A team of 16 to 19 year olds from Voluntary Action Orkney’s Connect Project, are working to design and produce a bright, user friendly, informative booklet that will be given out to people using the Orkney Food Bank, after being awarded a £500 grant from Lloyds Banking Group’s Money for Life Challenge. The booklet will contain nutritious and low cost meal recipes designed from commonly donated foods as well as general information and tips on budgeting.

The Connect Project will be launching their finished design on Friday 27th of February at 1pm at the Orkney Food Bank, Junction Road.

The team is working with Orkney Food Bank, Health Promotion at NHS Orkney, Orkney Zero Waste and other partner organisations to produce the leaflet and impress the judges of the Money for Life Challenge, a national competition that provides a way for young people in Further Education, work-based learning and community learning sectors, to develop money management skills and pass them on to their communities. The team is hoping that the finished booklet will help them reach the UK Grand Final in London on 28 May 2015, where they could win £2,500 for the registered charity of their choice.

The Connect Project team is made up of up to 9 young people from the VAO based project. The Connect Project is a training programme for young people aged 15 to 19 teen where they take part in sessions and activities’ that help improve independent living skills and prepare them for employment and/or further education.

For more information about the project, please contact VAO on 01856 872897 or email lindsey.johnson@vaorkney.org.uk

The Scottish Government has today published a consultation document on changes to the public procurement rules in Scotland. The consultation can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2015/02/4903

The consultation describes, and seeks views on, the Scottish Government’s plans to change the procurement rules in Scotland. These changes largely arise from three new EU Directives concerned with Public Procurement, Concessions and Utilities contracts and must be implemented into new Scottish Regulations by 18 April 2016. The consultation also considers elements of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 that have yet to be implemented.

If you would like to meet with others to discuss a collective response to the consultation please contact VAO.

The consultation closes on Thursday 30 April 2015.

It’s easy to take the internet for granted, but more than a million people in Scotland lack the basic online skills to communicate, find information, get things done and stay safe on the web. What’s more, many charities and voluntary organisations are missing a huge opportunity to boost their impact and engagement by using digital tools. We think the internet should be for everyone, so we're leading an ambitious programme to promote digital participation and basic digital skills. Part of our programme is partnering with others and getting out and about with practical workshops, help with our projects and listening to local stories.

Along with Citizens Online, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Voluntary Action Orkney we’d love to see you at DigiScotFest Orkney on March 17th

For more information and booking register via digital@scvo.org.uk or keep an eye out via DigiScot Fest out & about

Orkney Islands Council 2015-16 budget recommendations, made by the council's Policy and Resources Committee, includes a proposal for a 1% increase in funding to voluntary groups. This would make it the fifth year that OIC has given an increase to the sector. The recommendation is still to be ratified by the full council but nevertheless we welcome this decision.

A Land Management course is being held by the Scottish Crofting Federation on 26th February 2015 at the Orkney Auction Mart.

The course will cover topics such as: crop rotation, fertiliser, liming, weeds, pollution issues and fencing.

There will be a classroom session and lunch at the auction mart with an afternoon visit to a local farm.

The cost of this course is £40 per person (£36 if you are a Scottish Crofting Federation member).

If you would like to book a place or find out more information please contact VAO - 01856 872 897 or enquiries@vaorkney.org.uk

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