Challenges Ahead but VAO Remains Strong

The Voluntary Action Orkney (VAO) AGM took place on Monday 11th of June in the Lifestyles Centre, Kirkwall. There was the usual excellent turnout by member organisations.

VAO AGM 2018

VAO has had a very challenging year. Although funding from the Scottish Government has remained the same, costs, due to a variety of reasons, have risen. This has resulted in a small deficit for the organisation which despite this remains strong.

Restructuring,working well together and breaking down the barriers between sectors has allowed VAO to continue to do the best it can for Orkney’s communities. It will face challenges in delivering new projects whilst still keeping core projects going.

Robert Mitchell VAO AGM 2018

Robert Mitchell

No new Directors were being sought this year so the AGM was quickly brought to a close which left time to hear from the invited speakers.

Robert Mitchell from the Scottish Government’s  Third Sector Unit introduced himself and gave a brief explanation of what the team of 6 do. He has so far visited 27 umbrella organisations like VAO across Scotland. He remarked that they are all different so that changes to reporting of activities needs to be more flexible and reflect local needs.

Laura Leonard and Brian Cromarty then described to the audience the important work they do with young people through the Saltire Awards and the impact that has on both those taking part and the community.

VAO AGM 2018 Saltire Awards

They deliver workshops in schools and involved the meeting in some of the activities that they do. They help 3rd year groups engaged in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme.

They would urge young people to take part in the Saltire Awards which have different levels and where you not only help in the community but you find out more about the organisations and people you are assisting.

221 young people are registered with VAO – there is a gender imbalance but more males are beginning to come forward and take part. The placements are matched to individual need so that they are more meaningful.

VAO AGM 2018 winners of paper plane comp

Winners of the Paper Plane Competition

Money is also raised for Orkney and ROAR has so far contributed £11,500 to local organisations. Those involved learn about event organising, back stage operations as well as performing.

This was a wonderful and upbeat end to the meeting.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame


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