Joint Future for UCVO and VAL!
The Boards of the Uist Council of Voluntary Organisations and Voluntary
Action Lewis have agreed to join together in a single body in order to
form a stronger combined Third Sector infrastructural body in the
Islands. This is to better support charities, voluntary organisations
and social enterprise activity within the Western Isles. The move
contributes to Scottish Government aspirations to see a more effective,
joined-up Third Sector in all areas, including the Western Isles.
The renamed body will have a combined membership of around 300
organisations and individuals, and brings together not only two of the
main representational bodies in the Islands but also brings into the
group five subsidiary bodies involved in training, social enterprise and
delivery of community-owned activities such as Am Paipear, which will
A prime role will be to build on the engagement with Community Planning,
and partnership work with other bodies and agencies, as well as grow and
encourage social enterprise activity over and above existing community
and voluntary effort.
The proposal also recognises that, in times of increasing economic
hardship, the two organisations can better concentrate scarce resources
by having a common approach to strategic issues and avoid duplication of
effort in back office services, policy development and quality systems.
This should also free up effort for frontline services, training,
support and information.
Existing operations and projects in Uist and Lewis will continue and the
group, when approved, will have a combined staff of 16 plus ancillary
Both Boards say the intention is to build on achievements to date in
both areas of the Islands in order to further meet sustainable and
long-term goals for the benefit of the people and communities in the
VAL will be contacting existing members about the proposals, which do
not affect their current membership arrangements.