Conference strengthens community ties with Parliament


The Scottish Parliament’s chamber and committee rooms will resound to many different voices on Saturday October 29 when the Parliament’s third Communities Conference takes place.

“Our aim is to provide practical advice to the many campaigning voices in Scotland who want to be heard in the Parliament"
- Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP
The conference is targeted at grassroots organisations, small voluntary groups, civic associations and local action groups who may not have previous experience of taking their campaigns to Parliament. It provides delegates with the opportunity to see the Parliament first hand and gain insight into taking their concerns to different audiences.

The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick MSP said: “Our aim is to provide practical advice to the many campaigning voices in Scotland who want to be heard in the Parliament. There will be 180 delegates here for the one-day conference and we want them to understand all the various ways through which they can connect with MSPs and the Parliament.

“The communities conference approach is unique to our Parliament, and has drawn interest from other representative bodies both in the UK and overseas. This will be our third such conference and, from the speed that places have filled up, it definitely meets a need.”

Delegates will attend workshops covering Parliament committees, petitions, use of social networks and the media. They will hear from a number of MSPs who are taking part and will also learn about the options for events and exhibitions within the Parliament that target both MSPs and the public.

“Right across Scotland there are many small groups addressing issues of great importance to their communities,” Mrs Marwick said. “The Scottish Parliament wants to be fully representative and by showing these groups how to be heard in Holyrood this is one, very practical, way that we can achieve this aim.”

Notes to Editors

MSPs taking part in the conference include:

  • Elaine Smith (Coatbridge and Chryston)
  • Graeme Dey (Angus South)
  • Dave Stewart (Highlands and Islands)
  • Bob Doris (Glasgow)
  • Mary Scanlon (Highlands and Islands).

Groups attending the conference

West of Scotland

  • Community Housing Advocacy Project (CHAP)
  • Volunteer Centre Inverclyde
  • Butterfly Group
  • North Ayrshire Tenants & Residents Network
  • CVS Inverclyde
  • Rise Residents Association
  • Rainbow Group
  • Inverclyde GlobeTrotters
  • Art In Mind (Arran)
  • Ardrossan Youth Association
  • Newmilns Ski Slope
  • Chapelton TARA

South of Scotland

  • East Gauchland TARA
  • The Sky Project
  • Ayrshire Community Trust
  • The Avenue Childcare Services
  • St George's Church, Dumfries
  • Dalbeattie Community Allotments
  • East Ayrshire Community Play Forum
  • Heal the Earth
  • Coalfield Community Transport
  • Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust
  • CVO East Ayrshire

North East Scotland

  • Angus Carers
  • Drumoig Residents Association
  • Angus Long Term Conditions Support Group
  • Grampian Family Support Forum
  • St Andrews Family Support Project
  • Dundee Association for Mental Health
  • ArtAngel
  • H.O.P.E. Garden Trust
  • Deaf Links
  • Timmergreens Action Group
  • Angus Association of Voluntary Organisations
  • Dighty Environmental Group
  • Speakeasy Aphasia Self Help Group
  • Dundee Voluntary Action
  • Arbroath and District Lipreading Group

Mid Scotland & Fife

  • Kingsbarns Community Council
  • Al-Anon Family Groups
  • Peer Support Fife
  • Ladybank Development Trust
  • The Vivarium Trust
  • Fife Migrants Forum
  • Newburgh Rail Link Group
  • Bikeworks
  • CLEAR (Community-Led Environmental Action for Regeneration)
  • The Pitcairn Society
  • CVS Fife
  • Tayside Institute Community Centre
  • Tayport Community Trust


  • HomeAid West Lothian
  • Braid House
  • West Lothian Women's Aid
  • Circle (FABI)
  • Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian
  • Scottish Community Alliance
  • The Dale Bennett Fund
  • Youth Action Project
  • Switch (Edinburgh)
  • Midlothian Association of Play (MAP)

Highlands & Islands

  • The Bridge Project, Dornoch
  • CVS North
  • Tongue Hall Committee
  • Highland Jazz & Blues Society
  • Addictions Counselling Inverness
  • Signpost
  • Grampian Family Support Forum
  • Smithton and Culloden Community Company Ltd.
  • North West Care Alliance
  • Voluntary Groups East Sutherland
  • North Coast Leisure Centre
  • Farr Edge 2000
  • Voluntary Action Highland
  • Strathnaver Museum
  • Melness & Tongue Community Trust
  • Caladh Sona & Transport for Tongue (T4T)
  • Highland Community Care Forum


  • Indepen-dance
  • GCVS
  • C-Level
  • Diversity Films
  • Drumchapel Disabled Action 2
  • The Advocacy Project
  • South West Community Transport
  • North United Communities
  • GalGael
  • Friends of Cambuslang Park


  • Glenboig Neighbourhood House
  • Project 31
  • Dress for Success
  • Regen-FX
  • Cash for Schools
  • National Schizophrenia Fellowship, East Kilbride
  • Larkhall Volunteer Group
  • Cathkin Residents Association
  • Action in Mind, Stirling
  • Made4U in ML2
  • North Lanarkshire Carers Together
  • Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire
  • Clydesdale Community Initiatives
  • Forth & District Initiative
  • The Little Haven

Images of the day will be available from the Parliament free of charge. Please contact Andrew Cowan ([email protected] / 0131 348 5878) to request.


Fios conaltraidh


Fiosrachadh a' Phobaill

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