Reaching out to the Communities of Scotland

The Outreach Services team is here to help the people of Scotland get involved in the work of the Scottish Parliament both at Holyrood and across the country. We therefore work with a range of organisations and diverse community groups on a local and national level to support them to take part or have their voices heard about the issues that are important to them. 

We aim to ensure that groups across Scotland have an understanding of who represents them, the legislative process, how the Scottish Parliament holds the Scottish Government to account and the engagement opportunities available to them. ​

Working with Scottish Parliament Committees 

Whether scrutinising legislation, examining petitions or undertaking an inquiry into a subject of the committee‘s own choosing, committees will often ask for the views of a broad range of people and organisations.  For example, the European and External Relations Committee are currently carrying out an inquiry on 'The EU referendum and its implications'. As part of this inquiry, they have put out a call for evidence which means that they would like to hear views from as many people as possible from all communities across Scotland on this issue. Our team is there to help you to engage with the committees and have your views heard.  

Each Committee has an allocated Outreach Services team member. Meet the team: 

Paul Anderson is the Community Outreach Team Manager. Paul also supports the engagement work of the following committees:

Health and Sport Committee, Finance Committee, Public Petitions Committee and Public Audit Committee

The Outreach Services team member is there to assist the Committee in reaching out to groups or individuals who do not have an existing relationship with the Parliament, particularly in local communities.  Our goal, therefore, is to support the Committee in accessing ‘lived experience’ and in order to do so we build relationships with a variety of different groups.  Here's just a few examples of these:

·         Grass-roots community groups, organisations, charities

·         Senior citizens voice / representative groups

·         Thematic activity groups across the third sector (community transport, mental health; fuel poverty, stigma groups, etc)

·         Rural issues groups

·         Social enterprises

·         Carers as well as disability, ill-health, disease support groups and networks

·         Youth organisations (incl. youth workers), youth clubs, and related sports, uniformed organization

Where appropriate we will look at using a range of techniques to facilitate this engagement including web-chats, video interviews, surveys, events and focus groups . Here's some examples of some of the engagement work that we've supported:

  • e-cigarettes
  • Motherwell refugees
  • Dunfermline – attainment gap video
  • Health Cttee carers mini-inquiry (PA to update – takes place 31st Sept)

To learn more about the Outreach Services team and their work please contact us at: [email protected]

You may also wish to:

  • Arrange a workshop or session for your organization or community group in order to increase awareness of engagement opportunities

  • Keep up with the Committees and everything happening at the Scottish Parliament via Social Media

  • Take a look at Current Consultations being carried out

  • Receive the free e-bulletin 'This Week in the Scottish Parliament' to keep up to date with what's happening


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