Decisions must be informed by the people they will affect, writes Ella Simpson
Change happens when people are passionate and committed.
The voluntary sector embodies these traits, bringing people together who share the same vision for a better future, and who are willing to give up their time, skills and knowledge to create this future. The Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council (EVOC) has held a unique role in Edinburgh for over 150 years, providing a platform and opportunity for the voluntary sector to challenge and influence decision-makers.
We work in partnership with both the voluntary and public sector partners, listening with passion to their experiences and ambitions for Edinburgh. We are committed to giving the voluntary sector space to challenge and influence: this is how we enact change today. In today’s current political landscape, decisions that directly impact our communities and citizens are too often made in rooms far-removed from the communities themselves.
Too often these decisions are also temporary, short-term fixes to longer-term problems.
People are experts in their own lives, living with their own daily stresses, strains and celebrations; they know their own communities best and are best-placed for shaping strategic decisions. However, the voices of our communities are seldom heard in decisions today. These are the voices from the community, the voices who are seldom heard because they are rarely given a platform to speak.
Now, they have shared their first-hand experiences of what has made a difference in their lives in the Mind the Craic report.
Mind the Craic is an initiative of EVOC and the Third Sector Strategy Group, designed to gather evidence of the lived experience of prevention and early intervention of citizens across Edinburgh, include voices and lived experience in the actions and strategies for prevention and early intervention across Edinburgh, and inform and connect with strategic actions across the city on poverty and prevention.
At EVOC, we believe that by working together and bringing together the voices of Edinburgh’s voluntary sector and citizens, we can provide renewed understanding, empathy and authenticity to decision-makers.
Mind the Craic is a celebration of Edinburgh’s communities and people. It serves as a powerful reminder that we all share the responsibility to listen and respect each other’s voices, and that we are all part of Edinburgh’s “community and people’’.
You can read the report here. We would encourage you all to read the report and listen to what our communities have to say.
Ella Simpson is CEO of EVOC
EVOC will be holding a series of roundtable events in October and November. Full details of these events along with booking information will be available on the EVOC website soon.