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities.It gives training, resources, advice and support to faith groups (churches, mosques, gurdwaras, synagogues etc), developing their potential to make a difference in Scotland’s poorest communities.


Fathers Network Scotland

Fathers Network Scotland delivers practical support to people and organisations who work every day with fathers and families in Scotland. Through its network it also helps to promote the positive work of organisations and projects that are making a difference to fathers.


Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens

The Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens exists to support, represent and promote community-managed farms and gardens across the United Kingdom.


Forest Enterprise Scotland

Forest Enterprise Scotland is the government agency that’s responsible for managing Scotland’s National Forest Estate.  The work we do is extremely varied and goes far beyond what many people think of as traditional forestry. As well as sustainable timber production, you’re just as likely to find us protecting important habitats for wildlife, working with local communities, or making it easier for visitors to enjoy the great outdoors.


Statement:  Forest Enterprise Scotland’s contributes to community development in a range of ways. At one end of the spectrum we consult communities to gather views, which influence the work we do in managing the forests, land, and buildings we are responsible for. Communities also get involved on the estate through a range of projects and activities, working on their own initiative or where circumstances allow in partnership with us. Finally on community empowerment where we have gained experience in transferring assets to communities through our National Forest Land Scheme which will continue through our revised Community Asset Transfer Scheme in response to the community empowerment act. Further information can be found here http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/managing/get-involved

Foundation  Scotland

Foundation Scotland works with people and organisations to help them give to good causes effectively and inexpensively. Its knowledge of the sector allows itto find lesser known charities, including community groups, ensuring its awards make an impact and create lasting change.


Generations Working Together

Generations Working Together is the Scottish Centre for Intergenerational Practice. It works with public, private and voluntary sector organisations, as well as individuals and families, to gather and share best practice, provide information and support, and develop new opportunities for intergenerational working in communities.


Statement:  Generations Working Together’s vision is for all generations in Scotland to work together to create a better and fairer country for all. Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities that promote greater understanding and respect between generations. The approach comprises the principles of community development including participation, empowerment, equality, anti-discrimination and partnership working. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the younger and older have to offer each other and those around them. GWT provide support through local networks, training opportunities and resources/publication. There are thirty local networks across Scotland.

Greenspace Scotland

Greenspace Scotland is a social enterprise and an independent charitable company. We work with a wide range of local and national partners to support the planning, development and sustainable management of greenspaces and green networks as a key part of our communities, towns and cities


Statement: All of Greenspace Scotland’s work is informed by the principles of community development. Our project work (whether initiated by community organisations or by ‘institutions’) focuses on co-production and seeks to support and develop the role of communities as key partners in decision making and delivering change. We aim to develop local capacity, skills and knowledge to enable community organisations to continue this co-production approach after we have completed our involvement. We also work with many of the institutional players – councils, agencies etc. – supporting them to work more effectively in collaboration with communities. Any learning materials or other guidance that we produce are designed to be usable by all potential users (including community groups and interested individuals.

Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

The Alliance (formerly Long Term Conditions Alliance Scotland) supports and strengthens the many organisations working in Scotland who support and represent people living with long term conditions, their families and unpaid carers.


Highland & Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an ambitious organisation with a unique remit that integrates economic and community development. We work in a diverse region which extends from Shetland to Argyll, and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray, covering more than half of Scotland’s land mass. We are the Scottish Government’s economic and community development agency for the north and west of Scotland. Our purpose is to generate sustainable economic growth across the Highlands and Islands.


Statement: We want the Highlands and Islands to be a highly successful and competitive region in which increasing numbers of people choose to live, work, study and invest. We seek to strengthen communities through community-led development, community land and asset ownership, the realisation of community energy and community broadband projects, the development of the social enterprise sector and helping social enterprises to realise their growth potential, and the promotion of community cultural enterprise and participation, based on the rich linguistic (Gaelic, Doric, Shetland and Orcadian dialects), crofting and musical traditions of the region.

Improvement Hub, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

The Improvement Hub is an improvement resource for health and social care, created by Healthcare Improvement Scotland with a range of partners. It supports health and social care organisations, including Health and Social Care Partnerships and NHS boards, to design and deliver services that better meet the changing needs of people in Scotland.



  • Within the context of health and social care integration, there is a legal requirement for people who use services, carers, organisations which provide services, including the third and independent sectors, and professionals to be involved in the strategic planning and commissioning process.
  • In order to co-produce outcomes, people and communities need to have the capacity – the skills, confidence, support and experience – to be able to contribute as equal participants. Supporting organisations, particularly in the third sector, who build community capacity is essential.
  • Our co-production and community capacity building programme in particular, provides ongoing strategic expertise, leadership, guidance, advice and support to Healthcare Improvement Scotland staff and across health and social care partners to understand, value and deliver co-production and community capacity building approaches as effective enablers.  Developing this capacity will support improvement in health and social care integration and person-centred care. It seeks to capture and share evidence and learning of co-production and community capacity building, demonstrating added value and impact in improving integrated service planning and delivery.  It also supports third, independent and housing sectors to enable the contribution and realise the partnership potential of third sector and communities with other health and social care partners, with a particular focus on community development, community engagement and community capacity building

Improvement Service

The Improvement Service helps to improve the efficiency, quality and accountability of local public services in Scotland by providing advice, consultancy and programme support to councils and their partners. Its purpose is to help councils and their partners to improve the health, quality of life and opportunities of all people in Scotland through community leadership, strong local governance and the delivery of high quality, efficient local services.



A registered charity, Includem has from the start worked in the community with those young people who were often excluded from more mainstream services. It has increasingly focused on its core service of offering intensive support services to young people.


Inclusion Scotland

Inclusion Scotland is a national network of disabled people, their organisations and allies. It is run by disabled people themselves.


Inspiring Scotland

Inspiring Scotland is a project developed by Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland to introduce a strategic outcomes-based social investment vehicle in Scotland, utilising investment from government, business and philanthropic sources. It is a long-term initiative providing sustainable funding to third sector organisations to contribute to tackling significant social issues.


Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services

IRISS is a charitable company with a mission to promote positive outcomes for the people who use Scotland’s social services by enhancing the capacity and capability of the social services workforce to access and make use of knowledge and research for service innovation and improvement.


International Association for Community Development

The International Association for Community Development (IACD) is an international not-for-profit, non-government organisation (headquartered in Scotland) committed to building a global network of people and organisations working toward social justice through community development.


Statement: IACD is an international membership organisation for those working in or supporting community development. Members include individuals and organisations across our seven global regions. IACD is a volunteer led, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to building a global network of people and organisations working toward social, environmental and economic justice, through a community development approach.

Our aims are to promote community development across international policies and programmes, to network and support community development practitioners and to encourage information and practice exchange. IACD has recognised NGO consultative status with the United Nations. Whilst we have convinced many people of the value of community development, funding for this work and long-term political support in most countries remains on the margins. IACD, together with regional and national community development associations and organisations, provides an infrastructure for much needed global networking and collaboration.

So for IACD, the promotion of the principles and practice of community development is our raison d’être. Our work is about encouraging the sharing of practice and scholarship, through our conferences, practice exchange programmes, our global community development exchange on-line teaching and learning resource bank, through our publications and social media.

In 2016, following consultation with members we adopted our global definition of community development, which we are hoping that national networks, such as CDAS, will support

“Community development is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes participative democracy, sustainable development, rights, economic opportunity, equality and social justice, through the organisation, education and empowerment of people within their communities, whether these be of locality, identity or interest, in urban and rural settings.”

International Futures Forum

International Futures Forum (IFF) is a non-profit organisation, based in Scotland, established to support a transformative response to complex and confounding challenges and to restore the capacity for effective action in today’s powerful times.



Involve is a ‘think-and-do’ tank specialising in public participation. We believe passionately in a democracy where citizens are able to take and influence the decisions that affect their lives. We work with organisations to transform how the public sector engages with citizens and communities and improve opportunities for participation, collaboration and accountability.


Statement:  Supporting the development of opportunities for people to take part in decision making, in ways that are empowering, meaningful and inclusive is at the heart of Involve’s work. We believe that public participation provides a way for our governments, public services and communities to make better use of the creativity, energy, resources, skills and knowledge of all.

Experience and research also shows that, when done well, public participation can:

  • Identify solutions to complex problems.
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending and services.
  • Promote social cohesion and social justice, and overcome conflict.
  • Identify and unlock assets, networks and knowledge beyond the control of government.
  • Build the confidence, wellbeing and agency of individuals and communities.

Further, in an age of hostility towards politics and unprecedented scrutiny, public participation can also serve to rebuild trust and strengthen governance – increasing democratic legitimacy and accountability – and reconnecting institutions with the people and communities they are meant to serve.

Learning for Sustainability Scotland

Learning for Sustainability Scotland is Scotland’s UN recognised Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. It is a network of organisations and individuals working to harness the full potential of learning to create a flourishing, sustainable world; where communities value the natural environment; societies are inclusive, equitable and peaceful; and a vibrant economy contributes to flourishing ecosystems.


Learning Link Scotland

Learning Link Scotland is the national organisation representing the interests of adult education, learning and skills delivered by the voluntary sector.


Statement: Learning Link Scotland (LLS) support voluntary sector organisations to offer adult learning opportunities to communities across Scotland. Adult education can support community members to come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. Adult education can also offer support to community members to engage in community development, for example, adult education can offer literacy and numeracy support, confidence building and capacity building skills. Adult education can also act as a means of engaging those traditionally not likely to participate in community activities by offering a route into the local meeting area where individuals can build networks and feel connected to the community around them.

LLS consults with and represents LLS members at strategic level, sitting on groups such as the Strategic Forum for Adult Learning. LLS also offer an information system to keep people informed of professional learning opportunities and run short programmes of particular interest to members. For example, we have run a series of events called Learning for Democracy in partnership with Education Scotland, University of Edinburgh and Scottish Community Development Network which have supported adult educators to develop opportunities for political education.

LLS assist members to build their capacity, for example, LLS recently produced guidance to help member Evidence the Impact of their work on the communities in which they work.

Life Changes Trust

The Life Changes Trust is an independent Scottish charity, established with a £50 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund. It was created to drive real and meaningful improvement in the lives of young people with experience of being in care and people affected by dementia.


Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland

Our mission is to make a difference to the lives of individuals and communities in Scotland, by encouraging positive change, opportunities, fairness and growth of aspirations, which improve quality of life. We have three strategic objectives to fulfil this:

  • To be the best grant maker we can be through continued progressive grant making.
  • To reach communities traditional grant making doesn’t through innovative asset-based community empowerment (our place-based programme).
  • To work with other grant makers so we can all be the best we can by maximising our expertise.


NHS Health Scotland (observer status)

NHS Health Scotland is the national resource for improving Scotland’s health formed in April 2003 through the bringing together of the Public Health Institute of Scotland (PHIS) and the Health Education Board for Scotland (HEBS).


Statement:  A strategic priority outlined by NHS Health Scotland in its pursuit of ‘a fairer, healthier Scotland’ is to improve the quality and sustainability of Scotland’s physical and social environments and the organisation strongly believes that community development and community-led health play a key role in the design and delivery of such an environment. Health Scotland has a long history of working with government to support community development and health, most strikingly through its long association with SCDC’s Community Health Exchange (CHEX) and more recently though Community Food and Health (Scotland) becoming part of the organisation. Health Scotland recognises what community development approaches, including specific recent developments such as the Community Empowerment Act and refreshed Standards for Community Engagement, can contribute to many aspects of its work from the roll out of the Place Standard to the development of the Public Health Workforce, and appreciates the learning that can be both accessed and shared through participation in networks such as CDAS.

OSCR (observer status)

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is the independent regulator and registrar of Scottish charities.


Statement:  To be a Scottish charity or a charity registered in Scotland your organisation must pass the charity test and be entered in the Scottish Charity Register.  To pass the charity test your organisation must have only charitable purposes and its activities must provide public benefit in Scotland or elsewhere.  One of the 16 charitable purposes outlined in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 is the advancement of citizenship or community development. This purpose has a focus on benefit to the community rather than the individual, by helping people to be active citizens, promoting voluntary organisations and networks, or by meeting the needs of particular communities or working to regenerate them.

This includes the promotion of civic responsibilityvolunteering, the voluntary sector or the effectiveness or efficiency of charities, and rural or urban regeneration


Oxfam’s work on tackling poverty in the UK aims to:

  1. develop projects with people living in poverty to improve their lives and show how things can change
  2. raise public and politicians’ awareness of poverty and its causes, and lobby to bring about change



PAS is an independent organisation (formerly Planning Aid Scotland) that, for over 20 years, has helped people to understand and engage with the places they live in through a free advice service, training, education programmes, facilitation, community visioning, and awareness-raising so that everyone can have a voice in planning and placemaking. PAS is volunteer-led and delivers its services through a network of over 430 specialist volunteers across Scotland. We target in particular seldom heard groups including young people, Gypsy travellers and other minority groups


Statement:  We work to empower individuals and communities across Scotland providing knowledge and skills to influence the places where they live and work. We do this through supporting people to engage in the decision making process in an impartial, open and inclusive approach, reaching out to many who do not readily engage. The organisation works increasingly in partnership with local organisations to support communities in exploring, identifying and achieving the kinds of changes they would like to see in their place. In all of our work we follow the SP=EED approach to participatory planning.

Planning Democracy

Planning Democracy campaigns for a fair and inclusive planning system in Scotland. It advocates for transparent accountable decision making based on a level playing field between the public and other stakeholders.


Poverty Alliance

The Poverty Alliance aims to combat poverty by effecting change in the policies, practices and beliefs of communities, policy makers, professionals and the general public.


Statement:  The Poverty Alliance is the national anti-poverty network in Scotland, formally established in 1992. We are an independent organisation with over 230 members drawn from the voluntary and public sectors, trade unions, researchers, faith groups and individuals with direct experience of poverty. Our aim is to work with others to enable communities and individuals to tackle poverty. We have a number of key policy areas that provide the focus for our activities; these are addressing low incomes, supporting services to address poverty, enhancing the participation of people with direct experience of poverty in policy development processes, and addressing attitudes to poverty.

Resilient Scotland

Resilient Scotland Limited is the corporate trustee of the JESSICA (Scotland) Trust.  It enables community organisations to contribute to the sustainable regeneration of areas affected by long term economic decline, improving the lives of local people.   It provides new sources of capital delivered through models of social investment; enabling community organisations to become more enterprising and sustainable and have a meaningful impact on the regeneration of their area over the long-term.


Scotland’s Learning Partnership

SLP is the national partnership bringing together the interests of adult learners and providers in Scotland.


Scotland’s Rural College –  (Rural Society Team)

The Rural Society team aims to provide evidence and guidance relating to the resilience, vibrancy and sustainability of Scotland’s rural communities.


Statement: Aspects of our work that contribute to community development include:

  • Measuring changes in community resilience (at individual and community level) over time
  • Developing a tool to understand ‘success’ in rural communities. What makes some communities more successful than others? What does success look like?
  • Understanding what is meant by place-based policies and the relevance of this concept to rural communities and, in particular, to local service delivery
  • Understanding rural poverty through using statistical and other data. For example, what changes need to be made (to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation particularly) to enable us to better measure and understand rural poverty?
  • Building evidence of the characteristics, contributions and needs of rural enterprises and their contribution to community development
  • Understanding the impact that renewable energy developments have on rural communities, and the role of collective action in community-based activities
  • Understanding the ‘governance’ of rural communities (e.g. who is involved, which individuals and institutions, what are their roles, how and to what extent is partnership-working achieved, etc.) and processes of community capacity building, including the development of leadership in rural communities

Scotland’s Towns Partnership

Scotland’s Towns Partnership is Scotland’s largest towns’ collective; representing and promoting the diversity of our towns and places, and supporting those organisations and groups that have an interest in or ownership of them.


Statement: Successful towns are where communities work together collaboratively – different groups doing different things but all working towards a shared goal. It is vital that businesses and residents work constructively and build trust and respect.

Scottish Churches Housing Action

Supports the development of volunteer-based initiatives to help homeless people at a local level, using community development principles. Also encourages churches to make their redundant and under-used property available for affordable housing.


Statement: Scottish Churches Housing Action has adopted a process that brings members of a community together to explore a particular issue: homelessness, as it manifests itself within that community. From that point, we help establish and support group action to engage with the issue: find out more; identify gaps in provision; link with others working on aspects of the issue; decide whether local action is appropriate; decide how this is to be done; identify resources required and where they will be found; and take action.

This is mostly in geographical communities, sometimes by request, sometimes because we have from the outside identified possible gaps. However, it may be with a community of interest. For example in Edinburgh and Lothian we have worked with a group of people who have been through the criminal justice system and are in recovery from addiction: they are now providing a mentoring service to people coming out of prison, based on avoiding homelessness and a return to prison.

In all cases, we work towards maximum autonomy for the group in question: we do not set them up as projects within our organisation, but as new independent initiatives.

Scottish Communities Climate Action Network

Scottish Communities Climate Action Network is a grassroots network of community groups that are taking action on climate change. We exist to provide mutual inspiration and support, and to help overcome the barriers and create the supporting infrastructure and policy environment needed to empower communities and unleash their creative energy in environmental projects. We provide:

  • An independent voice. We are totally independent, run by volunteers elected by the membership.
  • A community of communities that trust each other and willingly provide mutual support and share their learning
  • A wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise in delivery on the ground, often hard-won, in groundbreaking situations.
  • A platform of grassroots community action on climate change, independent of any single funding mechanism

Membership is open to all constituted community groups across Scotland that are taking action on climate change, including groups funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund.


Statement: Communities have a unique and crucial role in creating a sustainable, low-carbon future – creating sustainable places for us each to live is what this is all about. Government and national NGOs have a clear role to play in supporting communities, but delivering a low carbon Scotland is about communities leading, and being empowered to do so.

Climate change and environmental projects can look very different depending on their specific context, its need and opportunities. They are only as successful as the extent to which they manage to engage local people and create the environment for sustained, empowered environmental awareness and action. Community development is at the heart of this work, as the local community ultimately are the people who have the knowledge of what is needed, have the commitment and long-term interest, and will feel the long-term benefits of local environmental action. As communities develop and become more inclusive and empowered, and are encouraging participation and entrepreneurship/partnership, environmental action thrives. Much of the work of SCCAN is therefore to encourage or facilitate community development in order to find opportunities and capabilities for environmental action.

Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing

Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing aims to embed community led approaches to improving health and wellbeing in disadvantaged communities across Scotland and to see ongoing national empowering and enabling investment in health and wellbeing anchor organisations as an integral part of the national strategy for health improvement.


Statement: SCHW is an alliance of 70+ community led health and wellbeing organisations. Each of these organisations, sometimes described as anchor organisations, is firmly embedded in its community. They have built up respect and trust in their communities and work effectively with local people to help ensure that communities thrive and experience good health and wellbeing. They are led by local people and are critical in ensuring communities develop the capacity to successfully take decisions locally and tackle local issues to bring about improvements. SCHW organisations constantly work with communities to tackle the issues that result in increased health inequalities. They establish real partnerships for improvement with local agencies and groups; they enable community action; they encourage and support community leaders and they improve the quality of life of individuals and families. SCHW organisations operate in many of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities. They break down the barriers that prevent individuals and groups from fully participating in their communities.

Scottish Community Development Centre

SCDC’s main activities are to;

  • Help build strong, healthy, sustainable and equitable communities
  • Work with agencies and partnerships to achieve effective community engagement and community participation
  • Influence policy by researching issues and contributing to government working groups and committees on issues related to community participation and empowerment


Statement: SCDC has a wide and developing portfolio of activities reflecting major priorities for community development. Our current focus is on:

  • Supporting Communities, providing advice and support to community organisations across Scotland and maintaining the Communities Channel
  • Community empowerment and local democracy, tracking the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act and supporting related work on participatory budgeting through a new PB Scotland site and refreshing the National Standards for Community Engagement
  • Community-led health, a long-term priority for SCDC through CHEX the Community Health Exchange: (see above)
  • Understanding asset-based community work, supporting different communities across Scotland to design, test, and gather evidence of the change that comes from taking an asset-based approach in their local areas
  • Co-production – as a partner in the Scottish Co-production Network (see below)
  • Supporting further work on community-led approaches to tackling sectarianism (including mentoring, co-inquiry and action learning) through our SCoTTS(Supporting Communities to Tackle Sectarianism) Programme
  • A range of training/consultancy contracts including evaluation, design and development of training materials, asset-based approaches, and community capacity building.

Scottish Community Development Network

The Scottish Community Development Network (SCDN) is a member led organisation for people who, paid or unpaid:

  • Have community development as their main role or part of their remit
  • Actively use community development approaches
  • Support the values and principles and approaches of community development
  • Aspire to use community development approaches in their practice


Statement: SCDN provides an infrastructure which enables community development practitioners to share information, experience, skills and practice issues and, in doing so, can make a significant contribution to developing the confidence and ability of practitioners.

Some of the key benefits to practitioners include:

  • Increased knowledge of practice developments and challenges
  • Increased awareness of new policy / programme developments
  • Increased effectiveness of support to communities
  • More effective and targeted programmes, leading to positive social change

Scottish Community Mediation Centre

The Scottish Community Mediation Centre (SCMC) provides high quality training and consultancy work in the field of Community Mediation and constructive conflict resolution.  SCMC is managed by Sacro and funded by the Scottish Government.


Scottish Community Safety Network

The Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) is the national forum for officers who are responsible for developing strategic work on community safety in partnership with others.


Scottish Coproduction Network

Co-production is increasingly recognised as a way to deliver public services and an approach which delivers long term positive outcomes for people and for local communities. The network is currently coordinated and facilitated by NHS Tayside and SCDC.


Statement:  The work of the Scottish Co-production network is informed by core community development principles. In particular, SCN aims to increase the ability of individuals and groups to influence issues that affect them and their communities, enhance inclusion and equality of opportunity. It also aims to develop and support much more equitable partnership working where communities and community organisations are recognised as equal partners in improving outcomes.

It does this primarily by means of:

  • Supporting the development of co-productive relationships between community organisations, 3rd sector and public sector bodies with the emphasis being on shared. learning and improving practice in applying community development approaches.
  • Developing and co-producing tools and resources that support co-production in practice.
  • Enabling and supporting community contributions to policy discussion and development, particularly in the area of public service reform and community empowerment.

SCN provides opportunities and spaces for people involved in public service delivery to come together (physically or virtually), share practice and ideas, reflect on their own practice, and develop a wider analysis of their contribution to co-production. As a member-led network SCN also has a responsibility to respond to member’s key priorities, issues and ideas, and to provide opportunities for these to contribute to wider development of co-production approaches.

Scottish Council on Deafness

SCoD acts as an intermediary body of organisations and agencies working with deaf people in Scotland. It achieves this by forming strategic alliances, developing policy initiatives and using them to improve the human and civil rights of deaf people in Scotland.Theyare particularly keen to work with the Deaf (BSL Community (of interest) and other thematic groups to promote and support inclusion.


Statement:  We believe in the social model of disability and that a community development approach is the best way for us to achieve access, equality and citizenship for deaf people. We hope that community development activity, informed by the community development principles, would embed inclusion and inclusive communication at the heart of people power and communities helping themselves. For us the principles are critical.

We support and promote accessible information and inclusive communication to assist access and participation of deaf people within community development activity. We use the principles and standards when conducting surveys, consultations evaluations and reviews of our work. We take a community development approach with any projects and development work too.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the national body for the third sector in Scotland; representing, connecting and promoting voluntary organisations.


Statement:  The third sector in many ways is an expression of communities in action. For the third sector, those people that come together to work on a shared cause for the benefit of the community are the lifeblood of a modern participative democracy. SCVO aims to play a key supportive role in protecting, nurturing and fostering this participative environment. Therefore, much of our work is guided by the principles of community development.

We support marginalised and disadvantaged individuals through encouraging inclusion and participation. For example, we believe people should be connected to the issues that affect them and their communities through participatory budgeting and further devolution to communities. We continue to promote these principles through our work on the Open Government Partnership.

Through our policy and political engagement work, SCVO is involved in creating the right conditions within which community action can flourish. We have been actively involved in the Community Empowerment Act; from consultation, to implementation. Beyond this, we advocate for self-directed support across a number of policy areas, from social care to employability. Believing that putting people and their communities at the heart of care and support will facilitate better outcomes and a stronger, inclusive society.

There are a number of community organisations within SCVOs membership. As expressed in the principles of community development, we believe that partnership is key to success. As such, we endeavour to bring together our members to hear their views, informing our policy and advocacy work. Ultimately, we seek to support community organisations to meet their development and charitable aims.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, protecting and improving Scotland’s environment.


Scottish Families affected by Alcohol and Drugs

The organisation supports families across Scotland who are affected by alcohol or drugs misuse and raise awareness of the issues affecting them.


Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

132 Housing Associations and 59 Local Housing Organisations in Scotland are members of the SFHA


Scottish Government (observer status)

Public Bodies and Public Service Reform

The Scottish Government aims to create a clearer, simpler and more effective public sector, freeing local agencies and front-line workers to focus on delivering public services for the people of Scotland. Public services need to make the best use of public money, and focus on helping the government achieve its overarching purpose and strategic objectives.


Community Planning and Community Empowerment

The Scottish Government is committed to our communities being supported to do things for themselves – community empowerment – and to people having their voices heard in the planning and delivery of services – community engagement and participation. This team has now been asked to take the lead for national policy for community development.



The Scottish Government is committed to our communities being supported to do things for themselves – community empowerment – and to people having their voices heard in the planning and delivery of services – community engagement.


Joint Statement on behalf of all the above:  The Scottish Government vision for public service reform is of a public service delivery landscape which is affordable, rises to the challenge of tackling inequalities and supports economic growth across Scotland: where communities are empowered and supported to take responsibility for their own actions; and public services are confident and agile enough to allow that to happen.  We see the values and practice of community development as central to achieving this vision.  For example, in implementing the Community Empowerment Scotland Act (2015), or developing participatory budgeting through the Community Choices programme or developing a new Local Democracy Bill, skilled community development practitioners from a range of backgrounds will have key roles to play.  We also look forward to working with CDAS to develop policy on community development over the coming years.

Community Safety Unit

The Community Safety Unit (CSU) works to improve and promote community safety across Scotland by focusing on a range of issues – from reducing antisocial behaviour and violence to promoting more positive behaviour.


Statement:  The Building Safer Communities initiative contributes to the Scottish Government’s Justice Strategy.

Our vision is of a flourishing, optimistic Scotland in which resilient individuals, families and communities live safe from crime, disorder, danger and harm.

Our work contributes to community development principles by adopting an assets based approach to build on the strengths within communities, rather than focus on the problems, and to increase community involvement in designing and delivering services.

This approach is supported by the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Scottish Police Authority, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Violence Reduction Unit, SOLACE and a number of third sector and academic organisations.

Our Phase 1 aims are to reduce the number of victims of crime by 250,000 by 2017-18 and for Phase 2 to reduce the number of victims of unintentional harm by a significant amount.

We are working with some of the most deprived communities across Scotland to learn from their approaches and promote good practice: Craigmillar, the Gorbals, Hawkhill, HM Young Offenders Institution Polmont and Possilpark. The focus is on improving the way community planning partners work together, and seeking to learn from the successes of community-led, grassroots approaches.

Scottish Human Rights Commission

The Scottish Human Rights Commission is a statutory body, independent of the UK and Scottish Parliaments and Governments, which promotes and protects the human rights of everyone in Scotland. It is working to increase awareness, recognition and respect for human rights in Scotland by bringing human rights into everyday life. It is dedicated to helping everyone understand their rights and the shared responsibilities we all have to each other and to our community.


Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage is funded by the Scottish Government. Its purpose is to:

  • promote care for and improvement of the natural heritage
  • help people enjoy it responsibly
  • enable greater understanding and awareness of it
  • promote its sustainable use, now and for future generations.


Scottish Recovery Network

The Scottish Recovery Network is an initiative designed to raise awareness of recovery from mental health problems. It  has four overall goals:

  • Raise awareness of recovery
  • Encourage empowerment
  • Develop the evidence base
  • Influence policy and practice.


Scottish Refugee Council

Scottish Refugee Council is an independent charity dedicated to providing advice and information to people seeking asylum and refugees living in Scotland.


Statement:  Scottish Refugee Council’s vision is of strong, safe, sustainable and creative, communities across Scotland; establishing refugee communities who have a sense of belonging and the skills to fully participate in the processes involved in influencing policy and practice that impact on their lives.

We see community development as essential in achieving the above as it recognises and supports the development of strengths, skills and assets within communities. This enables communities to come together and organise effectively so that they can collectively achieve their aims, exert influence on the decisions that affect them and enable positive changes in the quality of community life for refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland today.

Our interventions support refugee communities and receiving communities and are underpinned by community development values of social justice and equality, anti-discrimination, community empowerment, collective action and working and learning together. In addition, community development plays a key role in facilitating communication between agencies and communities on community perspectives and how to engage effectively.

Our work with public bodies, community practitioners and communities to promote dialogue and develop relationships has increased our knowledge and understanding of working with refugee and receiving communities. We believe that we are now in a position to share, learn from and build on good practice in working with refugee and receiving communities across Scotland.

Scottish Social Services Council

The regulatory body for the Scottish social services workforce


Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC)

The STUC represents over 640,000 trade unionists, the members of 37 affiliated trade unions and 22 Trades Union Councils. It speaks for trade union members in and out of work, in the community and in the workplace, in all occupational sectors and across Scotland.


Statement: STUC currently has an active Unions in to Schools programme of visits to Scottish Secondary schools and links in with the Better than Zero activist campaign that seeks to eradicate Zero Hour Contracts through campaigning with community activists, lobbying and challenging employers directly.

See Me Scotland

See Me is an alliance of five mental health organisations and funded by the Scottish Government. Its vision is to end mental health stigma and discrimination.


Social Enterprise Academy

The Social Enterprise Academy helps people touse their personal strengths to build sustainable enterprises and achieve greater social impact. Its learning and development programmes focus on learning by doing and are flexible, practical and responsive.


Statement:  The Social Enterprise Academy believes that community development is about local people making change happen themselves, and that those people need support. Our role is to provide them with opportunities to come together and learn from each other, developing the skills, tools and confidence they need to make change happen. To do this we run accredited programmes in Leadership and Entrepreneurship which focus on the development of practice.

The tutors that facilitate programmes are themselves active in social enterprise and their communities, and often work in similar places. We don’t claim to know the answers but through learning opportunities we can enable them to discover the way forward. Ultimately local people know their communities better than anyone, and so they are best placed to create new futures. Our role is to empower local people to do extra-ordinary things.

Social Firms Scotland

Social Firms Scotland is the national support body for the development and promotion of Social Firms in Scotland.


SOLACE  Scotland

SOLACE Scotland is the Scottish Branch of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers. It is the representative body for senior strategic managers working in local government.



As Scotland’s regeneration forum, SURF informs and influences more successful regeneration policy and practice. It does so based on the knowledge and experience of its extensive cross-sector membership and its wider connections.


Statement:  SURF was formed in 1992 on the founding principle that the intended beneficiaries of any community regeneration project should be meaningfully involved in its design, development and implementation.

SURF is a long-standing and supportive member of CDAS. Our support for enhanced community development is reflected in a number of our activities, including:

  • The annual SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration, delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government, which features a dedicated category to identify impact and innovation in Community Led Regeneration;
  • The Alliance for Action initiative, which explores community level regeneration interactions in a specific Scottish communities with the goal of strengthening practical local outcomes and informing wider policy and practice considerations;
  • Our policy influencing activities, including a 2016 Manifesto for Community Regeneration, which calls for greater investment in the basic ‘building blocks’ of community engagement, such as an accessible meeting place for community groups in disadvantaged places to gather, share experiences, produce ideas and develop activities.

Tenant Participation Advisory Service Scotland

TPAS Scotland is a membership organisation and is the national tenant and landlord participation advisory service for Scotland. We provide a range of services for tenants and landlords, such as information, training and support for projects.


Statement:  We work across Scotland from our office in Glasgow and base in Inverness.  We recognise that often housing issues are only part of the challenges faced by communities. Our work is wider than houses and homes, for example we have worked with tenants and landlords  in remote rural and island communities on a variety of projects around for example rural fuel poverty, youth homelessness and through community capacity building working with communities to improve services and access to services.

Tenants Information Service

TIS provides independent advice, support and training for tenants and landlords across Scotland on tenant participation. It is managed by an Executive Council of tenants’ representatives elected from its membership.


Voluntary Action Scotland

Voluntary Action Scotland is the national organisation for local third sector infrastructure .


Voluntary Arts Scotland

VAS is the Scottish committee of Voluntary Arts, which aims to promote participation in the arts and crafts across the UK and Republic of Ireland. It recognises that they are a key part of our culture and as such they are absolutely vital to our health, social and economic development.


Volunteer Scotland

Volunteer Scotland’s mission is “More people volunteering-regularly, enjoyably and safely”


Statement:  Community development is highly relevant to the work of Volunteer Scotland because there are 3 main characteristics of volunteering. Mutuality (mutual support), service volunteering (roles), and democratic participation (voice). Community development processes have a key role to play in co creating the environment for a growth in volunteer activity. Dialogue with local people about their values, what they value, and what they want to act upon are essential elements for increasing voluntary participation in Scotland.

WEA Scotland

The Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) is a charity and the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of adult education.


Wellbeing Alliance

The Wellbeing Alliance is a not for profit social enterprise that is focused upon projects and programmes that will support individuals , third sector , industry ,communities and nations to improve their health and sense of wellbeing.


Wise Group

The Wise Group is a charitable organisation which is dedicated to helping unemployed people back into work. It contributes to the sustainable development of communities through programmes that regenerate local environments. It operates from 24 locations across Scotland and the North East of England.


Working on Wheels

Based in Bristol and Edinburgh, Working on Wheels is the umbrella organisation supporting mobile community work across the United Kingdom.


Xchange Scotland

Xchange Scotland is a charity based in Glasgow set up by young people in 2007. We bring people together locally and internationally through volunteering and education projects aiming to making positive change in society. Through these opportunities around the world and in Scotland, people gain new skills, new learning and new connections!


Statement:  Xchange Scotland’s work is very close to Community Development principles, creating opportunities for positive action and opportunities to break down barriers that can keep us apart and hold us back -as individuals and communities. Through a range of volunteering and educational projects around the world and around the corner, individuals gain new skills, new learning and new connections to work on issues that will change something in their community and in themselves.

At the core of Xchange Scotland is the idea of bringing people together as a way to build understanding and to promote creative change within individuals and communities, especially needed in moments where our humanity is put to the test. With the project “Spread the Action!”, for example, we’re exploring ways of anchoring meaningful and honest change within groups and communities through training for practitioners and change makers and through public Actions with groups.

Our current educational work, based on our previous projects’ learnings, started from the premise that the potential for change already exists within communities (in the shape of grassroots groups, established organisations or caring individuals). That’s why for us tackling sectarianism and promoting empathy and equalities only makes sense when linked with the realities, needs and opportunities existing in communities.

Youth Link Scotland

YouthLink Scotland aims to support the development of accessible, high quality youth work services which promote the well-being and development of young people.


Youth Scotland

Youth Scotland is the network of youth groups across Scotland


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