This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

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.

SCVO Convener: An opportunity not to be missed

This opinion piece is 12 months old

People always say the relationship between the chair of the board of trustees and the chief executive is crucial to the success of a charity. I can vouch for that! Having that source of support, constructive challenge and advice genuinely helps me do my job. That was particularly true during lockdown, when SCVO’s Convener, Andrew Burns, invested his time in making sure I felt supported. So, I feel sad that his second term is coming to an end, even though I know in terms of good governance that is the right approach.

I’m also a bit trepidatious. Will anyone apply? Will they try and boss me around? Will they appreciate all the fab things about SCVO and Scotland’s voluntary sector? Well, of course lots of people will apply! Why would you not be interested in such a fulfilling role? And it’s not hard to see the value of both the organisation and the sector we work with. As for the middle one, time will tell.

This is a fresh opportunity to join us and lead our board of experienced and talented trustees. SCVO has just launched its new 5-year strategy which sets out our ambitions for the organisation and the voluntary sector. There are lots of challenges facing charities, community organisations and social enterprises just now but also lots of opportunities to cement our place in the social and economic fabric of our country.

SCVO is determined to be an authentic voice for the sector, to provide excellent support services and to be the best organisation we can be. The foundations are strong, and we have a great staff team bursting with expertise and enthusiasm. With sound leadership, we can build on those strengths.

We’re working with Livingston James, who have a good track record in finding us excellent trustees, to find our new Convener. We’re looking for someone who understands the voluntary sector and believes in SCVO’s purpose and values; someone who’ll help us maintain high standards of governance and who’ll promote a culture of support and constructive challenge in the board and the wider organisation. You don’t need to have chaired a board before but will need some experience as a trustee. You won’t be paid, but you won’t be out of pocket – we will pay reasonable expenses, including things like childcare - and we’re keen to attract as diverse a range of candidates as possible.

To find out more and to apply, please contact Douglas Adam And Andrew Burns and I are both happy to hear from anyone who would like to chat informally about the role, what it involves and about SCVO. Get in touch at or