What will Brexit mean for the
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 3
5 Graham Martin: Brexit and
why the third sector will enure
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
24 Opinion: Tony Vick appeals for
charity lottery reform
25 Opinion: new OSCR chief
Maureen Mallon writes for TFN
26 Café with a conscience:
31 Through the looking glass:
Annie Gunner Logan
28-29 Chief encounters: Celia Hodson
meets Ian McLaughlan
31 Road to becoming... an animal
34 Ask Aunt Tiffany: staying calm
in a media storm
35 Social Suppliers Directory
like a shared
take out a
chunk of the
The Nightmare by
TFN EDITORIAL TEAM
DESIGN & PRODUCTION /
0141 946 8708
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
(SCVO), a Scottish Charitable
in TFN, call
Alison Fraser on
0141 946 8708
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 5
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
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
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.
THIRD FORCE NEWS
• 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.
SHOCK AS LGBT
CHARITY SAYS IT
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
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
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.”
FEEDBACK SOUGHT ON PRIVATE SCHOOL
• 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.
WHO WILL TAKE THIRD SECTOR LEADERSHIP
• 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.
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 7
A FIFTH OF CHARITIES
HAVE BEEN HIT BY CYBER
ATTACKS IN THE PAST YEAR
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
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
reliant on IT
victim to a range
which is putting
funds, assets and
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 scvo.org/digital/
THIRD FORCE NEWS
TFN focus: Brexit and the third sector
Brexit: the long
night and the
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
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,
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),
“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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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
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
been severely cut
back – this would
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
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
for many people
across the UK but
disabled people are
at heightened risk
Susie Fitton, Inclusion Scotland
THIRD FORCE NEWS
Brexit and the third sector
In the furious
debates one key
issue has been
largely ignored –
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.
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,
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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
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
“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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 13
The team at
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
“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
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
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.
org.uk or email steve.mccreadie@
THIRD FORCE NEWS
TFN focus: five years of the Scottish Centr
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
45% of young people and
75% of parents say that
conflict happens at home at
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
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
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
online, 195 resource packs
were sent out to
98 professionals working
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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
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
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
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
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
Over 80% who completed it said
they felt SCCR training gave them skills
and learning to better support families
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
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
we are not
– I think
seen as a
We hope the
to have an
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
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.”
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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
It’s a journey that has exposed
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 19
violence, discrimination and racism of
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
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
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.”
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
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.
THIRD FORCE NEWS
TFN focus: Scotland's prescription drug cr
crisis – and the
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 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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
Clockwise from above:
addictive. And experience has shown
that users become just as reliant on
these drugs as those they are weaning
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
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
Senior doctors, drug specialists and MPs
warn Scotland is hurtling towards a USstyle
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
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.”
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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.”
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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
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
still exist to
• 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
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
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 25
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
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
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.
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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
3 GAVIN’S MILL ROAD
(ADJACENT TO THE BIG TESCO
CAR PARK, MINGAVIE) G62 6NB
HISTORIC BUT COSMOPOLITAN
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, 10AM TO
5PM MONDAY TO SATURDAY,
NOON TO 4PM SUNDAY
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
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
gavinsmill.org and make sure you pay a
visit and help keep its vital, continentstraddling
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 27
the looking glass
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
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
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.
THIRD FORCE NEWS
“One of those conversations
with no awkward silences
just heaps to say and one
comment sparking off
In this month’s
founder of period
Hey Girls, meets
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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.
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
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
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.
THIRD FORCE NEWS
GOODMOVERS: LOOK WHO HAS A NEW JOB IN SCOTLAND’S THIRD SECTOR
New chief for
The Scottish Childminding
Association (SCMA) has appointed
a new chief executive.
Graeme McAlister started
his new role
at the start of
at the Royal
Edinburgh and communications
manager for the Scottish
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”.
from a very
in our search
to recruit a
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
The national volunteering
charity Volunteering Matters
has announced that its chief
executive will be leaving the
charity at the end of June.
five of them
In that time
she has led
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
what we do
as one of the UK’s leading
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
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
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
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 33
Unity - Head of Operations (full time)
Closing date: Fri 10th May 2019 at 12.00
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 www.goodmoves.org.uk)
Equality, Inclusion, Respect, Honesty, Kindness, Fairness and
Bravery. We expect all our people
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 www.goodmoves.org.uk
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
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 goodmoves.org.uk; you can also contact Laura Grieve on 01383 608 175 or via laura.
email@example.com for more information or an informal chat.
Closing date for applications: 31 May 2019
THIRD FORCE NEWS
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
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.”
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.
helpline on 0800
169 0022 for a more
Social Suppliers Directory
THIRD FORCE NEWS
APRIL 2019 35
To advertise in the TFN Social Suppliers Directory, ring Alison Fraser on 0141 946 8708
A social enterprise
affordable legal support
to the third sector. A wide range of services offered including
structures and setup, employment, charity and governance.
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
Compliant > Sustainable > Ethical.
ACOSVO is a membership
organisation for third sector leaders
and offers peer support, good
practice sharing and leadership
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
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This puts an organisation
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core services and activities,
regulatory sanctions and
unplanned financial costs.
An effective cyber insurance
policy is an invaluable
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insurances. For further
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please contact us .
Keegan & Pennykid (Insurance Brokers) Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority