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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Highlands Charity Highlighted as Part of National Campaign 

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Thriving Families star in SCVO’s #EssentialSector campaign 

Highlands charity Thriving Families is the latest star in a nationwide campaign highlighting the work of Scotland’s voluntary sector.  

#EssentialSector, a campaign developed by and about the voluntary sector, has been launched to great acclaim, with voices from across Scotland praising the opportunities provided for grassroots groups that are often overlooked.  

Work towards #EssentialSector began earlier this year, with ten organisations selected as part of a new programme to highlight how voluntary organisations change people’s lives for the better, bring communities together, improve policy and contribute to the economy. 

The films feature real people, telling their stories in their own words and paint an inspiring and raw picture of the value, diversity, and impact of the voluntary sector.

They show the challenges the sector faces, as well as its many achievements. 

Now, the general public have their chance to view the series of short films which capture the everyday work done by the dedicated individuals behind charities and voluntary groups in every corner of Scotland.  

The #EssentialSector campaign partners are led by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Scotland’s national membership body for the voluntary sector, and include: ACOSVO, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Evaluation Support Scotland, Social Enterprise Scotland, the TSI Scotland Network, and Volunteer Scotland.  

The films were premiered at SCVO’s Gathering 2023, the largest voluntary sector event in the UK, in Edinburgh last month and are now being showcased on a weekly basis.  

The project saw the ten groups given support and access to everyday equipment to make their own films, with training provided by ethical media production group media co-op.

Charities were given the skills to produce their own video content, which was edited by SCVO’s video content creator, James Ewen.  

Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of SCVO, said:

“The #EssentialSector films tell the stories of just 10 of Scotland’s 46,500 voluntary organisations. 

“The films are a lovely celebration of the work they do.  

“We want to highlight as many stories as we can on a national stage to bring to life the vital role of voluntary organisations in communities across Scotland.”

Thriving Families is a SCIO supporting families in the Highlands, working mainly with parents and carers of children with additional needs.

Originally called CHIP, the charity was founded in 1993 by parent carers and quickly became a lifeline to families.

Thriving Families’ goal is to become the ‘go to’ charity known for improving the lives of families living in the Highlands; by giving them confidence, empowering them to know their rights, to know what questions to ask, and have their voices heard.

The charity is funded by the Highland Council to provide an independent, rights-based, information, advice and support service for anyone involved in the care of children and young people (up to age 25).

An additional support need is anything that means a child needs more, or different, support to another child the same age to make the most of their lives.

Anna McBride, family support worker at Thriving Families, said:

“It was a really interesting process to think about how we think about what we do – what is our purpose?

“Thinking about all the different things we do as a charity – and the main perspective that came through was that its about people and the human connection.

“Most of us are parents with lived experience of children with additional support needs, and actually what that means is most people connect with us very well.

“When you work in a rural area that is really challenging.

“There was a lot of geography.

“Parts of the video are from the very north, two hours north of Inverness, and others were two hours south of Inverness.

“That’s really interesting as it shows the challenges we face as a community.

“It was really nice to do something positive.

“At the moment, especially in the third sector as a small charity, with funding constantly at the back of your mind, it was nice to feel like you were doing something celebratory.”

Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/@SCVOtv

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