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Scottish Community Alliance

- Local People Leading

In 2011, a number of Scotland’s community sector networks came together to form the Scottish Community Alliance. Our purpose is to campaign collectively for a stronger and more cohesive community sector in Scotland.

SCA has two main functions – to promote the work of local people in their communities and to influence national policy in order to reflect the best interests of the sector.

A guiding principle for SCA as an organisation is that it should seek to add value to the work of the individual networks within its membership. To this end, as an organisation it has remained ‘light touch’, employing a minimum of staff, and directly investing whenever possible in activities that compliment and support the work of its membership.

Lessons learned


The downside of so much attention being focused on the way that communities across the land have responded to the challenges of lockdown is that it might start to be taken for granted. And as the focus shifts from the initial emergency response to longer term issues of local recovery and resilience, there’s a need to try to learn lessons from this first phase so they inform the national approach going forward. SCA spoke with a group of community anchor organisations that have been to the fore of the emergency response phase. Some interesting observations.

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This is the most clicked on article from our most recent Briefing – 15th July 2020

GoBeyond communities

As communities begin to plan for the next stage of dealing with the multiple impacts of Covid (some argue that to call it recovery is misleading) there has been talk of how to encourage better collaboration at a grassroots level between those organisations that have been at the frontline of the emergency response. Effective collaboration involves much more than the occasional conflab but there is surprisingly little advice available about how to do it. A good starting point might be to seek out examples of where it is already happening. Interesting development in the south west of Edinburgh.

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Community Anchor Organisations

Those communities that are the most effective in terms of organising themselves to address whatever challenges they face, appear to have certain characteristics in common. In particular, these communities tend to organise themselves around a local organisation (sometimes more than one working in partnership) which is under the control and ownership of local people.

These organisations have come to be known as Community Anchor Organisations (CAOs). Since its formation, SCA has consistently advocated that the presence of a community  anchor organisation is a prerequisite of effective and sustained community empowerment.

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Our fortnightly briefing - LOCAL PEOPLE LEADING

Once a fortnight, we publish LOCAL PEOPLE LEADING - a compendium of comment and coverage of relevant policy and stories of community action from across the spectrum. Currently going out to just over 4,300 subscribers - a readership which include community activists, journalists, academics, politicians (national, local and community), civil servants and local government officers. Anyone with even a passing interest in Scotland's community sector should subscribe - and it's free!

Our latest tweets

August 4, 2020
RT @PlanDemoc: Does one hand know what the other is doing down in Westminster?
August 3, 2020
RT @rachelhamada: We're looking for a new community organiser at @bureaulocal - I can testify to this being a fun, challenging, collaborati…
July 29, 2020
RT @Senscot: Senscot is currently exploring piloting a 'collective purchasing' initiative in one locality. But what actually is #collective…
July 21, 2020
RT @rachelhamada: Looking forward to talking about how community organising and journalism can get together and create magic at @corganiser…
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