Dynamic Inclusive Communities Forum

Dynamic Inclusive Communities Forum
Scotland Committee of the Big Lottery Fund


In October 2007 the Scotland Committee of the Big Lottery Fund recommended the establishment of a forum to provide context and guidance to its investment through its ‘Dynamic and Inclusive Communities’ programme (DInC), to ensure maximum benefit. This programme is designed to achieve the following outcomes:

1)    Voluntary and community sector networks offer better, more consistent and wider-reaching services

2)    Voluntary and community sector action is more vibrant, connected with communities and able to champion change

3)    Voluntary and community sector organisations are better managed, better governed and deliver better services

4)    Improved equalities knowledge and practice across the voluntary and community sector

5)    People and communities have more power over their lives and more say in decisions that are made about them.

The ‘Supporting Voluntary Action’ (SVA) programme delivered by SCVO and local councils of voluntary service is a significant part of DInC, and will be complemented by other investments in the third sector’s thematic infrastructure.


The Big Lottery Fund and its partners, SCVO and Scottish Government, recognise that the outcomes, above, while challenging, are achievable if addressed with both ambition and realism.


This terms of reference sets out the basis upon which the forum will operate during the period to 31 March 2011, being the duration of DInC funded programmes. The forum will involve SCVO, BIG and include other national partners, chaired by an independent nominee.

Terms of Reference




The Dynamic Inclusive Communities Forum aims to nurture and sustain dynamic, inclusive communities throughout Scotland by supporting the development of conditions and an infrastructure through which healthy and vigorous voluntary and community sector activity can occur. 


A principle feature of the above is to support the implementation of Supporting Voluntary Action and other DInC initiatives through learning and guidance. It will assist in shaping future sectoral development and improve and enhance connections and synergy across sectors and interests.




Supporting Voluntary Action is funded by Big Lottery Fund and delivered by Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisation in accordance with a grant offer made by BIG to SCVO on 23 October 2007. In such delivery SCVO is supported by a Supporting Voluntary Action Management Group, comprised of representatives from CVS and national and local government.  The SVA Management Group has no executive responsibility for Supporting Voluntary Action. SCVO is solely accountable to BIG for the application and expenditure of funds pursuant to the grant

Accordingly the Forum acts solely in an advisory capacity to BIG, SCVO and Scottish Government to consider the progress of Supporting Voluntary Action and to identify any barriers to, or further support required for achieving the Aim.




The initial objectives of the Forum are to:

Assess the progress of Supporting Voluntary Action in building capacity within the Third Sector including consideration of such progress in the context of the Scottish Government’s investment in the Third Sector
Identify potential obstacles to the implementation of Supporting Voluntary Action and to anticipate future changes in the environment that might impact such implementation
Consider any required policy developments to support the Third Sector’s growth in capacity and its sustainability
Identify best practice and learning from SVA that can be applied for the Aim
Encourage collaboration and partnership working in a more engaged and effective network of organisations to support the Third Sector

Further objectives (from September 08)

Assess the further DInC investments made by the Scotland Committee of the Big Lottery Fund and their potential to add value to SVA, and potential for greater effectiveness through collaboration
Assess the investments made by Scottish Government and other funders in third sector infrastructure and potential for greater effectiveness through collaboration
Identify best practice and learning from DInC and Government investments that can be applied for the Aim
Identify best practice and learning from DInC and Government investments that can be applied for the Aim



The Forum comprises [14] members who are involved in the Third Sector as either funders, intermediaries, frontline organisations and consumers of frontline organisations’ products or services and funders.


Each member has agreed that in participating in the Forum they shall not be acting in a representative capacity of the organisation that they are associated with but agree to contribute their skills, expertise and experience to the work of the Forum. In their participation in the Forum, each member is committed to:


1.    Openness and transparency in the work of the Forum

2.    Adding value through the Forum’s work rather than replication of the work of other bodies

3.    Equality of opportunity in all aspects of the work of the Forum


The Chairman of the Forum shall not be employed by a funder, intermediary or frontline organisation within the Third Sector but should have an involvement in volunteering.


If required, sub groups of the Forum can be established to consider specific issues.


Details of the Members are set out in Appendix 1.


Shonaig McPherson (Chair) – Dundee University

Helen Tyrell – Voluntary Health Scotland

Bill Howat – Western Isles Council

Peter McNamara – North Ayrshire Council

Laurie Russell – Wise Group

Alison Magee – Big Lottery Fund

Alison Elliot – Moderator, Church of Scotland

Graham Blount – Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office

Jon Harris – COSLA

Jack Law – Voluntary Health Scotland

Jim Jackson     – Alzheimer Scotland

John Mayhew – National Trust Scotland


The Forum shall meet quarterly, such meetings to be held at such times to facilitate the work of SVA and other relevant programmes. Details of action/next steps are set out in Appendix 2.




The Forum shall conduct an annual review of its work and shall produce an annual report that shall be submitted to BIG, SCVO and Scottish Government in the first instance and shared with wider stakeholders, including the SVA Management Group, national intermediary organisations and local authorities.