As the Scottish Parliament is marking its 20th anniversary this month, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) have chosen to mark this milestone by working with representatives from across the voluntary sector to produce a limited-edition book.

Entitled Charities, Scotland & Holyrood: Twenty Years Delivering Change, the book will celebrate the last 20 years of the sector working with – while also being prepared to challenge, debate, persuade and influence – the Scottish Parliament.

The launch of the book – which highlights 20 key voluntary sector campaigns which resulted in legislation being created for the benefit of people in Scotland – took place today (4 June 2019) at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh.

Dr Alison Elliot OBE, ex-Convener of SCVO, spoke at the event about the achievements of the sector since the opening of the Scottish Parliament, and some of the individuals who were involved in driving the campaigns were also in attendance.

Dr Elliot then accompanied SCVO’s Chief Executive Anna Fowlie to the Scottish Parliament itself where they presented a copy of the book to Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh MSP.

Anna Fowlie said: “Scotland’s voluntary sector has long played an important role in our society. However since the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament 20 years ago, new avenues have opened up that allow Scotland’s charities to work in close partnership with elected members and government to develop and champion legislation that has ultimately transformed our society for the better.

“Partnership is a key theme emanating from the 20 campaigns highlighted in this book. By working together we see that collective strength and identification of common purpose can be harnessed to create change.

“In virtually every challenge our country faces, the third sector has a vital part to play. Looking back on the last two decades, we can now reflect on the benefits of that action and appreciate the determination and drive of those working in the voluntary sector and the unquestionable role they have played in creating a more equal and progressive Scotland.”

The Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament said: “The 20th anniversary has provided an opportunity to reflect and reinforce the positive difference that the Scottish Parliament has had on the lives’ of people in Scotland.  

“This book celebrates the role that the third sector has played over the past 20 years, demonstrating how effective the sector has been in shaping the work of the Parliament.

“Throughout the past two decades the sector has spoken up for thousands of people across Scotland, with both passion and reasoned analysis in equal measure. This book demonstrates how the third sector is crucial to building a society of which we can all be proud.”