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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Past tense: TFN's members-only news review, June edition!

This feature is over 2 years old

Looking over the past month - exclusive for SCVO members

As we plough through the pandemic, some themes are beginning to emerge, based on what people have been reading on TFN’s website.

Since the last new review as published, by far the greatest engagement we have seen has been over stories about how – and where - we will work.

This is to be expected – as we all know, Covid has changed just about every aspect of our lives. I’m writing this from a weirdly cold (despite the sunshine outside) basement in my house. I’ve not clapped actual (as opposed to Zoom-filtered) eyes on work colleagues since March 2020.

The growing feeling is that this will become the permanent way of things, for those of us fortunate to be able to operate that way.

Therefore, stories about how the voluntary sector will operate, and what it will look like, are proving popular.

In fact, they always have – ever since the start of the pandemic.

Two of our most read stories over the past month have been the news that RNID is selling its property estate wholesale and moving to a completely remote-working future – and Advice Direct Scotland urging other charities to adopt its four day week (with no loss of pay – that’s the crucial bit) model.

The pandemic has given us the chance to reshape many things, and a rupture from a working week model based on industrial production is to be welcomed – as long as it is a policy shaped by staff themselves.

This has to work for actual workers and must not become a cover for management whimsy or even for cuts.

This is more likely to be a factor for other sectors (looking at you, private sector), and is another area where voluntary organisations can show real societal leadership.

Likewise with where we actually work. I endured (yes, endured) a commute for years. Only those who have not sat among the low moans and the stifled sobs which are the only acceptable noises on a pre-7am mid-winter Scotrail slog could ever come out with glib gibberish like “oh, You must get sooo much time to read!”

Commuting is often pointless and always expensive. There are better ways to spend our time, but as always, staff themselves must shape these policies, and the active involvement of trade unions will be key here.

We’re looking at how we work in the July edition of TFN, so watch this space.

So, we’ve established that stories about how we work do well on TFN – but one area where I’ve always been a bit disappointed in, in terms of reader numbers, is environmental stories.

They rarely take off and pull in big numbers of hits. Possibly this is down to us and how these things are presented, but over the years you get a feel for these things, and my overall feeling is that as a sector, outwith dedicated campaigning groups in this area of course, this is just not something that cuts through.

However, I’d guess that most of our readership is engaged with environmental concerns and just because something doesn’t get masses of engagement on TFN doesn’t mean it’s not important.

As you all know, it’s vitally important –probably the biggest issue out there.

It’s with this in mind that TFN and SCVO have been delighted to partner with the cross-sector Climate Scotland campaign ahead of Cop26.

Have a look at its website and get involved here.

Anyway, last month it was The Congas. This month’s from the cold basement listen is…

The resplendent Safety Net by the Shop Assistants. One of the best indie singles ever released.

See ya next month!


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