CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund Annual Conference 2020 – Building Resilience

10 September 2020, 09:30-13:15 Online



Thank you to everyone who joined our first ever online conference and the fourth annual conference for the CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund. We really enjoyed the event and are grateful to everyone who contributed. Thanks to all 155 participants and contributors for your engagement and energy throughout and for being so forthcoming with your views and experiences.

Please keeping checking this page for recordings, resources and a round up of the event.

Please contact us at if you have any questions about this event.


Talat Yaqoob, Chair of our recent CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund conference shares her impressions of the day – Read her blog

Catriona Henderson, Project Manager of the CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund reflects on the recent conference, which was hosted online in September, and the challenges and opportunities of delivering events online – Read her blog

Workshop summaries and slides

Workshop 1. Individual resilience

Nurturing Nature – building resilience through outdoor play

By Learning through Landscapes

We were invited to join Gordon MacLean, Learning Through Landscapes, to look at how the work of Nurturing Nature has been used to support families, children and practitioners. These outdoor experiences have increased the resilience of individual participants by engaging with each other and with their local greenspaces. We explored how elements such as the inclusion of problem solving, free play, risk and challenge can contribute to the development of more resilient individuals. The session offered two breakout times, split into small groups, where we had the chance to have conversations about 1) our experiences of outdoor play as a child and 2) what are the key aspects of our own work that supports individual resilience. Who doesn’t like thinking and talking about play, all those memories!

The key themes that were covered in the workshop were:

  • What is Nurturing Nature?
  • Reflecting on our connections and experiences with the outdoors
  • Nurturing Nature and resilience
  • What about us? Reflecting on our own practice

‘Aha’ moment:

  • Free play. Unstructured, no time limits. Just going out to play and following a path to where it goes.

Useful links:


Workshop 2. Family resilience

Not my crime, still my sentence – the experiences of families affected by imprisonment

By Families Outside

Families Outside hosted an interactive workshop which gave an overview of the impact imprisonment has on families.  The session began by asking the participants to listen to a case study about a lady who felt she had lost everything due to the imprisonment of her son, this set the scene for the rest of the session. Two breakout rooms were created to allow a fuller discussion to take place about specific issues families faced.  The remainder of the workshop was looking at what support was available for families, and how policies are in place to support and protect them.

The key themes that were covered in the workshop were:

  • Families are not guilty but will still suffer negatively due to the imprisonment of a family member
  • Looking at the statistical information we hold on this subject
  • Identifying appropriate support for families throughout this experience

‘Aha’ moment:

When participants watched the Reversible Writing video, realising how children with a family member in prison are often viewed in society.  This video shows the potential all children and young people have and should not be discriminated against just because they have a family member in prison.

Useful links:


Workshop 3. Community resilience

Place-based working and community resilience

By Corra Foundation

The session consisted of describing Corra Foundation’s Place programme and giving examples of the work in Buckhaven. The Place Principle was also introduced to help align the approach to  policy context and highlight potential opportunities. After the short presentations, we went into breakout groups to discuss participants’ experience of place based working.

The key themes that were covered in the workshop were:

Place based approaches – involving communities in decision making in order to build community resilience, the importance of working in partnership, relationships, Place Principle. Challenges due to Coronavirus. Digital approaches are very helpful and can help widen reach but also important to be aware of those excluded and find other ways to engage.

‘Aha’ moment:

  • A participant said that it is important that we refer to physical distancing and not social distancing. This has stuck with me.


Workshop 4. Organisational resilience

Building resilient relationships with funders

By Evaluation Support Scotland

Aims of the session:

  • Learn about the Principles for Positive Partnership guidance
  • Consider how you might use some of the guidance in your own funding relationship
  • Look more broadly at good practice in reporting and sharing learning with any funder

Learning outcomes:

  • Participants will know more about how to build positive relationships with funders including SG

The key themes that were covered in the workshop were:

  • Reporting to funders, being brave to share things that didn’t work, mixing qualitative and quantitative, using one report for more than one funder, etc.

‘Aha’ moment:

  • Participants but valued the opportunity to share with each other experiences of “managing” funders

Useful links:


Workshop 5. Third Sector resilience

The Scottish Governance Code: an essential tool for building Third Sector resilience

By Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum

Shirley Otto and Kenneth Pinkerton of Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum led an interactive session exploring ‘The Scottish Governance Code – an essential tool for building third sector resilience’. The workshop began with a quick introduction to the code before participants split into groups to explore the governance issues raised by a set of case studies (see handouts below). Insights from these group chats were then shared, and a final discussion about the 5 core principles of good governance rounded off the session.

The key themes that were covered in the workshop were:

  • Introducing the Scottish Governance Code
  • Exploring governance issues
  • Discussing the 5 core principles of good governance: organisational purpose, leadership, board behaviour, control, and effectiveness

‘Aha’ moment:

  • “Governance is not a fixed thing, it’s a dynamic” – Shirley Otto. This really resonated with participants – that governance is more than ‘rules’ or ‘process’ – it’s about relationships, culture and effective communication

Useful links:


Please find below our exciting conference agenda which includes five interactive workshops and two engaging panel discussions as well as a keynote address from Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People at the Scottish Government. We’re delighted to welcome Talat Yaqoob (Ideas for Equality) as Chair of the conference and she will be joined by Ross McCulloch (Third Sector Lab) as facilitator – see their bios below.






Welcome and opening remarks

  • Jude Turbyne, Deputy Chair of Corra Foundation

  • Talat Yaqoob, Ideas for Equality (Chair)

  • Ross McCulloch, Third Sector Lab (Facilitator)



Keynote address

Group photo – please hold up your sign showing what resilience means to you



Setting the scene for the rest of the conference – interactive session



Third sector panel discussion: Resilience tried and tested; How well did we weather the Covid-19 storm and how can we strengthen our resilience going forward?




Interactive workshops (full descriptions below)

1.     Individual resilience: Nurturing Nature – building resilience through outdoor play Learning through Landscapes – Gordon MacLean, Early Years and Parenting Officer

2.     Family resilience: Not my crime, still my sentence – the experiences of families affected by imprisonmentFamilies Outside – Kerry Knox, Training Manager and Jennifer Ferguson, National Prison Visiting Lead

3.     Community resilience: Place-based working and community resilience Corra Foundation’s Place Team – Gordon McLean, National Programme Manager and Louisa Cocris, Community Co-ordinator

4.     Organisational resilience: Building resilient relationships with funders Evaluation Support Scotland – Steven Marwick, CEO

5.     Third Sector resilience: The Scottish Governance Code – an essential tool for building third sector resilienceScotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum – Kenneth Pinkerton, Legal Director and Shirley Otto, Consultant




Funders’ panel discussion: Funders landscape post Covid-19, what funders are looking for and how it can support sector resilience.


Closing remarks and evaluation


Optional lunch in breakout groups


Talat Yaqoob, Chair @talatyaqoob

Talat Yaqoob is a consultant, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a member of the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Woman and Girls. An award-winning campaigner and writer, Talat’s experience spans education, women’s rights, workplace equality and inclusion, intersectionality, and political/civic participation. Talat works with charities, public bodies, and educational institutions to support ideas generation, policy influencing strategies, research analysis, and facilitate challenging but necessary conversations.

Ross McCulloch, Facilitator @ThirdSectorLab

Ross McCulloch is Director of Third Sector Lab, a Trustee with Impact Funding Partners & Parenting Across Scotland, founder of Digital Trustees Scotland and co-host of SCVO’s Digital Senior Leaders Programme. Ross works with charities to help them use digital and social media as a tool to deliver organisational objectives. During the Covid-19 outbreak Ross has been working with SCVO as part of The Catalyst to deliver a range of support for organisations of all sizes shifting their service delivery into digital channels.

Maree Todd, Keynote speaker @scotgov

Maree Todd is presently the Minister for Children and Young People at the Scottish Government. Maree grew up in the West Highlands, attending Ullapool High School and then studying pharmacy and prescribing at Robert Gordon’s and Strathclyde, as well as taking an ante-natal teaching diploma at the University of Bedfordshire. A pharmacist by profession, Maree worked in NHS Highland for 20 years, mainly as a mental health pharmacist in a psychiatric hospital. She also contributed to SIGN guidance on perinatal mental health.


Panel 1: Third Sector perspective

Ghizala Avan, Co-CEO Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre

Ghizala is a psychologist who has specialized in occupational (organizational) psychology. Ghizala has over 20 years’ experience working in the public sector as Director of national NGOs, Senior Researcher and Development Officer as well as an equality expert. Her work is driven by the principles of empowerment, inclusion, participation and collaboration. At Amina she specifically oversees the VAWG work, the helpline, campaigning work as well as the mental health projects.

Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director, Children’s Parliament

Cathy is co-founder and Co-Director of Children’s Parliament. Cathy trained at Moray House in Community Education (Youth & Community). While Cathy has turned her hand to organisational development, change management, training and fundraising, it is seeing the impact a children’s human rights-based approach has on outcomes for children, that has been Cathy’s driving passion for the past 20 years. In 2017, Cathy received an OBE for services to children’s rights and wellbeing.

Graeme Reekie, Director, The Lasting Difference 

Graeme is the author of the Lasting Difference toolkit and the book, Making a Lasting Difference: sustaining non-profit organisations and their impact. He is well known for his consultancy work with charities and funders, including popular events and workshops with the CYPFEIF and ALEC fund. He has 30 years’ experience at all levels in the public and voluntary sectors, mostly in education, employability and health.

Eddie McConnell, Chief Executive, Down’s Syndrome Scotland

Eddie joined Down’s Syndrome Scotland as its new Chief Executive in August 2019.  He has held several senior leadership roles across Scotland’s third sector and public sector and he is Chair of the Scottish Commission for People with a Learning Disability (SCLD).  Eddie is passionate about social justice and tackling inequality and he believes that charities played, and continue to play, a pivotal role in responding to COVID-19 – a role which he also believes should be front and centre as we ‘build forward differently’.


Panel 2: Funders’ perspective

People’s Postcode Lottery

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £600 million benefitting over 8,500 good causes.

Funding is distributed through 57 Promoting Societies including 20 Postcode Trusts. The majority of support is unrestricted and long-term – we look to our charity partners as experts in their areas to tell us where the greatest need is and what support is required for high impact.

Four of the Postcode Trusts support grassroots good causes across Britain. The latest community funding round included support for those disproportionally affected by Covid-19 and included funding for core costs for the first time. Following recent positive change to the amount society lotteries can raise, we plan to allocate more to community funding in 2021.

Katherine Sellar, Community Programmes Manager, People’s Postcode Lottery

Katherine manages the Community Programmes team at People’s Postcode Lottery. This team administers grants for People’s Postcode Trust, Postcode Community Trust, Postcode Local Trust and Postcode Neighbourhood Trust. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, these Trusts support over two thousand community groups and charities a year.

Katherine has always been passionate about charities, working in the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s development department after graduation, before joining Fife Council to support community groups to develop partnerships and secure funding. Katherine then worked for the Scottish mental health charity, Health in Mind, as their first fundraiser, establishing corporate, community and trust fundraising. In her spare time Katherine is a Trustee for Cinema for All, a charity that helps people set up and run community cinemas.


The Robertson Trust

Since last year, The Robertson Trust has been undergoing a strategic review, considering our role as a funder in the 21st century. Our new strategy will place greater emphasis and focus on poverty and trauma, their causes and impact.  As part of the work on our new strategy, we closed to applications under our previous strategy in February 2020 and have been developing a new Open Awards programme.  Our work on this is nearing completion, and more information will become available along with full details of our new 10-year strategy in the coming weeks.

Stewart Macgregor, Funding Manager, The Robertson Trust

Stewart joined the Trust in 2014 with more than almost 20 years of experience working in the Third Sector. Having spent most of his career working with young people and communities, prior to joining the Trust he worked as a Social Enterprise Capacity Building Adviser.


The National Lottery Community Fund

We’re proud to help communities thrive by awarding money raised by National Lottery players. Last year we awarded over £44 million to more than 1100 organisations in Scotland. We want to work with local people across Scotland, because we think they understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone.  We remain open to all applications, but until at least October 2020 will prioritise applications that are COVID-19 related.   This includes National Lottery Awards for All, Medium grants for community led activity, Grants for Improving Lives and Young Start grants.

As part of our COVID-19 response we particularly want to support:

  • organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19 such as older people, disabled people, people who have been pushed into crisis and people who are receiving end of life care.
  • organisations supporting people most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis such as people from BAME communities, people from LGBT+ communities, people experiencing loneliness and social isolation, people with poor mental health and children and young people.
  • organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to COVID-19.

A good application should do at least one of these three things:

  • bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.
  • We also want to fund work that is people-led, connected, and strengths-based.

Neil Ritch, Scotland Director, The National Lottery Community Fund

Neil Ritch was appointed as The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Director in 2019, he has almost 20 years’ experience of working in National Lottery funding.  Neil leads a team of around 90 people to ensure that National Lottery money works hard for local communities across Scotland.


Institute for Voluntary Action Research

IVAR is an independent charity that works closely with people and organisations striving for social change. From the very small that directly support the most vulnerable in their local communities, to those that work nationally – across the voluntary, public and funding sectors.

We use research to develop practical responses to the challenges faced and create opportunities for people to learn from our findings. This site is home to our bank of research and resources, providing insights that can help organisations adapt to change and make informed and confident decisions.

For information about our Covid-19 peer support webinars and research around Covid-19 please see our website.

 Ben Cairns, Director, IVAR

Ben Cairns is director and co-founder of IVAR, where he has supervised over 200 research and evaluation projects. IVAR works with funders and charities to identify problems, analyse them and reach conclusions that can progress learning and achieve change on all sides. They have released reports on core funding, collaboration, principles for grant reporting, place-based funding, learning from emergency responses and more. IVAR has developed a distinctive position as an independent ‘critical friend’ to strengthen the accountability, learning and grant-making practice of foundations.