The Christmas break seems ever distant and we have moved back into our busy working lives after the recent holiday period.
We look forward to the year ahead – but we also consider the coming months with some concern and anticipation. At the time of writing, the ongoing Brexit saga trundles on with people increasingly concerned about what this might mean for their lives, jobs and communities.
At a Scottish level, we wait the approval of the current Draft Scottish Budget and what this means in turn for local authorities, other public bodies and, in turn, the third sector in our city. Our recent AGM heard from leader Susan Aitken about the financial challenges the City Government faces. We do not underestimate those challenges but for the administration to achieve its vision for the City and those who live and work in it, the third sector is critical.
As we continue to take forward the recently signed Concordat, and plans continue to review the Integrated Grant Fund, there are opportunities for the third sector in Glasgow to be recognised and invested in more fully.
More widely, we are in the early stages of bringing together our first stakeholder survey in a while. Our work is driven by our members and this survey will be important in ensuring that we amplify the voice and impact of charities and community groups with key public bodies and at a national level.
We also have some big events we have coming up:
Health and Social Care integration - where next? Audit Scotland review, Monday 4th February
Join us at this session with Audit Scotland following its recent, telling, review of health and social care integration in Scotland: Book Now
CEO Thinkspace with David Wallace, CEO, Social Security Scotland, Wednesday 6th February
Come and meet the new Chief Executive of Social Security Scotland as the fledgling agency delivers new benefits and prepares to take on benefits still to be devolved. Book Now
As ever, keep in touch with us; tell us your concerns and let us know what kind of training and events you’d like to see us taking forward. Contact our communications staff with your ideas and requests – firstname.lastname@example.org
Two of our current board members have been in the news lately, recognised for the work they have done in our sector. Raza Sadiq recently secured two awards - Project Worker of the Year at the Herald Society Awards, and best in Civil Service/Third sector at the Scottish Asian Business Awards. Sandy Farquharson also gained an MBE for his work with The Marie Trust, which fights homelessness in Glasgow City Centre. Sincere congratulations both!
Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council also gave a keynote address. Her speech highlighted the vision of the City Government and how it would seek to ensure that communities and citizens have a real say in policy and services which profoundly impact on their lives. Susan highlighted the challenges that the administration faces, not least of these being the recent agreement on equal pay and potential impact on council finances. She discussed the ongoing effects of austerity and how this filters down into local services, but emphasised that, despite the difficult operating circumstances, she and the administration remain ambitious with actions to build up the City economy and ensure that the investment linked to the City Deal benefits Glasgow’s citizens directly.
Lobbying (Scotland) Act
Many in the third sector are coming to terms with requirements relating to the Lobbying Act; its provisions came into force in April 2018. The Act aims to improve transparency around who engages and meets with MSPs and the Scottish Government and requires organisations who may carry out regulated lobbying to sign onto the Lobbying Register.
The Scottish Parliament Lobbying Register team have provided a useful resource which can help you to consider if any work you do means that you should be on the Register: Lobbying Register - 5 key Steps (PDF) This resource can also help you to determine if your organisation and its work is covered by the Lobbying Act.
Not complying with the Act can lead to conviction and financial penalties and whilst not all in the third sector will have to register, it’s worth checking.
GCVS would be happy to host an event for members and the wider sector on the Lobbying Act and what you might need to consider – if you are interested, please contact email@example.com
Ending Loneliness? Scottish Government strategy launch
The end of 2018 saw the publication of the first national strategy on tackling isolation. “A Connected Scotland” highlights the coordinating role of government but also points out the need for effective local support mechanisms to reach people who are socially isolated.
The Strategy acknowledges that loneliness can affect all age groups and communities – and it is increasingly recognised as significant public health risk. Additional funding is attached to this strategy.
The Scottish Government has recently announced that it will extend free personal care to the under 65s from April of this year. £30 million has been provided to local authorities and IJBs for implementation however, a number of concerns have been raised about ‘readiness’ to implement the extension of free personal care given that in some areas, people over 65 are on waiting lists for assessment to access care and support and there are wider concerns that this extension will not affect how much people pay in other care charges. A recent session at the Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee outlines these concerns - http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11882#ScotParlOR
GCVS will be in contact with Councillor Mhairi Hunter to seek an update on plans to extend free personal care in Glasgow.
Consultation on Scottish Charity Law
The Scottish Government consultation on updating charity law to promote transparency and accountability is now live online on the Consultation Hub and can be accessed here.
Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership: Locality Engagement Forums
Glasgow HSCP have Locality Engagement Forums (LEF) active within each of the Partnership’s localities (North East, North West and South).
More information on the role of the Forums, who to contact, and meetings and events HERE.
Older People’s Framework
The Scottish Older People’s Assembly has published a survey which will enable them to feed in the views of people to the development of a National Framework for Older People. The Scottish Government is taking forward a national consultation on this framework. Please do complete or share this survey with people you support or across your own networks. https://surveyhero.com/c/SOPA2019
The Scottish Government has laid a draft Social Security charter with the Scottish Parliament. This document provides an important framework to drive the work being done by the new Scottish Social Security Agency.
The Scottish Commission on Social Security will provide external scrutiny on social security policy and delivery and will be chaired by Dr Sally Witcher who is currently CEO of Inclusion Scotland. More information and details.
Getting the right people - Effective Recruitment and Selection
18th February, at The Albany Learning & Conference Centre, 44 Ashley Street, Glasgow G3 6DS
Recruiting the right people into the right jobs is crucial if they are to make a positive impact in the role, in the team, and on your services. Getting it wrong can be costly in many ways. This session aims to enhance your skills and promote best practice at every stage of the recruitment and selection procedure, from analysing the job, through to advertising, shortlisting, interviewing, and induction.
We’ll also raise awareness of legal responsibilities and equalities best practice. It is aimed at managers, supervisors, Board / management committee members, or anyone else involved in recruiting paid staff.
The trainer is Linden Stables. Linden developed and manages the GCVS Employers’Advice Service, providing advice, training and consultancy on employment issues to voluntary, community and social economy organisations across Scotland.
Booking a place
Cost: £45 - £80
To attend, please register via Eventbrite. If you'd prefer to speak to someone to book a place, phone 0141 332 2444.
We are continuing to plan a series of big events which bring key influencers and decision makers face to face with members and the wider third sector in the City. Over the next month, we have the new Chief Executive of Social Security Scotland and Audit Scotland coming to talk about their work.
Visit our “what’s on” page for details of all events which include training and capacity building for the third sector and its employees.