APRIL 2019

Our unending


What will Brexit mean for the

third sector?



APRIL 2019 3

5 Graham Martin: Brexit and

why the third sector will enure

6–7 News

8-11 Focus: What Brexit could do

to Scotland’s charities

12-13 Profile: The Lens

14-17 Focus: Five years of the Scottish

Centre for Conflict Resolution

18-19 Profile: Anti-forced marriage

campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera

20-23 Focus: Scotland’s prescription

drugs crisis

24 Opinion: Tony Vick appeals for

charity lottery reform

25 Opinion: new OSCR chief

Maureen Mallon writes for TFN

26 Café with a conscience:

Gavin’s Mill

31 Through the looking glass:

Annie Gunner Logan

28-29 Chief encounters: Celia Hodson

meets Ian McLaughlan

31 Road to becoming... an animal

rescue officer

32 Goodmovers

34 Ask Aunt Tiffany: staying calm

in a media storm

35 Social Suppliers Directory

Brexit feels

like a shared


which could

take out a

chunk of the


Cover image:

detail from

The Nightmare by

Henry Fuseli



Susan Smith


Graham Martin


Robert Armour

Gareth Jones



Gerry Hillman


Alison Fraser

0141 946 8708


Eve Short


Write to SCVO, Mansfield

Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield

Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB

Tel: 0131 474 8000

TFN (Issue 9) is published

by The Scottish Council for

Voluntary Organisations

(SCVO), a Scottish Charitable

Incorporated Organisation.

Registration number:


To advertise

in TFN, call

Alison Fraser on

0141 946 8708



APRIL 2019 5

Graham Martin

f the sleep of reason breeds monsters

then who knows what sort of terrors

will confront us when the UK finally

Iwakes from its feverish slumber.

The Brexit process has been a shared

nightmare for all of us – whether you

believe we should remain or leave

the former European Coal and Steel


Chances are that before 2016, it wasn’t

even something you had that strong an

opinion about, unless you were a member

of the Conservative Party or its increasingly

far right UKIP outlier.

Because make no mistake – this was a

debate few wanted outwith those who

are effectively on the fringes of British

political thought, though exception has

to be made for the concerns of special

economic interest groups, such as the

fishing industry.

The BBC’s recent excellent documentary

Inside Europe spelt it out straight from the

horse’s mouth (well, George Osborne’s).

The decision to launch this disastrous,

binary poll on the nation was taken for

narrow, factional, intra-Tory reasons – to

quell a revolt from the right inside and

outwith the party, after it found itself

unexpectedly unchecked by its former Lib

Dem partners following its outight victory

at the 2015 General Election.

Unintended consequences can be the

most tragic – and the referendum became

a lightning conductor for all sort of


Some of these were and are legitimate

– and it’s a crude caricature to say that all

leave voters were motivated by xenophobia.

Many, in northern English working class

communities, were those who felt most left

behind – and the impulse to lash out at the

political class was real and potent.

These communities were the most

primed to be swayed by the arguments

of genuine racists, as the desperate have

been by demagogues throughout history.

We need to condemn but we also need to


The mix was unstable and dangerous –

and the volatile agent washing around was

the misery people have been plunged into

by the years of enforced austerity which

followed capitalism’s great lurch in 2008.

2016’s unwanted referendum was a lit

match thrown in.

The crucial factor here, as stated, was

the banker’s crisis of 2008, which has

deformed world affairs. Many recent

phenomena – Brexit, Trump, the rise of the

far right, the collapse of the political centre

– can be attributed to it.

In the UK, austerity has been one of the

main consequences - and the third sector

has been mopping up and dealing with the

casualties ever since.

As it will with the outcomes of Brexit

– and the divisions it has opened up in


The third sector faces a double fight

when it comes to these issues – it deals

with its consequences, but it also suffers

from them.

As demand for third sector services

grow, so the funding streams which keep

charities alive begin to dry.

In this month’s TFN we look at what

the consequences of Brexit could be for

the third sector in Scotland – as we went

to press it was revealed that the EU has

agreed to a six month extension, but the

issues, and all the uncertainty, remain.

Whatever happens, the third sector will

be there, in some form, to pick up the

pieces. The nightmare goes on – but on

this, at least, we can rest assured.

Graham Martin is news editor of TFN.



APRIL 2019






• Climate campaigners staged

a demonstration outside

the Scottish Parliament

as MSPs inside debated a

new law to tackle climate

change. The campaigners are

calling for greater urgency

in Scottish plans to cut

climate emissions, including

a significant increase in

ambition during the next

10 years. People dressed as

runners and carried large

clocks to signify that we are

running out of time to avoid

dangerous temperature rises.





An award winning LGBT charity has

warned that it is facing closure.

TIE – Time for Inclusive Education

– highlights issues facing gay, lesbian

and transgender people in education.

Recently, TFN reported TIE had

won the 2019 Amplifying Unheard

Voices title at the Sheila McKechnie

Foundation’s 2019 National

Campaigner Awards for its work

around securing LGBT-inclusive


However the charity has warned that

it is facing an uncertain future unless

core funding is secured.

The campaign was founded by

Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson,

on the belief that LGBT history, role

models and equalities should be taught

in schools in order to tackle prejudice

and bullying.

In 2017, the Scottish Parliament

endorsed TIE’s proposals, and the

Scottish Government began to work

with the charity to develop policy


This led to Scotland becoming the

first country in the world to adopt

LGBT-inclusive education.

However in a social media post, the

campaign said closure is a possibility

unless money is secured to allow its

core operations to continue.

The post said: “Unfortunately, we

have been unsuccessful in finding a

core funding source thus far.

“We are now considering our

options for the future, which may lead

to the dissolution of TIE.

“This is not the news we hope to

share with our partner organisations

or with all of the schools and

colleges who are patiently waiting

of confirmation of whether we will

be able to work with them. We will

update the situation soon”

The campaign says more than 100

schools and many local authorities

have been looking to work with it.

A Scottish Government spokesman

said: “We are carefully considering

all options to further support the TIE

Campaign in its important work with

schools in Scotland.”

Charity status



• A consultation has been launched on plans which could

see private schools lose charitable status. It was announced

at the end of 2017 that independent schools would lose

out on the on the back of the Barclay Review into business

rates. A new bill which aims to bring forward some of the

reforms is set to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

The bill recommends independent schools should no longer

be able to claim charitable relief, which would amount to

around £37 million between 2020 and 2025.




• Four charity chiefs are vying for a prestigious leadership

award. The Institute of Directors Scotland has announced

its shortlist for Third Sector Director of the Year ahead of

the organisation’s annual awards ceremony next month.

Finalists in the category are Alastair Davis at Social Investment

Scotland, Geoff Leask of Young Enterprise Scotland, Roslyn

Neely at Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and The Yard’s

Celine Sinclair. The ceremony will take place at the DoubleTree

by Hilton Glasgow Central on Thursday, 23 May.


APRIL 2019 7





By Gareth Jones

• One in five charities have been hit by a

cyber attack in the last year.

New figures from the Department for

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have shown

22% of charities were subject to a breach or

attack last year.

Just over half of respondents identified

cyber resilience as a key priority, but almost

three quarters said they hadn’t invested in

cyber security.

The research was published as the latest

round of grants to help Scottish charities

become cyber resilient were announced.

Larger charities, with an income of more

than £500,000 a year, are among the most

common targets, with more than half (52%)

reporting breaches or attacks over the last

year. In comparison around a third (32%) of

businesses, and 61% of large businesses were

breached over the same time frame.

The most common form of attacks involved

phishing, which was mentioned by 81% of

charities that had been breached.

A fifth (20%) of breached charities said they

had been targeted by criminals impersonating

an organisation in emails or online and

18% said they had been targeted by viruses,

spyware or malware, as well as ransomware


Kate Sinnott, head of charity engagement

at the National Cyber Security Centre, said:

“We know that cyber security breaches can

be costly and disruptive for charities, and this

year’s report backs that up. The average cost of

all breaches or attacks identified in the last 12

months by a charity is now £9,470. However

the costs of a breach vary, with organisations

quoting figures between £300 to £100,000

depending on the severity. At the top end, this

amount could be crippling for some charities.

“Phishing remains the most common

form of attack on charities, with 81% of those

who identified an attack or breach listing

fraudulent emails as the cause. Technical

measures are important in stopping these

attacks but the strongest link remains staff,

trustees and volunteers. It’s vital to help

them to understand their critical role in

protecting the organisation and give them

the information on how to report a phishing


However on a positive note, GDPR was

found to have helped organisations to improve

Charities are


reliant on IT

and technology,

however some

are falling

victim to a range

of malicious

cyber activity

which is putting

their valuable

funds, assets and

good reputation

at risk

Kate Forbes MSP.

their cyber awareness. More than a third of

charities (36%) said they have made changes

to their cyber security policies or processes

as a result of GDPR, and 47% sought external

advice on cyber security over the year.

“This is very positive news but we shouldn’t

be complacent,” Sinnott added. “There are

still many charities who are yet to take action

and, even for those that have, they still need to

keep up to date with advice as the cyber crime

threat to charities continues to evolve.

“We will continue to work with our

partners across the sector to share our advice

and guidance in places that charities know

and trust. We will be providing even more

local training and workshops with sector

partners over the coming year and beyond.”

It was announced recently that the Cyber

Essentials Grants scheme is now reopen

to charities, with a total of £60,000 up for

grabs. The scheme - funded by the Scottish

Government and managed by the Scottish

Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)

- supports charities with grants of up to

£1,000 to help them achieve Cyber Essentials


Kate Forbes, minister for public finance

and digital economy, said: “Charities are

increasingly reliant on IT and technology,

however some are falling victim to a range of

malicious cyber activity which is putting their

valuable funds, assets and good reputation at


“This fund offers grants up to £1,000

towards cyber essentials accreditation,

protecting against the most common

forms of internet-borne cyber-attacks. This

demonstrates to supporters, donors and

beneficiaries that charities are protecting their


Churches Action for the Homeless is just

one of the organisations that has benefitted

from the grants. The group’s Alison Adams

said: “With the support provided by SCVO

and the guidance that we received from

our IT Support provider, Churches Action

for the Homeless found the accreditation

process very straightforward. We hope that

this achievement demonstrate to all of our

stakeholders how seriously we take cyber


David McNeill, SCVO digital director, said:

“Charities are increasingly vulnerable to cyber

risks so it’s really important that they take

action to keep themselves and their data safe.

We’re delighted to be launching this new

grants round with the Scottish Government,

and we’re looking forward to helping

dozens of Scottish charities boost their cyber


More information on how to apply for

the grants is available at




APRIL 2019

TFN focus: Brexit and the third sector

Brexit: the long

night and the

uncertain dawn

Whatever your views of the EU, our Brexit

nightmare has been unending. As TFN went

to press, we were facing a six month delay,

with all options still on the table. Whatever

happens, the outcome will be drastic for

public life – and Gareth Jones looks at how it

could impact Scotland’s third sector.

It has been a long three years.

Britain went to the polls in

2016 supposedly to settle a

question that few outside

the orbit of the Conservative

Party were posing: should

the UK remain in or leave the

European Union (EU).

We all know what happened:

leave won by a slim margin and our

politics and public life were plunged

into what is beginning to feel like an

unending nightmare.

Certainly, Brexit is the most serious

crisis the UK has faced since the

Second World War.

There has been unprecedented

paralysis in parliament and this has

been reflected in the divisions and

fissures that have opened in society,

as the Brexit question has become a

lightning rod for all of society’s ills.

No areas of Scottish life will be

untouched by the paroxysm of Brexit

– and that is the case whatever your

views are on Britain leaving the EU.

The third sector is especially prone

to these shocks, as many charities are

reliant on European funding streams,

or workers.

Continuing the doomesday

theme, Mike Russell, the Scottish

Government's Brexit minister, told a

meeting of charity leaders at SCVO's

2019 Gathering that Brexit “feels like

a shared nightmare which could take

out chunks of the sector”.

The only outcome of Brexit so far

has been uncertainty.

As TFN went to press, it was still

unclear what form (if any) that Brexit

will take. A six month extension has

been granted by the EU but the threat

of no-deal is still very real.

In short, there are four main areas

of concern for charities in Scotland:

funding, recruitment, human rights

and the economy.

Many questions the sector had three

years ago are still unanswered.

“The uncertainty that surrounds

Brexit is causing multiple concerns for

the voluntary sector in Scotland,” said

chief executive of the Scottish Council

for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO),

Anna Fowlie.

“The Westminster government has

squandered time that could have been

focused on damage limitation for our

communities, choosing instead to

bicker and squabble.

“Funding is just one element


APRIL 2019 9

of the damage Brexit will inflict

on voluntary and community

organisations, and the people they

serve, but it’s a very important one

that the UK government could address

right now. We are tired of hearing

generalised statements that there will

be successor funding, but nothing

concrete – not even a consultation. We

need more than empty promises or

vague hints.”

Fowlie added that the sector will

fight on no matter what happens

with Brexit, however insecurity is

already having a profound effect on


She said: “Scotland’s voluntary

sector will do its best to pick up

the pieces, no matter what type of

Brexit we end up with. But we are

already seeing a rise in intolerance,

a diminution of trust and widening

inequality. SCVO will continue to fight

for our members and the people they

support, but it is way past time for

those in power to begin to provide

answers to the many questions we



EU funding benefits Scotland’s

third sector significantly, with many

organisations receiving vital support

for a range of projects. As a result of

the UK government’s chosen route for

exiting the EU, the UK will no longer

have access to millions of pounds of

structural funding.

Scotland has benefitted from

billions in European Structural Fund

(ESF) money since joining the EU

in 1973. The UK government has

proposed a UK Shared Prosperity

Fund as a replacement for the

funding, but details of its format have

not been forthcoming so far.

Apex Scotland, which works

with offenders, is an example of

an organisation that is waiting for

answers on what will replace current

European funding streams.

“There is a significant amount of

work and services which we currently

have in place that are underpinned

by the ESF,” said Alan Staff, chief

executive of Apex.

“Austerity is having a serious impact

on local authority funding and the

money that then goes out in third

sector contracts. Organisations like

ourselves have been squeezed. ESF

funding has allowed us to double up

ESF funding has

allowed us to

double up services

that would

otherwise have

been severely cut

back – this would

particularly affect

deprived areas and

areas of social need

Alan Staff, Apex Scotland

services that would otherwise have

been severely cut back. This would

particularly affect deprived areas and

areas of social need.”

In February, the cabinet secretary

for communities Aileen Campbell

wrote to the UK government to seek

an urgent update and reassurance that

the concerns of Scotland's third sector

around funding will be properly

considered, however TFN understands

that the Scottish Government is still

awaiting a response.

Staff hit out at those in power

at Westminster for failing to work

openly with the sector.

“We were promised dialogue,

and that is something that hasn’t

happened. We don’t know if any of

the funds are going to be replaced.

“If the funding isn’t replaced, then

the services will go. There are also a

significant number of jobs that are

reliant on the funding too.”


Uncertainty around Brexit has bred

financial uncertainty.

Economists have said that a failure

to achieve clarity on what Brexit will

look like has led to paralysis within

the UK economy.

And many fear that the economy

will shrink when an exit from the

European Union is finally sealed.

The Sustain Alliance, a group of

organisations which campaigns for

better food and farming to enhance

the health and welfare of people and

animals, has warned that up to 8.4

million people in the UK could be

hard hit by increases in food prices


Inclusion Scotland has argued that

disabled people are those likely to be

hardest hit by Brexit.

“A no-deal Brexit could cause

turmoil and hardship for many

people across the UK but disabled

people are at heightened risk,” said

the organisation’s policy officer for

Independent Living in Scotland Susie

Fitton. “They are more likely to be

living in poverty, have been hardest

hit by austerity which the UN has

A no-deal Brexit

could cause turmoil

and hardship

for many people

across the UK but

disabled people are

at heightened risk

Susie Fitton, Inclusion Scotland



APRIL 2019

Brexit and the third sector

In the furious

debates one key

issue has been

largely ignored –

human rights

Naomi McAuliffe,

Amnesty International

said has led to "grave and systematic

violations" of their human rights, and

face specific threats from a no-deal


“Deal or no deal, which of our

UK party leaders is reassuring Scots

disabled people that their lives will

not be threatened by food or medicine

shortages, and that they will work to

ensure disabled people in Scotland

will still be able to access social care

and healthcare if there are staffing

shortages as a result of Brexit?”

Fitton described the UK

government’s failure to reassure

disabled people as “truly shocking”

and that changes brought about by

Brexit are likely to leave disabled

people worse off.

Human rights

The EU Charter of Fundamental

Rights sets out a full range of

protected human rights for people in


However those within the third

sector fear that departure from the

EU will lead to an erosion of human

rights for people in Scotland.

Judith Robertson, chair of the

Scottish Human Rights Commission,

told TFN: “Brexit undoubtedly

brings risks to people’s rights. We

are facing the loss of EU laws that

protect people’s rights – including

the Charter of Fundamental Rights as

well as laws in areas such as antidiscrimination,

consumer rights

and environmental protections. The

potential consequences of Brexit,

right across the economy and society,

also look set to have a negative impact

on people’s rights in everyday life,

particularly their economic and social

rights like the right to food and an

adequate standard of living.”

Robertson said positive and

progressive actions are needed no

matter what happens with Brexit,

including incorporating international

human rights laws directly into

Scotland’s legal system, including

economic and social rights and taking

forward the next phase of Scotland’s

National Action Plan for Human

Rights, a collaborative framework


APRIL 2019 11

for making human rights a practical

reality across Scotland.

Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty

International’s Scotland programme

director, said: “One thing that is clear

about Brexit is in the furious debates

and chaos around voting for a deal

one key issue has been largely ignored

– human rights.

“Rather than a commitment to

ongoing membership of the European

Convention on Human Rights, the

UK government appears to have

negotiated instead a far weaker

promise that the UK will respect the



European workers and volunteers

provide a varied talent pool for

Scotland’s third sector.

No industry is likely to be harder

hit than any drop in EU workers than

health and social care.

The Assess and Address campaign

has lobbied Westminster for an

independent review to be carried

out on the effect Brexit will have on

health and social care. More than 100

organisations from across the UK have

backed the campaign, which has been

led by SCVO, the Health and Social

Care Alliance Scotland and Camphill


Dr Donald Macaskill, chief

executive of Scottish Care, said: “The

social care sector in Scotland, like the

rest of the country, is desperate for

some sort of resolution to the current

crisis. Over 100,000 Scots access

critical care services and these are at

real risk from a no-deal situation.

"From issues of workforce stability,

access to medicines, access to fresh

food and the need for medical

consumables, we have a real anxiety

over whether we will be able to care

for some of Scotland’s vulnerable

citizens. We need resolution soon

and we need our political leaders in

Westminster to listen to our concerns

rather than their own sound bites.”

A private member’s bill calling for

the review is being led by Argyll and

Bute MP Brendan O’Hara and is due to

go through its second reading.

Over 100,000 Scots

access critical care

services and these

are at real risk from

a no-deal situation

Dr Donald Macaskill, Scottish Care



APRIL 2019


Gareth Jones focuses on The Lens – a charity which promotes

intrapreneurship and wants to replicate the best of the business world

in the third sector

There are many things

that the business world

can learn from the third

sector, however it is often

forgotten that this can

also work in the opposite

way too.

The Lens supports charities and

social enterprises to be more efficient

and innovative through the principle of

intrepreneurship, which is when people

behave in an entrepreneurial way within

larger organisations.

Steve McCreadie created The Lens, a

registered charity, while working within

Aberlour Childcare Trust in a bid to

find solutions to public funding cuts

and growing demand for third sector


The Lens founder

Steve McCreadie.

“At The Lens, we are passionate

about improving people’s lives through

intrapreneurship,” McCreadie told TFN.

“What is intrapreneurship? It’s simply

acting like an entrepreneur inside

an organisation. Our programmes

value ideas, inspire people and power

innovation, helping our partners deliver

even greater impact.”

The organisation works with partners

to create new ways of thinking and

working. There is a focus on developing

the skills, knowledge and confidence of

staff at all levels to be more creative and

help them turn their ideas into action.

Staff are challenged and supported to

create ideas that are delivered through a

programme of investment.

McCreadie said The Lens aims to help


APRIL 2019 13

The team at

Alzheimer Scotland.

people to think and see differently –

based on the principle of “you just need

to look through a different lens.”

He added: “Our intrapreneurship

programmes offer a proven, structured

process for developing people, ideas

and a culture of innovation. It’s built on

some key principles; delegated decision

making, an investment fund provided

by the partner that intrapreneurs use

to prototype their idea and the use of

transformative facilitation.

“Benefits for our partners include an

increased number of investment-ready

ideas, increased innovation attributes

and skills, higher staff engagement and

improved leadership capability.”

Founded in 2015, the charity has

worked across the private, public and

third sectors. However charities have

been particularly keen to work with

The Lens. Organisations that have taken

part in the intrapreneurship programme

include Alzheimer Scotland, CHAS,

Cornerstone, CLAN and Includem.

“The Lens has given anyone with

an idea the chance to shine – really

shine – and that’s been wonderful,”

said Alzheimer Scotland chief executive

Henry Simmons. “We’re able to look

quite deeply into the organisation, as a

result of The Lens, and see the depth of

talent we’ve got. To see them flourish

and grow is remarkable.”

Now in its third year with The Lens,

Alzheimer Scotland has put hundreds of

staff through the programme. And the

results are clear, such as the creation of

the Beer with Buddies project.

From the packs of KP Nuts on the

wall, to the satisfying lunches served

hot from the kitchen, Beer with

Buddies feels like any other pub, but it’s

dedicated to a unique group: patients

and their families living with dementia.

It’s the brainchild of Alzheimer

Scotland staff members Deborah Edgar

and Iain Houston, who developed and

launched the innovative pub concept

Paediatric palliative


Kate McCusker.

Lisa Stanulis and Gail Richmond

of Beatson Cancer Care Charity.

through engagement with The Lens.

Patients and their carers who’d

stopped going out head along to the pub

for a drink and a chat, and even make

plans to meet up elsewhere. “They’re

socialising again,” Houston said. “It’s

changed how they see themselves and

helped more carers meet and support

each other.”

Kate McCusker, the only paediatric

palliative pharmacist in Scotland, is

another worker who had an idea which

is now benefitting the people she helps.

She wanted to train and develop

pharmacists across Scotland to allow

them to deliver palliative services

directly to children, with the aim of

massively extending the reach that

her employers CHAS had. This would

happen by providing the clinical support

that families of children with life

shortening conditions need, not on site,

but within their own community.

Through The Lens, McCusker

understood the importance of being

able to effectively communicate the

value of her idea to a range of different

stakeholders. She had the expertise but

needed help to translate her knowledge

in ways that helped her persuade

those that she needed to get on board

believe that this was important. After

developing her idea with The Lens and

winning investment, Kate pitched to

both Community Pharmacy Scotland

and the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer

for Scotland; successfully securing their

support for the pilot.

Lisa Stanulis and Gail Richmond, who

work for the Beatson Cancer Charity,

are another two fledgling intrapreneurs

created by The Lens. They worked

together through the programme to

develop BeCalm. This project provided

personal access to guided meditation

and relaxation music that would help

patients to cope better with stays in

hospital and enable them to take home

their own relaxation toolkit.

Their idea was simple and practical.

They sourced music for patients, testing

and pre-loading 500 MP3 players with

the support of volunteers so that all

patients could take home the level of

care they received at the Beatson.

One patient who benefitted from the

project said: “This wee gift for me has

been wonderful… I have been a patient

for many months and have trouble with

my sleep. This all changed the night Lisa

gave me my gift. I switched on, listened,

relaxed then had my first proper sleep. I

can’t thank you enough.”

To find out more visit lensperspectives. or email steve.mccreadie@



APRIL 2019

TFN focus: five years of the Scottish Centr

Moving beyond


Five years on from the launch of the

Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution

Jolene Campbell met network

development manager Diane Marr to

reflect on its achievements

After 15 years working as a

mediator, Diane Marr learned

first-hand the often hidden

aspects of youth homelessness

and the damage conflict can do to


“It’s a crying shame that young people

put themselves at risk when they fall out

with their family.

“I have seen young people who were

sofa surfing, slept in graveyards or who

got caught up in drugs and alcohol.

And I knew that was just the tip of the


Year on year family relationship

breakdown remains the biggest single

cause of youth homelessness annually

in Scotland. But research shows many

don’t know where to turn to for help.

The Scottish Centre for Conflict

Resolution (SCCR), set up by Cyrenians,

has a unique approach to preventing

entre for Conflict Resolution


APRIL 2019



45% of young people and

75% of parents say that

conflict happens at home at

least weekly.

Nearly 20% of young people

think about leaving home

due to arguments at least

once a month.

75% of parents and 30% of

young people say arguments

at home have affected their

mental health.

Diane Marr.

youth homelessness. The centre

helps young people and families to

better handle problems early on by

understanding the “science of conflict”.

Through a series of free accredited

training, events and digital psychoeducational

resources the centre aims

to nurture people to develop conflict

resolution skills and change the culture

of conflict in Scotland.

Every year across Scotland, 4,100

young people – the equivalent of around

five high schools – become homeless due

to family relationship breakdown.

Through its research the charity has

found that many are struggling behind

closed doors with devastating effects on

their mental, emotional and physical

health and wellbeing.

In a report into mediation and

homelessness prevention in 2011

Cyrenians identified patchy support

services across Scotland. They also found

that young people and parents didn’t

always know where to turn even if they

wanted to ask for help.

Diane said: “I think that’s still the case

almost a decade later. People know they

have problems and don’t always know

where to turn and they can be scared to

ask for help.”

By shifting to a more scientific model

of education the SCCR resources are

helping to tackle stigma.

“Our core resources are easy to access

and give people the knowledge to better

handle conflict. Shifting from a social

model to a scientific one helps people

make sense of our responses. People

don’t need to be worried their behaviour

will be seen as good or bad. It’s science.

And conflict affects us all.”

The centre launched a national

campaign #StopTalkListen encouraging

people to share what they argue about

at home.

Root causes of conflict in families can

be complex; debt, substance abuse and

early adverse childhood experiences

(ACEs) and parents not understanding

development of teenagers.

Problems can take time and support

from services like mediation. But

helping people to communicate their

emotions can be crucial first step in

preventing conflict escalating. The

award-winning resources are helping

people to ‘keep the heid.’

Using engaging illustrations, quizzes

and videos the website explains what

happens when the human brain goes

into different modes like fight or flight

and freeze and shutdown. It explains

what brain chemicals such as oxytocin,

cortisol and serotonin are and how they

impact on behaviour.

Diane said: “The resources have a very

practical application. They help people

step back, see things differently and look

at strategies to manage their emotions

From January-October 2018,

3,320 people accessed

the SCCR’s Emotional

Homunculus resources

online, 195 resource packs

were sent out to

98 professionals working

with families.

The SCCR’s resources

have been picked up in

94 countries, including

Peru, Australia and India.

when things get to that heated state.”

“If there’s an issue with anger it could

be that the person just want their needs

to be met and that’s not happening.

People can often end up trying to control

each other. With resources that helps

us understand our development it’s

possible to transform that understanding

and self-awareness early on.”

Diane added: “The practice of

mediation is a problem-solving

approach to preventing homelessness.

It rebuilds communication. But conflict

affects mental health and wellbeing

underneath that. And how we handle

it connects back to our past, our

experiences shape us.

“When I was a mediator I managed

other people’s feelings and problems all

day every day. By the end of most days I



APRIL 2019

Scotland's Five years predsacription of the Scottish Centre drug crisis for Conflict Resolution

From inception to exhibition:

Five years of SCCR


2006 Amber Mediation service launched by Cyrenians.

2011 Cyrenians publish report showing patchy services and support across Scotland.

April 2013 Cyrenians receive initial two-year grant from Scottish Government – and start

the process of recruiting staff for the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution (SCCR).

March 2014 Award-winning website company Primate contracted to design and develop

the SCCR new website.

April 2014 Cyrenians launches the SCCR at its first national event in

Glasgow and the new SCCR website

goes live.

November 2014 Cyrenians SCCR

launches its first national campaign

#StopTalkListen with Scotland’s

Commissioner for Children and Young

People Tam Baillie at its national young

person’s conference.

February 2015 Sir Harry Burns gives a

key-note speech at SCCR conference in

Edinburgh and joins a range of high-profile

individuals and organisations that have

supported the SCCR’s work.

April 2015 SCCR’s first psychoeducational digital resource – Monkey Vs Lizard – launches

at the Edinburgh International Science Festival as a way to help people understand the

inner workings of their brain.

November 2015 First pilot session of the specially designed SCCR’s accredited training –

Untangling the Knots – is held. The SCCR now offers a range of accredited training options

for professionals, parents and young people.

February 2016 #KeepTheHeid quiz launched at the Gathering 2016 and becomes the

SCCR’s second major psychoeducational digital resource.

February 2016 SCCR publishes its first major report covering three years of its work.

February 2017 SCCR publishes its second major national survey – Reducing Conflict:

Improving Lives – painting a picture of conflict across Scotland and includes in it five key

recommendations for Scotland.

October 2016 The SCCR wins the National Mediation

Award for Best Video.

January 2018 Launch of the SCCR’s third

psychoeducational Digital Homunculus and Brain's

Amazing Drugs Cabinet resources at the Glasgow

Science Centre.

October 2018 SCCR publishes its report into

the impact of the new project work. This shows

the wider benefits around this focus on conflict,

particularly around public health, education, and

health and wellbeing, fitting into the current

mental health agenda for young people.

January 2019 Cyrenians and Glasgow Science

Centre sign a Memorandum of Understanding,

pledging to work together to create new ways of

helping Scotland deepen its understanding of

neuroscience and brain chemistry.

April 2019 The SCCR marks its five-year anniversary with an exhibition in the

Scottish Parliament showcasing its work.

was ready to lose the plot. We all need

to look after our mental health. And to

learn how to recalibrate when things get

too much.”

Young people, parents and carers

have reported they find the resources

valuable. Over 90% of young people said

they felt they could manage conflict in a

more positive way.

Diane said: “One young man told

us he used the digital resources and

keeps them beside his Xbox. He had

a traumatic upbringing and using the

resources helped him identify why he

was so angry. He said that has been

significant for him.”

Since the launch of the website in

2014 over 3,320 people have accessed

the Emotional Homunculus resources

online and the SCCR has held 10

specialist events across Scotland,

working in 20 local authorities and with

almost 100 organisations.

It has also become an international

resource, accessed from over 94

countries including Peru, Australia and


The digital resources are having a

far-reaching impact in communities

across Scotland, in conjunction with

free events and accredited training for

professionals working with families.

Diane said: “I would never have

thought that a series of very visual

digital resources and a series of one

hour events could create something so

special. The events are about helping

support people to have those difficult

conversations. It’s amazing what people

will share with each other when you set

the right tone at an event.

“At a conference in Glasgow I spoke

to a woman who told me it was the first

time in her life she was able to make

sense of her experiences. She had been

repeatedly homeless. She had responded

to people in an often violent and

aggressive way. At the event she knew

why. It was because she was angry and

full of fear.

“In Scotland, we are not very good

at talking about or dealing with our

emotions. I think it’s often seen as

a weakness. We hope the resources

continue to have an impact in changing

that culture.”

The latest impact report shows that

the project is achieving wider benefits

too, particularly around education and

contributing to the current mental

health agenda for young people.

The charity is working with local

authority education departments in

Fife, West Lothian and Renfrewshire


APRIL 2019 17

to integrate learning resources into the

curriculum through personal and social

education, psychology higher subjects

and community outreach.

Professionals have supported their

calls for the resources to be rolled out to

schools. Diane said: “That’s significant.

What we are doing is helping young

people recognize that conflict is normal

and needing help with it is normal too.”

The project has evolved from a small

charity into a valued national resource

that is breaking the mould and putting

conflict resolution training at the heart

of a range of different disciplines.

The SCCR delivers accredited training

to professionals working with young

people and families across the voluntary

sector, education, housing and other

public services.

Over 80% who completed it said

they felt SCCR training gave them skills

and learning to better support families

experiencing conflict.

Though the focus of resources,

training and events is on parenting

teenagers and reducing the risk of them

becoming homeless by resolving family

conflict, the charity is also looking at

ways to reach families with younger


“We are in talks with the Scottish

Books Trust about potentially getting

resources included in Bookbug packs

and looking at putting resources on

parenting websites.”

The centre is funded to the end of

March 2020 and is looking at ways

to continue universal provision of

training and resources, as well as

targeted training for kinship carers and

potentially, young carers and foster


In the next year the biggest challenge

is securing funding and researching

Dr Sara Watkin, SCCR medical advisor who helped bring

the Emotional Homunculus project to life, in the Glasgow

Science Centre Neurodome. What looks like stars is

actually a representation of the inside of your brain.

long-term measurement of the resources

and training. Robust science will remain

at the heart of the approach.

The SCCR marks its five-year

anniversary this month with an

exhibition in the Scottish Parliament.

Cyrenians also formed a partnership

In Scotland,

we are not

very good

at talking

about or


with our


– I think

it’s often

seen as a


We hope the



to have an

impact in


that culture.

in January with the Glasgow Science

Centre to look at ways to develop our

understanding of conflict and its effects

on young people’s mental health and

wellbeing, child development and wider


Resources are contributing to national

policies and Scottish Government

strategies and public figures including

Sir Harry Burns and a number of highprofile

individuals and organisations

have supported the SCCR’s work –

including Scottish ministers, former

directors of the Violence Reduction Unit

Karyn McCluskey and John Carnochan,

the Faculty of Advocates and Glasgow

Science Centre.

Diane says she has been inspired

by the positive response to the centre.

But she is setting her sights on a wider

challenge. “I think we need to ask how

we can help our society really value

families. And through our resources and

training I hope can continue sending a

clear message that conflict affects us all,

families of all areas and backgrounds.

And it’s always okay to ask for help.”



APRIL 2019






to freedom

Unimaginable personal trauma drove Jasvinder Sanghera to

campaign against forced marriage. It won her this year’s Burns’

Humanitarian Award but, as she tells Robert Armour, despite

protective laws, the battle to change a pernicious culture is only

just starting.


asvinder Sanghera tells

how a customs officer at

Heathrow suddenly thanked

her for saving her life as

she was embarking on a

flight abroad. It came out

of the blue: the officer had

read Jasvinder’s book, Shame, telling

the story of her quest against forced

marriage in an honour-based culture

and said she would be “surely dead”

had she stayed with her violently

abusive husband. But the book

had given her the inspiration and

ultimately the courage to leave and

start living her life again.

That chance encounter imbued

Sanghera with the determination

to keep her quest going – if her

campaigning saved just one more

life, it would be worth it. Both as an

individual and through her awardwinning

Leeds-based charity Karma

Nirvana, Jasvinder has taken the issue

of forced marriage nationally. She has

tirelessly – some would say impossibly

– battled against an oppressive culture

of honour-based abuse.

Jasvinder’s campaign has brought

her gongs, plaudits and criticism

in equal measure. This year’s Burns

Humanitarian Award is just one of

numerous accolades; she has been

listed amongst the Guardian’s top

100 most inspirational women in the

world, her first book was a Top 10

Sunday Times bestseller, and she has

been described in the House of Lords

as a “political weapon”. In 2013, she

was appointed Commander of the

Order of the British Empire (CBE) in

recognition of her services.

In contrast, she’s been reviled by

her own community, disowned by her

family and witnessed the suicide of

her beloved sister who set herself on

fire after being forced into an unhappy


When Jasvinder decided to take on

her own Sikh community, with all

its entrenched values and traditions,

she quickly gained pariah status. The

more they hated, the more she became

determined to succeed.

“My motivation remains injustice,”

she says. “We are all entitled to

freedom. It is that conviction that

made me create Karma Nirvana in

1993. Back then I was lucky if I had

two people to hear what I had to

say; now that’s very different but the

struggle continues.”

It’s a journey that has exposed


APRIL 2019 19

violence, discrimination and racism of

staggering proportions.

One of seven siblings born into

an ultra-conservative Sikh family,

Sanghera was brought up to believe

obedience was the mark of a good

child and to shame one’s family was a

fate worse than even death.

“Shame is something that was at the

heart of all my young experiences, it

governed my life and was something

I had a responsibility to from a young

age,” she says.

The seminal moment in her life

came when her sister Robina was

driven to suicide after she was told

that she could not leave her husband

because her family would be ashamed.

She set herself on fire, suffered

80% burns and later died. At the time

Sanghera had herself run away from

home because she had refused to

marry a man her parents had lined

up for her from the age of eight.

“I begged her to leave her partner

but she said to me: “It’s OK for

you to say that but you don’t have

the authority because you are


“She was right. The people

who could make the difference

were my parents, family and

community leaders. That’s

where she went and they sent

her back, saying she should

make the marriage work.

“Was she driven to commit

suicide? I would say so.

She set herself on fire and

suffered 80% burns. I still

hold people accountable for

her death.”

These very personal,

traumatic experiences remain

Jasvinder’s most powerful ally

when fighting against communities

upholding forced marriage. There

were no statistics, no formal evidence

when she first started campaigning,

so her own experiences and those of

her sister became her most potent


“We are the statistics,” she says. “It

is that loss of Robina and my family

– the need to break these silences

– that gives me the credence, the

qualifications if you like, to fight this.”

Karma Nirvana’s tenacious decadeslong

campaigning on the issue led

to the creation of UK legislation on

forced marriage in 2014. Since then

only four convictions have been

prosecuted across the UK; in Scotland

there have been none.

“Thousands of cases are reported

but the law is not being enforced and

there is a serious problem there,” she

Thousands of cases are

reported but the law

is not being enforced

and there is a serious

problem there

says. “Around 50% of victims are South

Asian but they are also Somalians,

Kurdish, Iranian, Travellers and British

women who have married into these


Statutory services – social work, the

police, local councils – are shying away

from the issue because of political

correctness and fear of being accused

of cultural insensitivity. Even the police

turn a blind eye says Jasvinder.

As an example of the problem’s

scale, Jasvinder cites the case of over

100 Asian girls who went missing from

one school in England in 2008. Nobody

asked about their whereabouts or

seemed concerned about their safety.

Yet these were 14 to 15 year old girls.

“I raised it with then Prime Minister

Gordon Brown,” she says. “I made the

point if 100 white girls went missing

this country would be outraged. I said

it happened because of the attitudes

that exist in all communities.”

That led to a Home Affairs Select

Committee inquiry which found

teachers and others in authority were

scared to make a fuss.

“The reason was no one wanted to

question it because they felt they’d be

rocking the boat, more than my job’s

worth, this type of thing is part of a

culture”, explains Jasvinder. “So they

looked the other way.”

Today, the charity deals with

thousands of affected women and

men through its national helpline.

Karma Nirvana provides training to

the police, NHS and social services.

It also acts as expert witness in

court, speaks out in schools and

attends awareness raising events

nationally and internationally.

In addition, its team lobbies local

and national government to make

practical changes to the legal and

political structures which allow

forced marriage to continue.

Despite the immense barriers,

Sanghera believes the culture of

violence can be conquered.

“What you’ll find about honour

abuse and forced marriage is very

often people say it’s part of the broader

domestic violence agenda,” she says.

“It doesn’t actually sit there equally.

It’s still not mainstream and that’s the

issue. But that can change. Societies do

change over time. “As long as people

keep campaigning and making sure

the issue doesn’t slip under the radar

any fight can be won.”


orced marriage

isn’t an arranged


While arranged marriages may

seem controversial to western

communities, the difference

between it and forced marriage, is that

there is consent. However, the two are

often conflated: even the UK government

mixed up the two in 2007 during the

process of creating legislation to prohibit

forced marriage.

Victims of forced marriage are usually

aged between 13 and 30, but there’s no

typical victim of a forced marriage. There

are 195 recognised countries where

forced marriage is an issue. In 2014, the

UK government’s Forced Marriage Unit

handled cases in 88 different countries.

An estimated 97% of UK forced

marriage cases happen within Asian

communities, and 72% of forced

marriages are among Pakistani families.



APRIL 2019

TFN focus: Scotland's prescription drug cr

Scotland’s hidden

prescription drug

crisis – and the

people creating



Is a network of self-help and support groups across the country

Scotland’s way out of the growing opioids crisis? Robert Armour

discovers that there is increasingly more confidence in third sector

solutions than statutory services.

In May 2016, Shona Mitchell

booked extended time off

work, told family and friends

she had contracted a serious

bout of the flu, swallowed her

last 40mg of oxycodone and

“waited for the doors of hell

to open.” Everything, she tells me, was

meticulously planned right down to

the bedside sick bucket and toilet rolls.

Around the 12 hours mark came the

onset of cramps at which point Mitchell

feared she was dying. And that was just

the beginning: these were followed by

constant vomiting, frightening rigors

and drenching night sweats which only

gave way to a psychological assault that

included hopeless anxiety, a gripping

paranoia and a paralysing fear the

likes of which she could never have


Nearly three years on, Mitchell

is able to reflect on what she calls

those “infernal days” when her body

was retching through cold turkey –

reckoned to be the hardest route out

of dependency and the most feared.

She now not only has her life back but

is enjoying being alive. She can taste,

smell, “enjoy normal stuff like music”

while the six hourly panic to get her

opiates fix has gone.

Others have not been so lucky. Last

month NHS Scotland statistics estimated

there are at least 57,000 opiate and

benzo users in Scotland and that’s just

the ones who have made themselves

known. That figure could easily double

as most, like Mitchell, don’t seek help

for their dependency and operate below

the radar.

The situation has become so

pronounced that the mother of four

from Aberlady in East Lothian has

created her own support to help

people like herself wanting to detox

inconspicuously from the deadly drugs.

It is, she believes, the only credible

response to a crisis that statutory

services can’t cope with.

“Most who seek our support are

holding down jobs, families and many

are female,” says Mitchell. “They won’t

go to their doctor; certainly won’t go on

a recovery programme. They fear the

shame and it is a fear that prevents them

from seeking help. Most who come to

our group are just like me. I worked

in the NHS in human resources; my

husband is an actuary. I didn’t fit any

kind of drug user template.”

The experience has led her to take

a very different – some would say

controversial – position on recovery.

She believes non-clinical intervention

is crucial because the standard drugs

offered as a tapered withdrawal by the

NHS – primarily the opiates Suboxone

and methadone – are themselves highly

g crisis


APRIL 2019


Clockwise from above:

Shona Mitchell,

Pete MacDonald,

David Liddell.

addictive. And experience has shown

that users become just as reliant on

these drugs as those they are weaning

o ff.

Then there are private clinics – of

which there are many – stalking users

and their families with programmes

that can cost tens of thousands but are

no more effective than other solutions.

Many remortgage or sell their homes

in the hope of paying for this private

therapy to save a loved one. Often

though that’s just the start of spiralling

costs and ongoing treatment that seems

to never end.

For Mitchell, a community-based

alternative is the most viable option to

what she reckons is a national crisis in

illicit prescription drugs dependency.

She believes that organisations like hers

are essential in every community, where

user-led support is controlling recovery

and mentoring those through it. It is, in

the greatest traditions of the third sector,

a community response to a growing

problem, she says.

“We don’t ever say cold turkey – that

term carries a lot of negativity; it’s

called managed withdrawal where we

monitor and advise and guide those

going through withdrawal every stage of

the way. Replacing opiates with opiates

to help ease withdrawal is counterproductive.

Too many end up back on

tablets. That’s why a managed approach

is vital. If people are mentored into

and through recovery there is hope for

lifelong abstinence.”

It is a very different approach from

to treatment for the more conventional

drug addicts, many of whom are

homeless and live on the streets.

Mitchell’s group deals with people who

often have stable family lives, jobs and

money and therefore the semblance

of a supportive foundation is already

there. But most never reveal their secret:

they take time out from busy jobs, even

temporarily isolating their families, to

go through withdrawal alone.

Functioning at a level where

no-one suspects drug misuse is a

frightening reality in Scotland today.

Understandably many of the headlines

focus on the growing numbers of tragic

deaths from prescription drugs on the

country’s streets. But it’s not just among

the homeless and those living chaotic

lives. “Six people with whom I have

been in contact since the group set up

have died,” says Mitchell. “This isn’t

a problem rooted in poverty; this is a

crisis rooted in society.”

Opioids are anything containing

opiates – morphine, codeine, heroin.

More frequently they are known

by their pharmaceutical listings:

cocodamol, dihydrocodeine, oxycodone,

fentanyl. Benzos are mostly hypnotics



APRIL 2019

Scotland's prescription drug crisis

and sedatives more familiarly known

as Valium, Librium, Midazolam, and

diazepam. Taken together they can

prove lethal. They lower blood pressure

and heart rate with addicts usually

dying in their sleep where their resting

heart rate is already lowered. That’s

why so many homeless people living on

Scotland’s streets are currently being

found dead in sleeping bags.

Prescribing of the strongest opioids,

including morphine and fentanyl, has

more than doubled in a decade. An

evaluation, involving researchers from

the universities of Dundee, Glasgow,

Aberdeen, Edinburgh and St Andrews,

shows that 20% of Scots — about one

million people — had been given the

drugs by doctors for an increasing range

of conditions. Yet research shows that

patients are at risk of addiction or death

if they are put on opioids for prolonged

periods despite evidence that they are

ineffective and harmful in the long


Overprescribing means the

professional and middle classes are no

longer immune to drug addiction, once

a problem firmly rooted in deprivation

and lack of opportunity.

Pete McDonald lost his 24-year-old

son Jordan to prescription drugs in

2014. He was studying for a postgrad

at university, planned to become a

surveyor but started taking Valium to

cope with exam stress after a visit to his

GP. Although he eventually managed

to access psychiatric services, Jordan

didn’t have the intensive support a

local organisation could give. It led

Pete to create a recovery forum helping

students with benzo dependencies on

the back of his son’s death.

“I kept getting told the services

were there to support my son but

they weren’t,” he says. “Yes, there was

student welfare, social work, addiction

charities, doctors, psychiatrists. But noone

was able to identify directly with his

problem. He needed others who knew

about the drugs he was taking to guide

him out of it.

“In the end he became insular and

isolated because none of us knew what

he was going through. He was classic

below-the-radar: it was as if doctors

thought he’d just shake himself out

of it because he came from a good


Jonathan Chick, medical director at

Castle Craig Hospital, which the NHS

uses as a referral facility for drug and

alcohol addicts, said that pressure on

GPs was leading to well-meaning and

skilled doctors prescribing opioids. He

now finds himself treating an increasing

number of middle-class opioid addicts.

“We certainly don’t heap blame on

the patients, nor do we encourage them

to blame some doctor who was trying

to help,” Chick said. “We help them to

understand that this is a predicament

that good and sensible people can end

up in.”

A growing


Senior doctors, drug specialists and MPs

warn Scotland is hurtling towards a USstyle

opioid crisis.

There, super-strength painkillers have killed

more than 91,000 people in the past two


Figures published last month by NHS

Scotland show that between 55,800 and

58,900 people aged 15 to 64 had an opioid

problem during April 2015 to March 2016.

This represents 1.62% of the Scottish adult


In terms of fatalities, Scotland has over 934

in 2017, according to latest figures, but this

could rise to 1,100 a year according to the

Scottish Drugs Forum.

The death rate represents a more than

fourfold increase over a 24-year period and

the highest rate in Europe.

In comparison the Netherlands is currently

fearing a crisis of fatal overdoses after

the figure reached 200 deaths out of a

population of 15 million.

Male deaths are more common by a ratio

of 2:1 but the number of female fatalities is


Saved by the sector

Clem Gabriel came to Scotland from Jamaica in the 1990s to

flee an “island drowning in heavy drugs” only to succumb to

the same problem in his adopted country. Now a local drug

worker for Dundee City Council, coordinating its response in

partnership with local addiction charities, he believes Scotland

has an opiates epidemic that transcends all social classes and


“It’s becoming bigger than heroin but it is much more sinister,”

he says, “because GPs give out these pills and anyone and

everyone can get hooked.”

Clem first became hooked on heroin but when availability

became scarce he too resorted to prescription pills. “They were

easy to get – doctors gave out Valium just to get rid of you. I’d

leave with a prescription to do me a week.”

When methadone failed to help Clem kick opiates, his GP

sent him to the third sector as a last resort. “Organisations like

Dundee Drug Action, Turning Point and Addaction gave me

hope,” he said. “Their approach was a deeper, more relevant

support. For example they looked at where I was living, helped

move me out of that area and into one away from the drugs

and the deprivation. And there was always someone there to

assist me.”

While it’s a very intensive, resource-heavy approach, Clem

believes the burgeoning opiate crisis in Scotland needs to support

third sector projects to increase this type of intervention.

Through his work for the council, supporting drug addiction

services in the region, he knows full well the scale of the


“Drug use has changed quite dramatically,” said Clem.

“Taking prescription pills is even more dangerous than heroin

because when mixed they lower your heart rate and kill you.

It’s an epidemic yet there’s very little being done. How many

more deaths before the authorities, those in power, realise the

extent of the problem.”


APRIL 2019


Our drug

services have

not adapted

to the rise of



There have always been people who

have developed dependencies on opioids

and led otherwise normal lives but

tend not to present at drug treatment

services, says the Scottish Drugs Forum

(SDF). The unknown factor is how many

people there are in Scotland who are

in this situation as there are no reliable

figures. SDF says online supply and

changes in prescribing practice affects

the number of people in this situation

which is what has happened in the USA

in recent years.

“The phenomenon is interesting

because it points to the fact that

much of the lifestyle and situation of

stereotypical heroin users is not an issue

with opioids as substances so much as

the quality of street drugs and other

factors in people’s lives including the

stigma they bear,” says David Liddell,

director of SDF.

“Peer support is potentially beneficial

to people and perhaps crucial for some

people remote from services or other

supports. We also need to ensure that

people who are dependent on opioids or

people at risk of developing dependency

have access to good quality information

and any necessary specialist support.”

But people like Pete MacDonald want

immediate action. He says government

drugs strategy take years to implement

and are too long-term when what is

needed now is urgent action.

“My take is that our drug services have

not adapted to the rise of prescription

drugs. Remember, drug addicts are

no-one’s friends. Addiction services

are there to cope with a problem – they

don’t work to solve it. Organisations like

ours do.”

Mitchell is more sanguine and

advocates growing a network of support


“Look at Alcoholics Anonymous

– possibly the world’s most effective

voluntary organisation operating in

nearly every country where drink

is sold,” says Mitchell. “Yet the NHS

refer patients with drink problems to

AA. We need the NHS to refer to our

services ideally. That means we work in


“There is no better programme for

helping people off alcohol dependency,”

she adds. “And it is easy to see why: it

has built a network of support where

people are mentored and cared for by

others going through recovery. And you

can access it anywhere. That’s what I’m

calling for. That’s the network we need

to tackle opiates in Scotland.”



APRIL 2019


Tony Vick

Time to cut the red tape on charity

lotteries – and release £125 million

to good causes

Tony Vick says ending charity lottery

restrictions will be a win-win - and

Mims Davies must listen


n an era of social and economic

uncertainty, it warms the heart when

you realise the great British public

has a seemingly unlimited appetite

for donating money to good causes.

Despite the tough climate, the

nation’s charity lotteries celebrated

an extraordinary year of growth, up to £296

million from £256m, when they gathered for

their annual conference in Warwick recently.

These 400 charities brim with talent and

dedication, both from staff and volunteers, and

their contribution to the social capital of the

nation is invaluable.

Every day they save lives through their

support of air ambulances services - and

enrich lives through supporting hospices,

sporting groups, youth clubs and older

people’s groups.

We seem to be in a win-win situation, as

The National Lottery, operated by Camelot, is

also in growth, shattering the myth that small

lotteries reduce the amount they raise for good


However, our charities are operating with

one hand tied behind their backs as, unlike

the National Lottery, they are restricted by an

outdated law on how much they can raise and

the jackpots they can offer.

The Lotteries Council has been taking part in

a consultation with the government designed

to cut out the red tape to release money for

good causes.

To do this we are asking for:

• An increase in the annual sales limit from

£10m to £100m. Lotteries are the only

form of fundraising which has a limit on

the amount of money that can be raised.

• An increase in the individual draw limit

from £4m to £10m.

It seems bizarre

that while there

is no limit to

our generosity,

artificial limits

still exist to

stop charities

benefitting from

that generosity

• An increase in the jackpot limit to £1m.

Many charities can offer just a £25,000

top prize – a limit that was set in 1976.

This is paltry in comparison to the

average National Lottery jackpot on offer,

and the increase will enable charities to

decide their own jackpots. This is still

much smaller than the National Lottery


• An increase in the threshold at which

small lotteries are forced to go through

expensive registration from £20,000

per draw to £40,000 and £250,000 per

year to £500,000. Charities nearing the

existing limits face an impossible choice

– either decide not to grow their lottery

or spend money that should be going

to their good causes on an expensive

and resource-heavy application to the

Gambling Commission.

The current requirement that every lottery,

from the very first one operated, has to make

a profit of at least 20% should be aggregated

over three years.

No other organisation anywhere has to

face this 20% hurdle from the day they start


Recent research shows that loosening

the regulatory stranglehold will encourage

more people to play charity lotteries, and

we estimate this will result in an additional

£125m going to good causes over the next five


The consultation with the Department for

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on resolving

this outdated system ended six months ago

and we are still waiting for answers. We hope

that Mims Davies, minister for sport and civil

society, realises how much depends on a

speedy decision.

It seems bizarre that while there is no

limit to our generosity, artificial limits still

exist to stop charities benefitting from that


Tony Vick is chairman of The Lotteries



APRIL 2019 25

Maureen Mallon

What a difference

14 years makes

Maureen Mallon reflects on her

return to the third sector as new

chief executive of OSCR

When I left YouthLink

Scotland to work for

Scottish Government,

I thought it was

going to be a short

break away from

the sector where I had spent my career

to date. Coming back as chief executive

of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)

is fascinating and I wanted to share my

reflections on the changes that have

jumped out at me so far.

Let me start with OSCR. Having been

involved in many of the discussions

about the formation of our regulator it is

clear that this is an organisation that has

developed and grown over the years.

The journey has been a substantial one;

gathering and monitoring information on

a vast amount of charities and using our

analysis to provide advice and support

back into the sector as well as confidence

to the public.

The unique overview that OSCR has

helps to shape policy. This in turn leads

to improvements for and in the sector. I

am humbled by the depth of knowledge

and passion within the staff team here in

Dundee and by the high levels of praise

I hear when I’m out and about. It can be

difficult for a regulatory body to balance

being approachable to the organisations it

regulates whilst making sure that the same

organisations are being held to account,

but I think OSCR navigates this tightrope


One of the first events I attended as

chief executive of OSCR was this year’s

Gathering in Glasgow. I remember going to

this event in back in 2005 and since then it

has grown into a strategic hub where lots

of deep thinking and learning happens

and a lot of business gets done.

Scotland is a

stronger, more

aspirational and

ethical country

as a result of the

quality and scale

of its 24,500


The focus on leadership and sustainability

was clear and there was a real sense of

maturity and confidence in a sector that

no longer feels it needs to justify its place

and existence in the way it still did 14

years ago. ACOSVO has had a huge part to

play in this and has itself grown in stature

and confidence as a strong and effective

network of leaders, movers and shakers.

One of the main reasons I was keen to

come back to work with the sector is my

overwhelming belief that Scotland is a

stronger, more aspirational and ethical

country as a result of the quality and scale

of its 24,500 charities. The more we can

do to support and celebrate high quality in

the sector, the more the rest of the country

benefits. It’s an exciting time, the charity

law reform consultation has just closed

and any subsequent changes could have

significant impacts on the whole sector as

well as the work of OSCR.

There’s still a great deal to do. I haven’t

forgotten the difficult tasks facing trustees,

volunteers and staff delivering the amazing

range of activities and services that so

many people benefit from. We have a lot to

do to make sure that many more people in

Scotland can find their natural place within

the sector and don’t feel that somehow it

isn’t for the likes of them.

Maureen Mallon is chief executive of OSCR,

the Scottish Charity Regulator.



APRIL 2019

Cafés with a conscience

For this month’s review of a social enterprise eatery,

Graham Martin uncovers an unexpectedly exotic pocket

in one of Scotland’s most traditional towns

African stew is king in the land of

the cream tea

Say what you like about

Milngavie, but the last thing

you’d call it is exotic.

The small town to the

north of Glasgow is many

things – pretty, prosperous,

maybe at times a little dull.

I should know – I was once the editor

of the town’s local paper when, among

the bigger crime stories of my tenure,

was a shocking tale about local youths

throwing fruit around in Tesco (Breach

of the Peach was the headline – I’m still

happy with that).

But I digress – Milngavie has, it’s safe

to say, become a byword for a rather

douce kind of Scottishness.

So it’s maybe the last place you’d

expect to be able to get your hands on

a bottle of fantastically hot, blow your

head off Zulu sauce or, for that matter,

a huge variety of crafts and gifts from

all over the world.

Or delicious, surprising food served

with Malawian Kilombero rice or a

brilliant chutney from the from the

recently renamed Kingdom of Eswatini

(formerly Swaziland).

But thanks to the work of a local

charity you can now.

The Gavin’s Mill Community Project

runs the eponymously named café

and Fairtrade gift shop in one of the

town’s oldest buildings – a centuries

old, former mill (complete with

sometimes turning water wheel) next

to the Allander river from which, fact

fans, Milngavie takes its curious name.


It is somehow fitting that this

unexpected dose of worldly

cosmopolitanism comes in the ultimate

heritage package, but it’s something

of a tradition in these parts, as some

of the people behind the Gavin’s Mill

venture used to run the nearby, and

now closed, Balmore Coach House, a

charity which also traded the exotic

from the historic.

The charity which now runs Gavin’s

Mill has done a fantastic job of not

just saving one of the town’s most

distinctive and historic buildings (it















had become rather run down after

its previous occupants, a Chinese

takeaway, closed down), but of

tastefully renovating the inside.

Its shop, as mentioned, sells Fairtrade

goods, food and crafts from across the

globe, with a focus on Africa, but the

centrepiece is its café.

And in Milngavie’s land of the cream

tea, the Gavin’s Mill African stew is

most definitely king, a delicious, and

wonderfully affordable, mix of sweet

potato, spinach, mushrooms and a

peanut sauce.

Add to that some rocket-powered,

ethically sourced coffee and you might

even be tempted to take a postprandial

flyer up the nearby West Highland Way.

The Gavin’s Mill venture is a

fantastic mix of the conservative, the

contemporary and the cosmopolitan –

and its Fairtrade ethos helps transform

lives throughout the world.

However, like most charities, it

needs help to keep going. It is entirely

run by volunteers and it would love to

see some new faces. Find out more at and make sure you pay a

visit and help keep its vital, continentstraddling

mission alive.



APRIL 2019 27

Annie through

the looking glass

Dead cert?

Annie Gunner Logan on the meaning of

certainty in an uncertain world

There is no such

uncertainty,” said Rabbie

Burns, “as a sure thing.”

I reckon Mrs May might

eventually concede this

simple truth, should she

ever be minded to reflect on her oh-soconfident

declaration that “Brexit means

Brexit”. Sure thing, Theresa, sure thing.

Plenty of big ideas that were originally

considered to be dead certs have, over time,

proved anything but: a critically-acclaimed

Stars Wars prequel; a garden bridge over the

Thames; Scotland qualifying for the World

Cup finals (don’t @ me).

Conversely, history is littered with events

that were thoroughly pooh-poohed at

the planning stages. “It’ll never happen”

they cried, and yet war was declared, men

walked on the moon, and – inconceivably!

– Edinburgh citizens finally rode upon the


Here in the voluntary sector, living with

uncertainty is our organisational stock in

trade. Will we get that critical grant? Will we

win that all-important tender? Will we be

able to expand this year, or will we have to cut

back? Will any of us still be in a job, this time

next week?

A good few organisations, including Pilton

Community Health Project and the TIE

campaign, got some pretty tough answers

to those questions in recent weeks. Did they

pack up and give in? No, they did not: they

organised, they mobilised, they launched


Not all of us in the sector have faced our

own demise quite so bluntly, but I suspect

we’ve all felt, at some point, like John

Cleese’s character in Clockwise, that

wonderful 1980s movie about resilience

and the random collapse of order:

“It’s not the despair,” he said. “I can

take the despair: it’s the hope I can’t


Lately, I’ve picked up on a lot

of angst among public sector

colleagues about the increasingly

volatile and unpredictable

It’s not the

despair. I can

take the despair:

it’s the hope I

can’t stand.

environment in which they’re having to

operate. Much of this has surfaced courtesy

of Brexit, but that’s not all: the financial

constraints that we’ve faced since time

immemorial are now coming down very hard

on them, too.

It would be tempting – if terribly unkind –

to respond by saying: welcome to our world.

But surely we want to level up, not down, and

face uncertainty together, with confidence?

In which case, public sector grant-makers

might consider extending to us, in principle

at least, two guarantees that they themselves

enjoy: one, their organisations can’t simply

disappear overnight, like ours can; and two,

many (if not most) of their jobs are protected

by no compulsory redundancy policies.

My own organisation had a bit of a hairy

moment in the run-up to the new financial

year, with a couple of key grant confirmations

unexpectedly withheld pending further

approvals. It was put to me that there was no

particular urgency to resolve this, because

the risk of imminent closure and job loss is

something that the voluntary sector is, and I

quote, “used to”.

I’d like to think that our political leaders

have a more sensitive appreciation of what it’s

like for an individual citizen to worry that they

might not be able to access sufficient supplies

of medicine, or even of food, as a result of

decisions taken allegedly in the public interest.

But I can’t be absolutely certain about that.

Annie Gunner Logan has been working in

and around the Scottish voluntary sector

for longer than she cares to remember.

Currently director of CCPS (Coalition of

Care and Support Providers in Scotland)

with various non-exec roles thrown in.




APRIL 2019

Chief Encounters

“One of those conversations

with no awkward silences

just heaps to say and one

comment sparking off

another thread”

In this month’s

Chief Encounters,

Celia Hodson,

founder of period

poverty tackling

social enterprise

Hey Girls, meets

Youth Scotland

chief executive

Ian McLaughlan.

Celia on Ian

What were you expecting?

I have to own up that I’d Googled Ian

as it makes things easier when you are

meeting someone for the first time –

especially if you are meeting in a public

space and don’t want to keep on asking

every man on his own “are you Ian?”

What was your first impression?

With his wide smile Ian gives off such

warm, I can’t actually imagine he

would work in anything other than a

nurturing sector. A firm handshake and

a forthright manner made it obvious we

were going to have a conversation with


What did you talk about?

Oh, everything from first jobs

to grandchildren. One of those

conversations with no awkward silences

just heaps to say and one comment

sparking off another thread so time went

very quickly and I was aware that we

were covering heaps of ground. Kind

of wish I’d taken notes as there was so

much interesting content to capture.

We talked about the lack of confidence

in young people across Scotland and

what was holding them back from

being the best that they can be. Which

led onto role models and influence

in communities. We talked about our

own roles and the joy and sometimes

challenges that brought. And about

work-life balance. We spoke about our

own journeys and areas where our

organisations could collaborate in the


What did you have in common?

Ian commented on changing his role at

the “turn of the century” which made

me smile. I’d never heard anyone use

that term when describing their career


APRIL 2019 29

progression before but it did make me

realise that from the journeys we openly

shared, we had so much in common

as leaders and our desire to support

our colleagues and build great teams,

and that we had both been around the

block a few times and still had huge

enthusiasm for the sectors we had

chosen to work in for over a quartercentury.

What was surprising or different about

their experience?

Ian commented on my entrepreneurial

approach and said that he wished he

had that. But as I listened to his story

around how he had very purposely

developed his career, studying for added

expertise and progression and the ways

within each role he had created new

projects and schemes – it all sounded

very entrepreneurial to me. Just in a

different way to a social enterprise startup

geek like me.

What useful thing did you learn?

The importance of taking time to listen

to young people, to help build their

confidence and self-esteem and then,

when they are ready, to purposely open

the right doors to opportunities that

help them fulfil their potential. Ian

shared a great sense of duty with was

rather compelling.

Who bought the coffee?

We met at the National Portrait Gallery.

I’d been there a little while so I was

already halfway down a hot chocolate

– free wifi and amazing salads make it

a regular pit stop for me but it’s also a

wonderful space just to take 15 minutes

to gaze at a portrait and whilst taking a


Could your organisations ever work in


For sure. At Hey Girls we are just

about to launch our Menstrual Health

Education Programme and I can see

that would be a useful addition to

offer to Ian’s Youth Worker Events

Programme. Ian also spoke of a desire

to bring a more socially enterprising

approach into his organisation and I’d

be most happy to support that in some

way if useful.

Did he help spark a new idea?

We spoke at length around the

importance of good governance and

various models, which reminded

me how much I enjoy shaping board

structures and the need to refresh

start-up boards as an enterprise

develops and scales. Maybe time for

me to spend a little while reflecting on

Hey Girls journey and think about our

governance structure to ensure it’s fit for

the future.

What will be your lasting memory?

Ian is a people powered change kind of

a guy and a great man in a storm.

Ian on Celia

What were you expecting?

I hadn’t met Celia before so I didn’t

know what to expect but, looking at

our respective careers, I was expecting

something quite different in my

meeting and I wasn’t disappointed.

What was your first impression?

Inspired! Meeting Celia was like meeting

someone who has packed an awful lot

into her varied and entrepreneurial

career and left wondering how she has

manages to pack it all in and yet remain

so committed and passionate in her

work. She is currently so motivated to

make a difference to the lives of girls

and women and at the same time

offering environmentally friendly

sanitary products.

What did you talk about?

We talked a lot. Mostly around

Youth Scotland and Hey Girls; the

social enterprise and charity sectors;

the production, distribution and

education programmes associated

with sanitary products for girls and

women; governance and trustees roles;

entrepreneurship and risk taking.

What did you have in common?

More than I thought we would.

Grandchildren and varied careers. We

also both have a feeling in our hearts

that drives us in our respective but very

different roles in the sector. Celia’s heart

is clearly in the edgier, more risk-taking

social enterprise space while mine

has been nurtured in more structured

membership type organisations that

have been around for a long time.

What was surprising or different about

their experience?

How Celia won the Social Entrepreneur

of the Year accolade in 2018 less than

one year after establishing Hey Girls.

What useful thing did you learn?

I learned a lot from Celia in such a short

time. The main learning point for me

was that even the more structured,

some would say, traditional third sector

organisations, can be more enterprising

in their ambitions and not to be afraid

of giving something a try even if it

carries some degree of risk – in Celia’s

words, “just give it a punt”.

We also both have a

feeling in our hearts

that drives us in our

respective but very

different roles in the


Who bought the coffee?

Sadly, I got off to a bad start by being

a little late so we bought our own

(as well as cake) in the very pleasant

surroundings of the café in the National

Portrait Gallery.

Could your organisations ever work in


Absolutely and we’ve already had some

initial discussion on what that could

look like. Youth workers are ideally

placed to break down the stigma and

barriers surrounding menstruation and

engage in dialogue to address the issues

where young people in particular are

affected by period poverty.

Did she help spark a new idea?

She did, especially around Youth

Scotland’s potential to engage with the

corporate sector and to see what ways

we can seek their support without

asking for money!

What will be your lasting memory?

I will remember an hour and a bit well

spent. Also, meeting someone who

is brimming with energy, strategic

thinking and vision but somehow

manages to retain a strong sense of

keeping a handle on the day to day

operations of running Hey Girls.

Will you meet again?

We have already agreed to keep the

discussion going and see where we can

cultivate a closer working relationship

between our two organisations. Next

time the coffee’s on me!

This column is sponsored by



APRIL 2019 31

Road to becoming…

an animal rescue officer

Bob Ward on his journey

through the career jungle to

become a senior animal rescue

officer for SSPCA.

Career history:

Music and animals are my two

passions and I’ve been playing the

drums from an early age. We formed

a band called Calcium and toured

all over Europe. We did that for six

or seven years until we disbanded.

We were quite successful, supported

Status Quo and worked with the

people who produced Tricky, the triphop

artist, and Gary Numan. After the

band split, I tutored drums privately at

Lochgelly High School. Previous to

all that, I helped out in a local

exotic pet shop.

What does your current role involve?

I’m a senior animal rescue officer so I

train up all the new starts in my area. I

make sure that they are fully equipped

to deal with circumstances that arise

and I’m on hand to advise them at all

times. I’m also involved in community

working groups. I still rescue animals,

am an advisor on animal welfare and an


Did formal qualifications help get your


No. After the band split, I began to tutor

at the high school. One of my mum’s

friends worked at the Scottish SPCA

National Wildlife Rescue Centre and

asked if I wanted to help. I had some

spare time as I was teaching part time,

so I applied and was appointed as

volunteer wildlife assistant. I did that

for seven or eight months and then got a

permanent job and worked my way up

from there. I’ve always loved animals;

when I was young I wanted to be a

vet. I have vast experience with exotic

animals as I’ve owned them since I was

eight years old. My first was a checkered

garter snake called Suzie.

Most satisfying job you’ve had?

Playing in front of thousands of people

is very satisfying but helping save a

three and a half tonne minke whale is

incredible. What we do every day is so


Is this job where you always wanted to


I made music my career as it was what I

did every day so I pursued that. But I’m

very happy in this job. I’ve been offered

other jobs in music and elsewhere, but

I’ve turned them down so I am

very happy here.

What’s your best piece of

career advice?

Be as educated as you

can. Practical experience

with domestic and wild

animals is invaluable.

Nothing can prepare

you for the things that

you’ll come across when

working with animals so if you have

experience already, that’s a massive

bonus. You need to think on your feet

and not be scared to tackle something

you’ve never done before. I always advise

people to think in three stages, basically

breaking down a job. If you need to

rescue a fox, don’t think of the bigger

picture, get hold of it first then on to the

next stage.

Most memorable moment in the


A classic example was the swan at

Lochgelly Loch which had an abscess

on the back of its foot. I took her to the

wildlife centre where she was treated

and rehabilitated. I took her back to the

loch and she started making weird and

wonderful noises as she was so happy!

Then her friend came and greeted her

and they swam off together. Experiences

like that make my job worthwhile.

What’s your favourite animal?

That’s a very tricky question! I do have

a soft spot for a magpie as they’re quite

gung-ho and cheeky, like me! And if

it was a domestic animals, I do love a

crested gecko as they are very cute. One

of my absolutely favourite animals has to

be my husky, Odin.

Do you love animals more than people?

Yes. 100%. Animals are faithful and

genuine and they show a loyalty that is

very rare in humans.

Is self-development crucial in climbing

the career ladder?

Absolutely. You don’t always need a

qualification. I started out as a volunteer

and worked hard, I focused and

progressed from there. You don’t need a

degree but you do need self-belief and


How can others get into your profession?

By getting as much experience as you

can. Be that on a farm, at a livery, with

dogs, you can’t buy the practical side

of things. Books don’t bite you when

they’re nervous or scared. When you

put things into practice it’s a different

kettle of fish.



APRIL 2019


New chief for

Fond farewell


for Oonagh

The Scottish Childminding

Association (SCMA) has appointed

a new chief executive.

Graeme McAlister started

his new role

at the start of

this month,

following the


of Maggie


His previous

roles include

head of


at the Royal

College of

Physicians of

Edinburgh and communications

manager for the Scottish

Intercollegiate Guidelines


Graeme said: “I am delighted

to have been appointed

to this role and to be joining

the SCMA at this important

time in the development of

early learning and childcare

in Scotland. I am very much

looking forward to working

with staff and members in

ensuring that the views and

experiences of childminders

are represented and working

collaboratively with others”.

Liz Stewart,



said: “We



from a very

high calibre

of candidates

in our search

to recruit a



to take

the helm and lead SCMA


“Following a detailed and

rigorous recruitment process

we know we have appointed

an exceptional candidate who

is passionate about the lives

of children.”

The national volunteering

charity Volunteering Matters

has announced that its chief

executive will be leaving the

charity at the end of June.


Aitken will

be retiring

after seven

years with

the charity,

five of them

as chief


In that time

she has led

the charity’s



Community Service Volunteers

to Volunteering Matters,

overseeing a renewed focus

on its core purpose of volunteering

and social action,

and ensuring the charity’s

ongoing sustainability. The

charity now engages more

than 30,000 volunteers every

year in over 100 programmes,

reaching 115,000 beneficiaries.

Volunteering Matters’ chair,

Anne Heal said: “We’d like

to thank Oonagh for seven

years of dedication to the

charity, steering us with great


to where we

are now. In

that time she

has refined

our strategic


updated our

identity to

better reflect

what we do

and ensured

we are


as one of the UK’s leading

volunteering charities.”

Oonagh began her career

in teaching before working in

the Education Directorate of

Strathclyde region, followed

by senior posts in Glasgow

city and Fife councils.

Recent appointments across Scotland

Charities supporting young people are

amongst those which have strengthened

their ranks.

The Abernethy Trust has unveiled a

new chief executive.

Mike Causey will join the outdoor

activities charity in the summer,

replacing Phil Simpson, who has worked

for the charity for 36 years, spending

eight years at the helm.

Mike and his family will be moving

from Tianjin in China, where he has

worked as director of leadership

formation for education consortium LDi.

Susan Hunter (far left) has been

appointed as chief officer of YouthBorders,

the network of third sector youth

organisations in the Scottish Borders.

As an area association of Youth

Scotland, the group’s membership

includes youth clubs, youth cafes,

specialist projects, after school clubs and

voluntary groups.

Youthlink Scotland has announced

the expansion of its team through

the creation of a new #IWill national

development officer post.

Jenni Snell, who was previously a

youth development officer at Aberdeen

City Council, joined the team earlier this

year to take up the new role.

Mental health and wellbeing charity

Health in Mind has announced Wendy

Bates (left) as its new chief executive.

Wendy has been with Health in Mind

for 18 years working in various roles,

most recently deputy chief executive.

She takes over from Gwenn McCreath

who has led the charity for the past 14



APRIL 2019 33

Unity - Head of Operations (full time)

Closing date: Fri 10th May 2019 at 12.00

Salary: £37,130

We are delighted to be recruiting for a Head of Operations The Role:

to help us deliver on ambitious and innovative support to

The Head of Operations will support the CEO to build on the

individuals and communities in Glasgow and the west.

organisations achievements to date, ensure quality standards

We believe in Equality, Inclusion and Opportunity for

are high and reflect meaningful participation, and help

everyone and work hard to ensure that we offer support to lead the organisation through the development of new

that makes a positive difference to people. This is a fantastic services and projects. You will work closely with the Head of

opportunity to join the team at an exciting time of growth and Finance to ensure we design, plan and deliver in ways that are

change. At Unity we work hard to uphold our core values of

sustainable and impactful. (Please see Job Description and

Person Specification on

Equality, Inclusion, Respect, Honesty, Kindness, Fairness and

Bravery. We expect all our people

To apply:

to show these values through their work and behaviour.

Please send the following to:

We believe firmly in supporting individuals and

communities to achieve their potential and we welcome (put ‘HOP Application’ in the email header)

everyone; people are at the heart of everything we do. We 1. Completed Unity application form available on the

offer a competitive salary, a very generous holiday allowance, goodmoves website

including 13 public holidays, and a staff

2. An up to date CV

discount in our social enterprise cafes among other benefits. 3. Using all the information available to you, please also

We are proud to be an award-winning organization in

provide a covering letter telling us why you believe you are the

perfect match for this role and for this organisation.

recognition of our commitment to Equality and Diversity.

Could you be part of the next phase of our journey?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Board Member Vacancy

Fife Housing Group is an ambitious, forward-thinking organisation, committed to

providing quality, affordable housing to tenants throughout Fife.

One of the largest independent housing associations in the

east of Scotland we manage approximately 2,500 properties

and have an annual turnover of almost £12 million.

We employ 64 colleagues at our offices in Dunfermline

and are registered under Charitable Rules with the Scottish

Housing Regulator, the Office of the Scottish Charity

Regulator and with the Financial Services Authority.

Our subsidiary company, PACT Enterprises, owns 49

properties which are let at market-rents.

The Group is governed by a voluntary Board and we are

currently looking to strengthen our overall governance

arrangements through the appointment of new Board

Members, whose skills and knowledge will help to shape

our strategic direction.

Candidates should be able to demonstrate good

interpersonal skills, independence of thought and an ability

to challenge constructively whilst making balanced and

informed decisions.

Knowledge of social housing is desirable but not essential,

however, experience of operating successfully at a strategic

level in one of the following areas would certainly be


• Customer care and experience

• Property maintenance and development

• Information and communications technology (ICT)

We are particularly interested to hear from applicants

who live within our area of operation and, as an equal

opportunities employer, are keen to attract greater diversity

onto our Board.

Further details regarding this opportunity and the commitment involved can be found in our Board Recruitment Pack,

which can be downloaded from; you can also contact Laura Grieve on 01383 608 175 or via laura. for more information or an informal chat.

Closing date for applications: 31 May 2019


34 APRIL 2019 Ask Aunt Tiffany

Got a problem that’s holding your organisation back? Aunt Tiffany knows everyone

who’s anyone in the third sector – and will find someone with the answer you seek.

Staying calm in a storm

We are reviewing our comms strategy,

and are wondering how we can avoid

making a drama out of a crisis if one

occurs. Can you help?

To do their job effectively charities

need to have a good name, but

it seems many don’t pay enough

attention to promoting and

protecting their reputation.

Don’t take my word for it.

Here’s what Baroness Stowell of

Beeston, chair of the Charity Commission, said

last year after a series of scandals that hit the

third sector: “people trust charities no more than

they trust the average strangers they meet on the


This puts into sharp focus the need to have a

crisis plan in place. It’s important to remember

a crisis is an event that threatens to engulf your

whole organisation. This is rare. The worst it gets

for most charities is reputation management.

So how would you handle such an event that

could result in the national or international press

landing on your doorstep?

Here are the seven tips to follow on how to


Make a plan

Preparation is everything. Create a team to

look at all possible issues that could result in a

crisis. Make sure the team know all about the

organisation and don’t rule anything out on the

basis that it ‘wouldn’t happen here’.

Prepare holding statements that can be used for

both media and social media. This will buy you

time to get a grip of what is going on and collect

the facts. Identify a person who will handle

media calls, and a media spokesperson – make

sure they have been media trained. The media

spokesperson should not be the person handling

the crisis.

Brief all your staff, particularly the ones that

answer the phone. Review your plan regularly.

Do not panic

Stay calm, be flexible and expect the

unexpected. Get your team in place and make

sure there’s a strong line of communication


Find the facts

When something goes wrong, establish the

facts quickly and accurately. Watch out for factual

errors being reported. Remember the old phrase:

“a lie is half way round the world before the truth

has got its shoes on.”

Take control

Go to your plan. Do you have the holding

statement? Flesh out what you know for sure. Use

positive language – instead of “we’re trying to find

out” you could say “we’ve launched an immediate

investigation”. As media interest becomes clear,

plan the timing of statements. Make sure your

media spokesperson is briefed, your statements

deal solely in facts and do not speculate.

Stay on the front foot

Don’t let events overtake you. Don’t let the

media set the agenda. If you’re overwhelmed by

enquiries, direct them to your social media pages

or website, pin a statement so it appears at the

top. Review media and social media coverage

regularly to identify new issues and questions and

to find out how people are reacting. Keep up-todate

with media requests, don’t over-promise.

Face the future

Once it’s over, assess the potential reputational

damage candidly. Plan your comeback, tell your

story. You’re rarely judged on what goes wrong

but always on how you react.

Review crisis plan

Go back to your plan, see what worked and

what didn’t. Don’t be shy about taking your

concerns to management to alert them of issues.

It’s an important part of your job.

This month’s solution was provided by John

Morrison, managing director of Morrison Media,

who has extensive communications experience.

Do you have an

issue for our

problem page? Email

for an answer.

Call SCVO’s

information service

helpline on 0800

169 0022 for a more

immediate response.

John Morrison.

Social Suppliers Directory


APRIL 2019 35

To advertise in the TFN Social Suppliers Directory, ring Alison Fraser on 0141 946 8708

Senscot Legal

A social enterprise

providing quality,

affordable legal support

to the third sector. A wide range of services offered including

structures and setup, employment, charity and governance.

The Experience

The Experience is Scotland’s awardwinning,

premier indoor electric gokarting

arena. Located close to Glasgow

city centre, its dedicated conference

centre offers spaces for every occasion.

Good design for good causes. We specialise in design, print

and digital services for the third sector throughout Scotland.

Scottish League of Credit Unions

Our core purpose is to

ensure that our member

Credit Unions become

and remain:

Compliant > Sustainable > Ethical.


ACOSVO is a membership

organisation for third sector leaders

and offers peer support, good

practice sharing and leadership

development opportunities.

Grassmarket Project

GCP supports vulnerable

adults, who are homeless,

have mental health issues

or a disability, through social

enterprise and activities.

With Cyber-attacks and data

breaches on the increase,

protection against Cyber risks

can no longer be ignored.

Can your organisation afford to

take the chance?

Keegan & Pennykid –

serving the third sector for

over 40 years.

0131 225 6005

Across all industry sectors

there is a daily threat of

cyber-attack which could

compromise the integrity

of your IT systems and

expose your organisation

to cybercrime including

data theft.

This puts an organisation

at risk of reputational

damage, interruption to its

core services and activities,

regulatory sanctions and

potentially significant

unplanned financial costs.

An effective cyber insurance

policy is an invaluable

inclusion in your suite of

insurances. For further

information, advice or a quote

please contact us .

Keegan & Pennykid (Insurance Brokers) Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

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