Volunteering and DWP Welfare Benefits

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - Office of the Scotland Work Services Director - has been working with Voluntary Action Scotland (VAS) and local Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) to ensure that social security claimants, local benefits office staff and local volunteer advisors are clear about the rules concerning volunteering.

A new partnership agreement and up to date DWP guidance aim to synchronise the local support and information provided to people (by Third Sector Interfaces and Job Centre Plus offices) about volunteering.

At a time of on-going UK welfare reform implementation and the devolution of some social security powers to the Scottish Parliament, it is increasingly important that guidance and support for claimants is up to date, clear and consistent.

Download the guidance.

The role of trustees in an organisation

In this months PQASSO blog, Nadeem Razvi is considering the role of trustees; in the context of a wide-ranging look at why & how trustees are involved in an organisation, and how their skills, experience and knowledge can be best utilised. If you would like to discuss the blog in more detail, please contact pqm@ncvo.org.uk

Help to map awareness and use of participation requests among community organisations

Are you a member of a community organisation? Have you heard of participation requests, and are you thinking about making one?

Participation requests are a new way for community organisations to have their voices heard in the planning and delivery of services. The right to make a participation request to a public body was introduced as part of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, and came into effect on 1 April 2017.

Scottish Community Development Centre would like community organisations to tell them about their experience of participation requests so far, even if, before reading this, you had never heard of them! There are two ways for you to give your thoughts... 1) Get in touch directly - contact Colette McLure, Colette.mc333@gmail.com and/or... 2) Answer a quick 5 minute survey which will help to build a picture of how participation requests are being used across Scotland and provide information on what else might be needed to ensure that the legislation works as intended.

A Masterclass designed to keep safeguarding professionals up to date with current themes, trends & best practice

A) An understanding of safeguarding in the context of young people’s lives and their use of social media.
B) An enhanced awareness of offender behaviour, tactics and use of new technology.
C) The ability to formulate prevention and intervention strategies.
D) The ability to use the SSNAP training resource to cascade training.

During the day their safeguarding experts will brief delegates on contemporary child protection issues including child sexual exploitation, technology and offenders use of the internet followed by a question and answer session. The second session is for delegates to learn how to use the SSNAP resource when they will receive their own "activity pack" for use within their organisations.

For more information, a booking form and a short video about the day, please click here

If you require any further information please get in touch with David McKechnie, Head of Safeguarding Development by email or by calling 028 9023 2060.

Social Enterprise Census 2017 now open

This is the second official count of enterprising charities and social enterprises - organisations operating for the public good and generating income from trading activities. The project is being carried out on behalf of the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Big Lottery Fund, and others.
The aim is to ensure that the work of organisations like yours is better understood and better supported. The findings from the earlier 2015 Social Enterprise Census have already been widely used and made a huge difference. For example, they have been used to lobby on important issues for the sector, informed the Scottish Parliament's first debate on social enterprise, and informed Scotland's bold new strategy to support social enterprises. See the results of the 2015 Census here.

If you can answer ‘yes’ to the following questions they want to hear from you:

- Does your organisation have social or environmental goals?
- Are you earning income from selling goods, charging for services, or delivering contracts?
- Do you aspire to greater financial independence through earned income (reducing reliance on grants)?
- Do you reinvest your surpluses and retain assets to further your social/environmental goals?
- Are you operating independently (not as a public body)?

You may generate income from fees or contracts, doing anything from running a village hall, to providing arts activities, to delivering a care service. Whatever the case we want to hear from you.

Please take just 15 minutes to register some basic information about your organisation and its work. While you don’t need to answer every question it will be very helpful to us if can.

Respond soon to enter our FREE PRIZE DRAW, and you could be the lucky recipient of one of three iPads up for grabs. Respondents will also be the first to receive a copy of the published findings.


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