General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new, Europe-wide law that sets out requirements for how organisations will need to handle personal data from 25 May 2018.

To help you comply with your responsibilities, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has produced a package of tools aimed at small and micro organisations, including charities.

Click here to view GDPR FAQs for charities.


BLOG: GDPR - legal basis for processing and transparency

In the second in a series of six blogs on GDPR, Alison Johnston from the Information Commissioner's Office talks about your organisation's purpose for processing personal data.

You can read the second GDPR blog here.

Remember, there are many more blogs covering different aspects of charity life on our blog page.


Our online application for charitable status will be launched later in 2018. It aims to make registration as simple as possible for the applicant while also allowing the streamlining of decision making processes within the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). We see this as an exciting development in our aim to improve our services.

We are also looking for people to test this new system – we really need the benefit of your views, whether you are someone who helps organisations apply for charitable status, have recent experience of applying for charitable status for your charity, are thinking of making an application or are just interested. Testing with real users helps us understand their needs, and create the best possible experience.

Read more about the online application and how you can help test it.

This note invites bids from voluntary organisations in Scotland for very short sharp projects (up to 10 person days) where statistical or analytical skills could make a difference to your organisation. The way this would work is individuals or small groups of Scottish Government analysts (one or two people) act as an analytical consultancy to solve problems in your organisation and would be delivered at no cost to you.

This scheme ran for each of the last five years. In total Scottish Government analysts have supported around 150 projects providing a total of well over 500 days of support to 3rd sector organisations.  Most placements were about either (a) evaluation methodologies – how you measure success (b) bringing together evidence around a subject or (c) data management/making the most of data you collect. However, you have the potential to look at other things, like data visualisation or how you structure a significant problem. 

If this is something that you think your organisation could benefit from, I’d love to hear from you. However, to ensure we get the best fit between your needs and the skills of the analysts in the scheme, to be considered you need to compete the short attached application.  Can you send this by e-mail to: by Friday 2nd March

Matching analysts to organisations will happen soon after and then it will be up to matched analysts and organisations to arrange a mutually beneficial time to do the work.





I just wanted to let you know about a new class we are introducing in Orkney to help with stress management. ‘Stress Control’ is an evidence-based class for people experiencing worry, low mood, anger, low self-confidence and self-esteem, panic, poor sleep and burnout - in other words 'stress'. Stress Control was developed more than thirty years ago by a Clinical Psychologist, Jim White, and has since been used across the world; it has been particularly successful in rural Ireland. Last week Jim trained PSE teachers from KGS and Stromness Academy, NHS staff and staff from Voluntary Action Orkney, Y People, Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland and The Blide Trust in the delivery of Stress Control.

The plan is to deliver Stress Control classes using a community-wide approach to adults and S4 pupils across the mainland and isles over the next three years. The adult class runs for 90 minutes per session over six weeks and anyone can attend free of charge: no referrals; no bookings; no questionnaires; no talking about problems; just turn up and learn about stress and pick up some skills to manage it better. The first class will run from 21 February at the Picky, at 11:30 – 13:00 and then again at 18:30 – 20:00, please feel free to attend whichever time suits you best. Here is a link to their website giving further details of the course content. We also hope to have a dedicated web page with details of upcoming classes soon.

If you have any questions about Stress Control please don’t hesitate to contact Edwina at VAO. 


We want Scotland to be an open, welcoming and inclusive country and will continue to prioritise tackling inequality.

The draft budget currently being considered by the parliament would see a 12% increase to the budget devoted to equalities, taking it to over £22 million in 2018-19.

This commitment is a clear demonstration of how seriously we take the progression of human rights, work to prevent violence against women and girls, and to strengthen community engagement. 

I want government to take a lead role in this, but it is clear that in order to advance equality, it is vital to empower groups experiencing discrimination and disadvantage and raise their voices to be heard.

Through legislation we are taking forward the gender balance on public boards bill which will mean our work places better reflect society and increase the visibility of female role models.



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