We Are GCVS - December 2018 Update
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Come and meet Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council
at our AGM on the 15th January

Welcome to our final Interchange of 2018

It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? As the Brexit situation becomes ever more complex and involved and we see real uncertainty at Westminster, we wonder what on earth next year will hold.  Clearly Brexit and its potential impact will remain high on the policy and political agenda for some time to come.

On that note, Linden Stables, our HR and employment law specialist, will be hosting a timely and informative Employers Question Time with a focus on Brexit for small employers in the new year – your chance to raise concerns and questions about how Brexit will affect your work and your organisation.
Aside from the political comings and goings, our sector and our members continue to get on with what they do best – connecting people, supporting people to thrive, helping families in crisis and inspiring children to recognize their potential and worth. And linked to the notions of worth and how we better support those families fighting for their most basic rights, we welcome the recent publication of the Human Rights Leadership Group’s report on 10 December.
Set up by the First Minister, this group has examined the policy and practice of human rights in Scotland. The group’s report makes for some powerful and depressing reading as we look at how some groups are treated in Scotland.  As a carer, I have sadly seen the reality of this recently for myself. The yawning gap between political rhetoric and reality for so many is a key message from the Leadership Group. 
More broadly, this has been a tough year for our sector – financial concerns are never far away and we still struggle to achieve recognition and the requisite funding to enable our organisations to continue their critical work across Glasgow.  There is some hope though through the launch of the Third Sector/City Council Concordat, and the desire to consider how this approach could extend to other public services.
As we look at the national context for our sector, we’ve seen the new Social Security Scotland body pay out its first benefits to unpaid carers, with the new Best Start Grants taking applications this month.   Our next CEO Thinkspace session will hear more from David Wallace on these and other developments on 6 February in the new year (if you are a Chief Officer in Glasgow interested int his agenda, please come along)
However the roll out of Universal Credit across the city is a real concern for our members as they will likely see and have to respond to increased destitution and real poverty.  Fiona Moss from Glasgow City HSCP outlined the likely rise in poverty amongst children at our recent mental health conference and the impact of this on public services and community and charitable organisations in terms of demand and need cannot be underestimated.  Sessions held by the Third Sector Interface and Everyone’s Children are important in helping our members and the wider third sector prepare for this flawed and often dangerous new system. Our TSI Third Sector Network is currently trying to gather information on the roll out and early challenges so please get in touch with Kathleen Caskie if you can help, and If there is more that GCVS can do to help your work, please let us know.
There are still real challenges in health and social care in the City and beyond.  It remains concerning that the national political focus is on the NHS and waiting times.  The Scottish Budget announced last Wednesday kept with this theme – and whilst additional monies have been identified for Health and Social Care Partnerships, there is no guarantee that this will make it to frontline social care or community organizations which support people in their communities and in their homes.
The reality for social care continues to be highlighted starkly by the experience of our members and through the important work of CCPS and others. The CCPS annual survey has, yet again, shown the challenges faced by providers including the real issues emerging with local implementation of the Living Wage.  We know that third sector providers are pulling out of contracts and bidding processes because they cannot afford to deliver the quality services they want to offer; standstill grants and tendering of key services which might be better supported through grant funding remain consistent challenges for our sector.  We also continue to see service “redesign” which often masks cuts to services critical to families.
These issues are not unique to Glasgow, but here we have the foundations needed to change things, if there is the will to do so.  Moving on from the signing of the Concordat to ensuring it’s principles are put into practice must be our first step.  Our sector, as always, stands willing to play it’s part. 
As we move towards the Christmas season, all of us here at GCVS wish you the very best; thank you for taking part in our work, our events and our hope is that next year, we can continue to work together to ensure our City is healthy, happy and thriving.

Happy new year when it comes, and hope to see you at our AGM on the 15th January - details below
Liz McEntee
Director of External Affairs

GCVS AGM 15th January 2019

Our keynote speaker this year is Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council She will give our keynote address on the Council’s commitment to create inclusive growth in Glasgow and her vision for collaboration with the Third Sector in achieving this.

to all our members: please join us at this year's AGM on the 15th January 2019

We are also seeking to appoint 3 new Member Directors this year to join the GCVS Board.  If there is someone you'd like to Nominate please fill in the Nomination Form and return it to us by the 8th January. 
GCVS CEO ThinkSpace 6th February 

Social Security in Scotland


with David Wallace, CEO, Social Security Scotland

Wednesday 6th February, 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Our next CEO Thinkspace event will hear from David Wallace, CEO of Social Security Scotland.

The fledgling agency has been formed to deliver soon to be devolved and new benefits following the Smith Commission in 2014 and the Scotland Act in 2016.  It has just delivered the first installment of the new Carers Allowance supplement and has started taking applications for the Best Start Delivery Grant.  The agency focuses on delivering its services and treating claimants with dignity and respect.

This event is targeted at third sector CEOs, directors and managers from across Glasgow. Come and hear about the work of the agency and its local delivery plans. You can also ask questions about the future work of the agency.

More about David Wallace

David is the first Chief Executive of Social Security Scotland, responsible for the set-up of Scotland’s most significant new public service since devolution.  David has extensive experience in leading public services in Scotland including leadership roles as Chief Executive of Disclosure Scotland and the Student Awards Agency in Scotland. This follows a long career in Scottish Government in various policy posts.

Register on Eventbrite

Children’s Mental Health: The Third Sector Contribution

The Everyone’s Children Project hosted a one-day conference on the 21st November to explore the contribution that third sector organisations make in supporting children and young people experiencing difficulties with their mental health.
Read more about the event on the GCVS website
Human Rights Leadership Advisory Group
The First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership was set up by the First Minister to make recommendations on how Scotland can continue to lead by example in the field of human rights.   The group’s recommendations were published on 10 December. In a seminal and insightful report, the Advisory Group clearly highlighted the existing human rights deficit in Scotland where policy and rhetoric which promise much, often aren’t realized in the reality of day to day life. 
A taskforce will be set up to take forward the seven recommendations which also cover economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.  See more in the group’s report.
Draft Scottish Budget 2019 / 20
Last Wednesday, Finance Minister Derek MacKay unveiled his budget plans, setting these out in the context of the impact of Brexit on Scotland.
Some of the key announcements included:
  • Continuing to shift the balance of care towards mental health, primary care and social care, working towards more than than half of NHS spending  being focused community health services (not clear if this also includes social care).
  • Further direct investment in mental health – an additional £27 million;
  • Investment in health and social care integration totalling more than £700 million;
  • An additional £40 million of funding to extend free personal care to under 65s;
  • Invest £435m on direct social security assistance. This includes some entitlements administered by Social Security Scotland such as £37m on Carers Allowance Supplement, £12m for Best Start Grant and £6m for Funeral Expense Assistance
  • Additional investment in the Fair Food fund (£3.5m) to tackle food insecurity during school holidays.
Helpful budget briefings have been published by the Health and Social Care Alliance and SCVO’s briefing covers announcements on income tax as well as some thoughts on what it means for the third sector.

Other reactions

Holyrood Magazine: Scottish budget welcomed by small businesses but faces criticism from poverty campaigners

Poverty Alliance Poverty Alliance responds to Scottish Government budget
Health and Social Care Integration

Audit Scotland Report: Health and Social Care Integration: an update on progress

The recent Audit Scotland report on integration brought into sharp relief the issues that GCVS and other third sector organisations have raised since the early stages of parliamentary activity to the creation of Integration Authorities.
Events such as those held by the Alliance, and the work done by carers’ groups such as the Coalition of Carers, have demonstrated weaknesses in engaging with patients, carers and the third sector.   A recent workforce plan presented at the Glasgow City IJB did not acknowledge or mention the significant role played by charities and unpaid carers in delivering health and social care services – and these barriers and challenges were amplified in Audit Scotland’s findings.

 Transparency, accountability and the limited involvement of people and communities are challenges faced in Glasgow.  Our concerns about integration, the role of the sector and poor procurement and funding for charities involved in health and social care were raised directly with Councillor Mhairi Hunter at a recent session. 
Hold The Date: the afternoon of the 4th February
We are holding an event with Audit Scotland on the 4th February, to look at its findings on integration, and to consider what needs to change in Glasgow.  More details to follow. Watch out for the event listing on the GCVS What's On page

Universal Credit

The last two jobcentres in Glasgow to go live with Universal Credit came onstream this month.  Glasgow City Council, Citizens Advice and other third sector organisations have been preparing for the roll out and the fact that those claiming early this month are unlikely to receive a payment until January. 
There are a range of support services available and GCVS will continue to work with our members to consider how we respond to what’s happening and what more can be done to support organisations in the frontline and to campaign for change.  See more here about what’s been developing to support families and individuals affected by Universal Credit. 



Carers Allowance Supplement and Best Start Pregnancy and Baby Payment

On a more positive note, the next Carers Allowance supplement payment for CA claimants will be paid out before Christmas alongside the first Best Start grants.  Application for the latter opened on the 10th December.

Social Security Chamber

Lastly, a Scottish Social Security tribunal for appeals related to benefits which will be devolved to Scotland has begun operation.  The Social Security Chamber came into being on 22 November 2018. It will sit in the Glasgow Tribunal Centre but should also be available locally for someone wanting to make an appeal.

The Social Security Chamber will hear appeals from decisions made by Social Security Scotland (SSS).The Social Security Chamber website will be available soon  at It will provide advice about how to appeal.

New Equality Evidence Finder brings together the equality evidence published by the Scottish Government and its agencies. You can use it to find evidence by policy area and equality characteristic.

The Gathering 2019 20th and 21st February, Glasgow

Britain in danger of becoming a two-speed society Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes Is Scotland Fairer report

Third Sector Forecast for 2019 
SCVO want to hear what you think 2019 holds for your organisation and the third sector in Scotland - what's looking positive? What areas are causing concern? The findings will be shared at the 2019 Gathering next February.

Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership: Strategic Plan Consultation
GCHSCP have been running a range of Consultation Events, those coming up in December and January: with a focus on Adult Services on 6th December; Primary Care  10th January; and Housing 11th January More information

January and February 2019

Keep up-to-date with all GCVS Events on our website!
All events can be booked through Eventbrite and discounts for GCVS Members are available.
You can also register for all our events over the phone - simply call Reception on 0141 332 2444.

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