Contact the Elderly wants to expand its service across Scotland to reach 1,000 older Scots at risk of loneliness

A charity wants to offer a “friendship lifeline” to 1,000 older people who live alone in Scotland within the next year.

Contact the Elderly organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties in cities, towns and villages from the Borders to the Highlands.

It currently has 126 groups serving 860 older people but now wants to increase this to 890 groups serving 1,000.

For this the charity requires 250 additional volunteers.

Morna O’ May, head of service at Contact the Elderly, said: “In the past year, we have welcomed more than 20 tea parties and while we are immensely proud of what we, and our volunteers, have achieved we know there are so many more people who would benefit from an afternoon of baking and a blether once a month.

“With the goal of reaching 1,000 older guests in the coming year, we are committed to working tirelessly to reach out to those living alone in communities throughout Scotland and finding volunteers who want to make a big impact with a small time commitment.

“Our parties are beloved by volunteers and guests alike and true friendships are quickly formed. We hear each and every week how much the afternoons mean to everyone involved.”
There are currently plans to develop groups nationwide with development underway in Tealing, Hawick, Blairgowrie, Perth, Stirling, Falkirk and Alloa. It will also be launching more groups in areas which already have Contact the Elderly tea parties taking place throughout the country.

A volunteer driver collects one or two older people and accompanies them to a volunteer host’s home.

A host will welcome a group of between six and eight people once or twice a year.

Find out more about volunteering at Contact the Elderly.

 Read more HERE


VAO delivers training around the PVG Scheme


When you see the letters PVG does it sent you into a panic?
Do you know what PVG stands for?
Do you know what it means?
Do you know what you have to do?

Don’t Panic! VAO are here to help!
Here’s a quick rundown -
The Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG) was introduced on Feb 28th, 2011, to ensure that those who have regular contact with vulnerable groups (children and Protected Adults) through the workplace do not have a history of harmful behaviour.
Also the scheme aims to deliver a fair and consistent system that will be quick and easy for people to use, ending the need for multiple written disclosure applications.
The legislation applies to a wide and diverse range of organisations and groups across the statutory, voluntary and private sector that provide services, activities and amenities for children and protected adults.
Did you know that, VAO delivers training around the PVG Scheme, including
• What is and what isn’t regulated work
• How to join Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services
• How to complete and process the application forms
• How to manage the scheme on an ongoing basis for your organisation.

If you would like to find out more about PVG or register for the next training session, please contact or call 01856 872897

Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund is open for applications

Community-led organisations from across Scotland are invited to apply to the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) for funding to support local projects that tackle climate change.

CCF grants of up to £150,000 per organisation, per year, are available for projects taking place between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2020*. The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest, the first stage of the application process for a CCF Grant, is 17:00 on 28 August 2017.

CCF Development Grants of up to £1,500 are available until further notice to help community-led organisations identify and scope out potential climate action projects - with the aim of enabling the organisation to apply for a CCF grant or to another funder. Applications for Development Grant are invited monthly.

To date, the CCF has awarded grants totalling £85.8 million -supporting a range of successful projects, including energy efficiency improvements to community-owned buildings, home energy efficiency advice, lower carbon travel options and community growing initiatives, plus schemes that help reduce waste and move Scotland further towards a more circular economy.

Apply Now - Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the CCF website to find out if their organisation and project idea is eligible for funding.

Keep Scotland Beautiful advise all potential applicants to submit an Expression of Interest as soon as possible, (deadline is 17:00 on 28 August 2017), to allow as much time as possible to develop their application.

New business models needed in social care

In recent months, we’ve seen growing tensions between councils and charities over the cost and provision of care.

In this landscape, third-sector care providers should clue up on their contracts with councils and NHS trusts and take an assertive stance in (re)negotiations

However, these are short-term tactics. In the longer term, social care charities must develop more innovative solutions.

After all, the Accounts Commission said in a 2016 report that current approaches to providing social care in Scotland are unsustainable.

Solutions will take many forms, including delivery of services in the community and use of digital technology, as well as new business models and funding arrangements.

The third sector is certainly not responsible for coming up with all the solutions itself: commissioners and funders of care services must drive change.

Even so, charities should proactively consider new business models, looking at different structures and partnerships.

Read More HERE


Trustees are too scared of challenging charity executives - what do you think?

Trustees are too scared of challenging charity executives, the chair of RNIB has claimed.
In a no-holds-barred critique of charity governance, Kevin Carey has called for radical changes to how charities are structured and regulated.  
In an essay written for think tank New Philanthropy Capital, he said the sector needs brave, in-your-face, hard-headed governance.
Divisions between boards and senior staff are outdated said Carey. Instead, he said the sector needs more unitary boards that are made up of both senior executive staff and trustees. 
He said: “Most charities don't fail because they lack a governance code, a risk register and a trustee handbook. They do so because of trustee cowardice.
“Assemble all the 360 degree appraisals, skills audits and Nolan Principles you like; they are redundant if nobody has the guts to say that the chief executive is useless, the deficit is structural or, more widely, that the emperor has no clothes - and if there is one paramount reason for trusteeship it is this last.” 
Read More Here

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