Trustees’ Week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference. Each day this week VAO will have an item on Facebook relating to the fantastic work our trustees’ do).

What are trustees?

Trustees are the people in charge of a charity. They help to make the UK the .sixth most giving country in the world They play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work. Trustees’ Week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to


How many trustees are there?

There are approximately 194,000 charities in the UK (165,000 charities in England and Wales, 24,000 in Scotland, 5,000 registered in Northern Ireland).
And just over 1 million trustees (of which some 850,000 are in England and Wales, 180,000 in Scotland and 30,000 in Northern Ireland)
From NCVO and CCNI research, we know just under half the UK’s trustees are women
The average trustee in England and Wales is 59 years old, and 55 in Northern Ireland.
There are many young trustees too with some 86,000 trustee positions held by 16-34 year olds (of which 2,611 in Northern Ireland).

Trustees in Orkney

There are 237 registered charities in Orkney with approximately 1200 trustees. The range of activities covered by these charities is immense, ranging from animal welfare to social housing to bell ringing!

From either 10.30 to 12.30 or from 13.30 to 15.30. Lunch for everyone 12.30 to 13.30.

Our aim: To give organisations the information necessary to apply for an Erasmus+ project that’s best suited to your needs and interests. Our workshops will equip you with all you need to know about Erasmus+, the practicalities of funding applications and the benefits your organisation can hope to gain through applying.

To book, contact or Tel: 01856 872897

We will be talking first hand about what it's like for volunteers to go on an international exchange! Angelina is currently on EVS here in Scotland from Russia, meaning her placement in Scotland has been for up to a year. She has lots of stories to tell, as does Elenor since she's an experienced CLD worker and has supported exchange programmes in Scotland for years.

So, lots to offer and get people excited about! The workshop is interactive too, so there will be an opportunity for games and discussion. We would encourage questions from volunteers and workers prior to the session.

Some to consider would be:

- Have you or your organisation taken part in any international exchanges previously?

- What would you like to get out of the session on the 17th November?

- Are you interested in youth exchanges, international training (available to all ages and in a lot of cases, fully funded?)

- Would you be interested in applying for Erasmus+ funding in 2018?

Any answers to VAO please and these will be passed on to the Erasmus+ organiser!


Over the next 8 months, Orkney Islands Council will be preparing a new plan for Kirkwall. Rather than do it alone, it wants to make sure the plan is what the community wants.

Local people might have ideas they’d like to see happen – or you might even have a project you want to do yourself.

Your Kirkwall is a series of community conversations and events where people are encouraged to come together to discuss and share ideas for the future of Kirkwall over the next 10-20 years – to help improve Kirkwall as a place to live, work and visit. The project aims to involve residents, schools, community groups, local businesses, voluntary organisations, the council, and others. It will feed into a Community Action Plan and guide the Council’s future planning, design and transport policies for Kirkwall. Your Kirkwall is a community led exercise delivered by a community-focused charity called PAS. PAS is working with Orkney Islands Council to facilitate this process and ensure that the future vision for Kirkwall is an inclusive one.

Our first community event will take place on 22nd and 23rd of November 2017 in Kirkwall and St Ola Community Centre, Broad Street (all welcome – please spread the word!).

To help us plan for this event, it would be helpful if you could complete this short survey. If you would prefer to complete a paper copy, please return it to the reception desk at Customer Services One Stop Shop, Council Offices.

For further information please visit contact Julia at PAS at or Michael Harvey at Orkney Islands Council at (Tel: 01856 873535). You can find out more on the project’s Facebook and Twitter pages (@yourkirkwall). The project website is here:

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched a dedicated advice line to help small organisations prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - just call 0303 123 1113 and select Option 4.

More information can be found on the ICO website

.Preparing for the GDPR – 12 steps updated available here

Mental health in the workplace

The Government's Department of Health advises that one in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives. It is therefore important that employers and their staff take steps to promote positive mental health and support those experiencing mental ill health.

What is mental health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental ill health can range from feeling 'a bit down' to common disorders such as anxiety and depression to more severe and far less common conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Most people's mental health will not just be continuously good. Usually it will rise and fall depending on pressures and/or experiences in their life. A person may therefore feel in good mental health generally but also experience stress or anxiety from time to time.

To help employers and their managers in this area Acas currently have guidance for employers and managers on:

• Promoting positive mental health in the workplace: outlining a step by step approach to improve the mental health of staff and provide support processes for staff that experience mental ill health

• Managing staff experiencing mental ill health: providing guidance for a manager who thinks a team may be experiencing mental ill health. It includes information on spotting the signs that a team member may be experiencing mental ill health, tips on how to approach talking to them about their mental health and how to support them in their recovery

• Dealing with stress in the workplace: explains the causes of work-related stress and how to approach reducing this in your workplace. It also provides guidance on spotting a team member that may be experiencing stress, how to approach talking to them and support them

• Managing anxiety in the workplace: outlines what anxiety is and what signs may indicate a team member is experiencing anxiety.

Full information is available here

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