- Created on 31 October 2011
VAO are based in Anchor Buildings and share office space with other third sector groups. This allows staff, volunteers and service users to benefit from the support and efficiency savings that shared facilities brings.
Other tenant groups include:
- Age Concern Orkney
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Community Energy Scotland
- For Arts Sake
- Women's Aid Orkney
VAO also manage the Counselling and Support Centre at the Travel Centre, Kirkwall which is home to:
- Advocacy Orkney
- Crossroads Orkney
- Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland - Orkney
- Enable Scotland
- Relationships Scotland Orkney
- Samaritans of Orkney
- Created on 27 August 2012
There has been a great deal of speculation, misinformation and misunderstanding about the OIC offer to VAO to consider the Town Hall as a potential solution to pressing accommodation needs.
Despite this, VAO had been content to await the outcome of the community consultation, the primary vehicle for local ...people to express their opinions; however, following the most recent promotional activity, which has focussed its attention on VAO to the detriment of the organisation and all those associated with it, we have decided that we must respond. It is disappointing that at no time did anyone within Unison, or the Manifesto group who commented on the issue, contact VAO to find out whether or not their interpretation of the situation was the correct one.
Firstly, VAO did not at any time make a request to move into the Town Hall. OIC raised with VAO the possibility of using the building as a potential solution to the lengthy search for suitable accommodation not only for VAO but for 12 other independent organisations that are tenants within our shared buildings. Before pursuing that option further OIC and VAO, in recognition of the importance to the community of the Town Hall, agreed that the views of the public should be sought, hence the consultation.
It is unfortunate to say the least that this collaborative and inclusive approach, which was so essential to determining whether or not the Town Hall could be a viable solution has been bypassed to make political points before the result of the consultation has been published. The views of the community were sought using an open and accessible method and as a result there has been a great deal of interest and a high number of responses. It has never been in doubt that VAO will respect the views expressed through the public consultation – in other words if the majority has answered ‘no’ to a move by VAO into the Town Hall then that that will be the end of the matter as far as VAO and tenant organisations are concerned.
Secondly, whilst we are grateful for the continuous and generous support of OIC in identifying and securing accommodation for VAO and tenant organisations, OIC is not in a position to ‘move VAO into The Town Hall’ as was quoted in Radio Orkney’s morning bulletin. All decisions about the organisation’s future will be determined by the VAO board and the boards of our tenant organisations and those decisions will be always be made in the best interests of our community, our service users and our members.
Voluntary Action Orkney
- Created on 07 August 2012
We’re delighted to announce that the Counselling Centre has almost completed a move from the Strynd to the Kirkwall Travel Centre. Following a lengthy period of negotiation and planning VAO has signed a lease with Orkney Islands Council and renovations have been completed to provide a suite of closed and open plan offices, two attractive counselling rooms, an administrative area and a welcoming reception area (pictured). The new facilities were designed by Bashir Hashim and we are grateful to have benefited from his expertise and hard work.
Cruse, Relationships Scotland Orkney and the Samaritans moved into the first floor during July; Enable Scotland and Advocacy Orkney will join them at the end of July and end of August respectively. In addition, Crossroads (Orkney) has moved from Anchor Buildings into a ground floor area that more effectively meets their service needs.
Rachel Peace, a new member of VAO’s administration team, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, are also established in the Centre and will continue to provide reception and administrative support to Counselling Centre organisations.
We are extremely grateful to Orkney Islands Council for making the move possible, allowing VAO to secure for these organisations bright, modern offices and facilities. Staff, volunteers and service users will benefit greatly and there are already reports of service improvements. An official opening will be held later in the year
Olivia from Crossroads commented that:
“Clients are not only finding us more accessible to drop into, but find our information is much better displayed too”.
VAO and tenants plan to have an official opening in the autumn once all the organisations have had time to settle in.