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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.

Holyrood 2021: what the voluntary sector wants


TFN's guide to charity election manifestos

Scotland faces a crucial election in May.

There’s lots at stake in the Holyrood poll, which is still scheduled to go ahead as planned, despite the pandemic, not least Scotland’s constitutional future.

The country’s voluntary sector also has a lot of asks of the parties and politicians who will make up out next parliament.

Therefore, TFN has committed to compiling as many voluntary sector manifestos as possible – to provide an easily accessible portal where everyone – from policy makers to parties to the public - can see the breadth of the sector’s activity and demands.

They are presented here in no particular order. If your organisation would like to be included, send a link to your manifesto to TFN editor Graham Martin at

This list will be updated frequently, so make sure you check back.


Among Children In Scotland’s headline asks are that adequate funding is provided to meaningfully implement the UNCRC across public services alongside a suite of policies and actions that will realise children’s rights. The charity also wants to ensure that children and young people have a say in key Scottish Government decision-making processes, including Citizens Assemblies.

Read the full manifesto here.


Keep Scotland Beautiful wants action to allow a green recovery from Covid, a reduction in litter and waste, and the protection and enhancement of our green spaces. It asks for bold action to decarbonise key sectors including buildings, transport, agriculture and tourism during the lifetime of the next parliament so Scotland meet its net-zero ambition.

Read the full manifesto below.


Oxfam Scotland published a paper (Care, climate and Covid-19: building a wellbeing economy for Scotland) on its key policy priorities. it identifies four linked priorities for the Scottish Parliament:  delivering a wellbeing economy built on care, while leaving no-one behind; the better valuing of – and investing in – all forms of care work and those who provide it; caring for our planet by delivering climate justice; and ▪ caring for people in poverty and humanitarian crisis globally.

It can be read here.


This is a charity which supports, informs and empowers children and young people living with learning difficulties. It has produced a "call to all political parties to put neurodiversity at the heart of every manifesto", with three key asks aimed at bettering the elives of neurodivergent children and young people.

Read the manifesto below.


Connect's manifesto sets out its priorities for the next five years as it works to improve parental engagement in children's learning and school lives. This is the key factor in improving children's outcomes and also improves schools and nurseries. It has set out four themes. These are the importance of parents and carers in children’s learning, the important role of parents in improving schools and nurseries, the importance of good relationships between families, schools and nurseries and fairness, kindness and access for all children and young people in our education system.

Read the manifesto here.


Developed not only with input from and mass consultation with young people, but with a specific focus on those groups with are often seldom heard by decision makers, From Scotland’s Young People is a five-year document provides you with a detailed overview of what changes SYP wants to be made. It states: “Now, we need the adults in charge to make meaningful use of these policy recommendations. We need reassurance and action to make sure that our human rights and life opportunities are not at risk.”

Read the manifesto here.


This is billed as a manifesto for change - it demands an enhanced role for the third sector, the implementation of place-based approaches, steps towards the creation of a fairer wellbeing society and the boosting of volunteering and the empowerment of people

Read the manifesto below.


The Gender Pay Gap Manifesto outlines 14 policies that could be adopted over the next parliamentary term to address the gender pay gap and realise fair work for women. In line with the multiple causes of the gender pay gap, the policy priorities cover low pay, skills, and economic development.

Read the manifesto here.


SFHA has produced a manifesto for social and economic recovery. It has key asks across the categories of people, homes, climate change and adapting homes for the future.

Read the manifesto here.


Sight Scotland’s manifesto calls for a new national low vision service to link people with the support they need quickly after they have received a diagnosis of a sight loss condition. The charity is also calling for better access to specialist support for children and young people with visual impairment, action to tackle high levels of unemployment among blind and partially sighted people, more community support and increased provision of information in accessible formats including braille.

Read the manifesto below.


These charities have joined to launch a new call for the Scottish Government to Walk Back Better, ahead of the Holyrood elections. It stresses the importance of walking to physical, mental, and social health, and makes calls for action to provide opportunities and environments for people to walk regularly. In doing so, they say we will move forward from the pandemic to a healthier, cleaner, safer and happier walking nation.

Read the manifesto here.


The national sight loss charity is calling on all political parties to build on the greater social cohesiveness that the coronavirus crisis has engendered. Its manifesto is calling on the next Scottish Government to launch a new campaign to emphasise the importance of regular eye examinations in preventing sight loss and also wants ministers to report annually on the attainment figures for blind and partially sighted school pupils and to train more specialist teachers as a matter of urgency.

Read the manifesto below.


Deafscotland urges all political parties to remember Scotland’s 1 million people affected by deafness in their manifesto commitments as well as how they communicate their content. It says it is essential that party policies and the method of promotion, address the communication poverty that is endemic in Scottish society. 

Read the manifesto below.


The More for Scotland’s Animals campaign aims to raise the profile of animal welfare in Scotland and amongst candidate MSPs. The campaign is being run by ten of the leading animal welfare organisations ahead of the 2021 Scottish elections, and urges candidates to pledge to do more for Scotland’s animals if elected to the Scottish Parliament.  

Find out more here.


The MS Society Scotland's manifesto tackles key issues for the MS community including the failing PIP system, rehab services and support for people with long terms conditions. Among its major demands is the creation of a world-leading, rights based social security system co-produced with people affected by MS.

Read the manifesto here.


MND Scotland has two major calls in its manifesto - it wants to see the creation of a National care Service and a National Accessible Housing Strategy. It says that too often, statutory services which should provide a lifeline to people with MND simply cannot keep up with the speed of deterioration, leaving those affected to struggle on without the help they urgently need.

Read the manifesto here.


Aberlour wants the next administration to use devolved social security powers further to target low-income families by, as a start, doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per child per week. It wants to see a national approach using local government powers to target support, including discretionary financial assistance, to prevent families from falling into poverty and destitution.

Read the full manifesto here.


Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) promotes the cultural, social and economic value of contemporary art – and those who create it. Artists and cultural organisations have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic – and SCAN is calling for a commitment to keep our galleries free, and for a stable investment in the cultural sector, and in our nation’s studios and workshops.

Read its manifesto here.


The human rights organisation says that the next Scottish government must ensure that human rights standards and protections across all areas of policy are maintained and strengthened, throughout and beyond the process of the UK leaving the EU. It wants to see human rights protections prioritised and enhanced through incorporation of UN treaties into law to the maximum extent possible within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

Read its manifesto below.


Community Land Scotland wants to see new powers to control sales of large estates and to break up landowning monopolies. It wants MSPs to legislate for a new Land Reform Act which will give legal powers to Scottish ministers to stop sales of large areas of land, if they are deemed to run counter to the interests of the local community and wider Scottish public.

Read its manifesto here.


BHF Scotland has developed a plan for the next Scottish government to deliver the best possible diagnosis, treatment and care for people with heart disease. It has identified three priority areas: to minimise preventable heart disease and to ensure that everyone with suspected heart disease in Scotland has timely and equitable access to diagnosis, treatment and care that supports them in living well with their condition.

Read its manifesto here.


Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing (SCHW) has published its Blueprint for a healthier Scotland. It provides details of how the Scottish Government could invest in community led approaches to improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities for a very modest ongoing investment. 

Read it below.


Disability Scotland has published its Manifesto for Change. The group says disabled people face inequality and discrimination across all facets of society and the CovidI-19 pandemic has resulted in disabled people becoming even more marginalised. It is asking that all political parties commit to a social model of disability; to protect human rights; inclusive communication; opportunities for employment; support for access panels; equitable social care; accessible transport; access to justice active participation and to support young people.

Access the manifesto here.

MND Scotland

MND Scotland is calling for politicians to introduce a National Care Service for Scotland and a National Accessible Housing Strategy. The charity says services need put in place quickly, yet many people wait too long. It says people need services, such as social care and home adaptations, to help them live their lives safely. 

You can read the manifesto here.


SCIAF has launched its roadmap to urge Scottish party leaders to take the lead for a more human and environmentally aware approach to a post-Covid recovery. It is urging all parties to take heed of the drastically different world in which we now live due to the pandemic and use their political clout to help address the inequalities that exist between the rich and poor as a result of unfair economic models, climate change and now also the coronavirus.

Read the manifesto here.


SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) has launched its manifesto for Scotland’s mental health, calling for the next Scottish Government to take radical action in order to combat a growing mental health crisis in Scotland.  Informed by over 2,500 people across Scotland, many of whom have lived experience of mental health problems, Standing Up for Scotland’s Mental Health sets out 38 actions to make mental health a national priority. 

Read the manifesto here.


The Scottish Community Safety Network's ambition is that Community Safety is valued and integrated across all relevant policy areas. We are committed to working to achieve a fairer and more equal Scotland. There is so much across the Community Safety landscape where we'd like to see focus, investment and change. This document presents our priorities for the next parliamentary term.

Read the manifesto here.


Inclusion Scotland's manifesto sets out what disabled people have told it are the most important issues they face and what needs to be done to make a post Covid-19 Scotland a better place for disabled people. It is informed by the lived experience of disabled people. The next Scottish Parliament can deliver five asks to make a post Covid-19 Scotland better for disabled people.

Find out what they are and read the manifesto here.


RNID works to make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus. It wants a future Scottish Government to take action on this major public health issue. RNID has three main policy areas that they want addressed: support and care, employment and information for all.

Read the manifesto below.


Glasgow Disability Alliance is calling on Scotland’s political parties to pledge urgent actions in the next Holyrood term, to supercharge disabled people’s voices and tackle widening inequality faced by Scotland’s one million disabled people. Its manifesto calls for actions to embed International Human Rights into Scots’ law, and establish a disability commissioner and Disability Law Centre to uphold them. It also calls for disabled people to have fast-tracked access to vital services cut during Covid; for the creation of a National Care Service built on human rights and accountability; and for swift action to boost income and employment prospects for disabled people

Read the full manifesto here.


CHAS is calling on politicians of all parties to stand alongside the 16,700 families across the country facing the terrifying heartbreak that their child may die young. Its manifesto sets out five calls that it is asking candidates across all political parties to back, including continued sustainable funding for children's hospice care in Scotland over the next five years, a new national plan for palliative care in Scotland that addresses the needs of children and more specialist training for health and social care staff, to meet increasingly complex needs.

Read its manifesto here.


Cycling UK in Scotland has launched its election campaign with the theme of ‘cycling is for everyone’. It is asking supporters to sign a petition to show their agreement with the main asks: invest more money in cycling and active travel; create safe space for people to cycle, walk and wheel; and enable people in rural communities to cycle.

Read the manifesto here.


End of life care must be a priority for the incoming Scottish Government now more than ever, says Marie Curie. It is calling on all political parties to include a plan for a new end of life care strategy in their manifestos for the upcoming Scottish election. By 2040, 95% of all people who die in Scotland may need palliative care by 2040, with over 60,000 people projected to be dying with a terminal condition.

Read its manifesto here.


Sustrans Scotland has launched its manifesto asks. They are for continued funding to enable walking, wheeling and cycling deliver high quality infrastructure; help for local authorities to create towns and cities that put people first; for the linking of communities with a Scotland-wide active travel highway network; support for safe ways to make healthier, cleaner commutes in cities and towns; for streets around our schools to be made safer and healthier; and support for making cycling available to everyone.

Access the manifesto here.

Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership, a coalition of 17 organisations, is calling for a substantial increase in funding across mental health and wellbeing. The coalition is urging the next Scottish Government to invest in an approach that will: Promote better mental health and wellbeing for the whole population; Prevent mental ill-health in communities at highest risk; and Provide an appropriate choice of support, care and treatment for people experiencing severe mental ill health.

Read the manifesto here:


Scotland's youth work sector has launched its manifesto to support youth workers and young people. The sector is calling on all parties at local and national level to act now to protect and invest in vital youth work services to ensure young people do not suffer even further from the negative effects of the pandemic.

The manifesto can be accessed here.


Scottish Mediation has published its manifesto, stating that the scale of the challenge that has been presented by Covid and Brexit has enabled society to demonstrate its capacity for radical change. It states: “Conflict is inevitable. Positive outcomes require us to navigate multiple complex relationships helping people find their 'new place.' Now is the time to highlight mediation as being a key opportunity to support this process.”

Read the manifesto here.


The ALLIANCE has published its Equally Valued manifesto. It focuses on six key themes: recovery and renewal – learn from everyone’s experiences and guarantee no one is left behind; people at the centre – ensure everyone gets the right support, in the right place, at the right time; social care – reform social care as an investment in people, society and the economy; human rights – firmly root Scottish law and people’s experiences in human rights; social security – deliver a progressive and ambitious model of social security and climate change – put people, health and social care at the centre of climate change action.

Read its manifesto here.


Food Train is calling for the creation of a government-funded national shopping service to end the postcode lottery of support for older people across Scotland. The charity, which works to improve food security and tackle malnutrition and social isolation among over-65s by helping them to eat well and live well in their own homes, has made a series of manifesto asks ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament elections.

Read more here.


The Scottish Food Coalition (SFC) is asking all parties to consider the key role that far-reaching reform to the food system and becoming a Good Food Nation would have in securing a more resilient Scottish economy while delivering on their social and environmental priorities. This election briefing outlines the coalition’s vision and headline policy asks for the next parliament. It sets out how effective food policy is fundamental to the delivery of the best possible outcomes for our land, seas, communities and people in Scotland.

Access the manifesto here.


Scotland’s approach to chronic pain must prioritise supporting people with arthritis pain, says Scotland Versus Arthritis, which has published its manifesto. The charity wants to see safe access to joint-replacement surgery for people who need it, so they can live free from pain, increased investment in support for self-management so that people with arthritis and related conditions can manage their pain  and action to address the impact that arthritis pain has on people’s ability to work.

Read the manifesto here.



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Maureen Allan
about 1 month ago

Would be good if "someone" could collate the running themes from each manifesto into one document