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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.

Scotland’s Social Economy Pledge shines a light on local impact leaders

This opinion piece is over 1 year old

Encourage Holyrood candidates to sign the pledge - to ensure a thriving social economy

Thursday, 6 May is the date of the next Scottish Parliament election. It’s an unusual election to say the least, coming as it does in the midst of a global pandemic.

Campaigning is different this time and effective online and digital campaigning is more vital than ever for candidates and political parties.

Scotland’s Social Economy Pledge (#SocialEconomyPledge) is designed to get all Holyrood candidates to support the development of our diverse social economy organisations.

Primarily it’s about raising awareness of the vital role of charities, co-operatives, social enterprises, development trusts, voluntary and community groups - and placing them firmly on the priority list for parliamentary candidates.

The pledge is also about a commitment to build a better policy and support environment for these organisations post-election, whatever government is elected, so that they can grow and thrive. 

TFN has been compiling a list of third sector manifestos so election candidates can see what voluntary, charity and social enterprise organisations are saying across different sectors too.

We’ll have a big job to do in terms of speaking to and demonstrating the value of our social enterprises and charities to the many new MSPs who are due to take up their seats in May.

Over the past year community groups up and down the country have stepped up to deliver essential public services, from community food deliveries, to support for disabled people and the elderly, activities for young people and so much more. 

It’s essential that we now seek to mainstream social economy organisations in economic recovery and development going forward. There simply can’t be any kind of wellbeing economy or community wealth building without these innovators leading the way.

We've been promoting the pledge in various ways and already have candidates from different parties signed up. 

With just a few weeks until polling day these numbers will rise but we still need people to contact all their local and regional candidates and urge them to pledge their support. Do contact your Holyrood candidates directly - you can find all names with the BBC election tool and Tweet or email them.

Thanks to those who have promoted the pledge so far. Please do continue to promote on a regular basis up until 6 May on social media and in newsletters and meetings. Use the pledge weblink plus hashtag #SocialEconomyPledge. 

If we can build momentum and get a good number of candidates to sign the pledge we’ll be in a much stronger position post-election to ensure that our social economy thrives. 

Duncan Thorp is policy and public affairs manager at Social Enterprise Scotland.



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