Do you need urgent support?

We know the past few months have been difficult and significant challenges remain ahead for many community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises in Glasgow. The Glasgow Makes Connection programme is here to help with free and confidential support, available throughout the year.

Whether you need immediate assistance, ongoing guidance, help with your energy bills, or advice about where to find help, here are some key steps you can take:

Providing support through challenging times

What's New?

New dates added ‘Managing Organisational Change in Challenging Times’. Book on Eventbrite

New recording added-Getting Volunteer Support Right in Challenging Times Watch the recording on youtube and download the supporting slides and materials.

Our resources have also been updated, including advice from NCVO for those facing closure. Visit our resource library here.

Steps for Immediate Action

We recommend taking action now if your organisation is facing immediate crisis (in the next three months).
Here are the four main steps for support:

1. Please use our Assessment and Next Steps Template to review your current position with board members and managers.

2. Speak to us to discuss your unique situation. Please use our online form to request support and one of our team will be in touch to make arrangements for you based on your needs.

3. Visit the Resource Bank which provides a variety of specific guides, codes of practice and links to further support. We continually add to and update the resources here, but if you are looking for something specific, please get in touch.

4. You can also attend one of our focused #ChallengingTimes sessions (see relevant section below)

Challenging Times Programme

Our #ChallengingTimes sessions have been developed to help you become more resilient in times of financial uncertainty, like the current cost of living crisis so that you can achieve the best possible outcomes for your organisation and your communities. We have included events from our regular programme and from partners which compliment the series, all of which are free of charge. Sessions will be repeated so if there are no dates available, please get in touch to be added to waitlist.

    • Planning in Challenging Times
      Our team and partners at CEIS will cover the key aspects to monitor like cash flow, risk management, changing staff conditions and contracts and timelines for action. For many, assessing their organisation’s finances can be quite daunting. For more information on taking control of your finances, visit CEIS blog Managing your finances in challenging times.
    • Managing Organisational Change in Challenging Times
      Change affects us all in different ways. Even when those changes are positive, it might not feel that way for everyone. In this session we’ll look at the key elements of effective change management and communication when making changes to your services, ensuring that you, your staff, volunteers, supporters, service users and partners are all able to move forward positively.
    • Getting Volunteer Support Right in Challenging Times
      Don’t neglect one of your organisation’s key assets: the people that support your work by donating their time, energy, skills and expertise.  In this session, Volunteer Glasgow discussed how best to enable ongoing support from volunteers through change processes, to avoid risks and to involve volunteers in new roles. Watch the recording on youtube and download the supporting slides and materials.
    • Time to Wind Down? Closing your Organisation
      We are considering a support session for those that are anticipating closure or are closing. Please email us if you are interested in this session

Managing your energy bills

Energy is one of the biggest financial costs that organisations incur annually. Organisations with offices and other physical settings like community halls, residential spaces and shops may find themselves facing difficult decisions to try and reduce outgoings, like limiting activities or asking staff to work from home.

To make life a little easier, we’ve gathered the things we think are most helpful to organisations at this time:

Government support

The Energy Bill Discount Scheme is available for non-domestic consumers including the third sector and will cover the period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. This replaces the current Energy Relief Scheme which ends in March 2023 and will be applied automatically to bills. To be eligible, you must have signed your contract with your energy supplier after 1 December 2021 and the maximum discount is 0.697 pence per kWh for gas and 1.961 pence per kWh for electricity. Details of support for organisations not connected to the gas or electricity grid are still to be announced.

The Energy Trade Intensive Industries scheme is an additional scheme which offers a greater discount for those deemed to be particularly vulnerable to high energy prices due to their high energy requirements. There are few voluntary sector organisations who will fall within the scope of this scheme, these are currently libraries/archives, museums, historical sights/visitor attractions, and botanical/ zoological gardens and nature reserves. This scheme will not be automatically applied, and details of how to apply have not yet published.

To understand what these schemes mean for your organisation, we recommend watching SCVO and NCVO’s webinar How to manage rising energy costs: what next for charities?. The Q&A at the end of the webinar has not been included in the recording which we thought was really helpful in clarifying some points but you can download a copy of the presentation and a summary of the Q&A from the session. There are also some good tips about reducing your energy costs and making sure you are not overpaying on your energy bills and VAT.

Actions for Cutting Energy Usage

Business Energy Scotland offer 40 quick and easy no-cost or low-cost ways to cut your energy usage and save on energy bills. Their tips are broken down into manageable chunks under 5 headings with lots of resources to help:

– Encourage energy-saving behaviour- get everyone on board
– Lay the groundwork- Energy audits and monitoring
– Save on heating- Heating, cooling, draughts, and water
– Save on lighting- Lighting fixtures, controls and natural lighting
– General- tea rooms and tech

Our climate team have prepared a checklist with lots of helpful links and advice for your organisation on reducing the energy needs and carbon emissions of your community building.

If you have slightly longer to plan and would like to explore energy efficiency project options, our climate team will be happy to advise you on this so please get in touch.

Policy and Influence

To keep up to date with the sector’s efforts to influence a longer term solution to the issue of rising costs with the UK government, visit the SCVO #RunningCostsCrisis campaign.

Preventative and Ongoing Support

Through GCVS and our Partners, the Glasgow Makes Connections programme provides regular training opportunities to help you develop the essential knowledge needed to run your group or organisation. Find out more about the support available:


Volunteer Glasgow logo

  • Volunteer Glasgow offer one-to-one guidance around managing your volunteers and volunteering programme. In times of crisis, volunteers can often be forgotten or neglected. They are here to help you to feel confident in supporting volunteers and ensuring that they are recognised as key stakeholders who have donated time, energy and skills to keep your organisation afloat.
  • Volunteer Glasgow also hosts regular sessions on advertising for volunteers, as well as networking opportunities with other volunteer-led organisations.
    You can find the latest dates here on their Eventbrite page.

Your points of contact

Glasgow Makes Connections

At GCVS our Sector Development team coordinate and provide support on behalf of the Glasgow Makes Connections programme.

  • We offer one-to-one advice, training opportunities, practical information, templates and resources for running your organisation. Working alongside our partners, our comprehensive service can help local organisations to develop, grow and meet challenges effectively.
  • To speak to someone regarding your unique situation, please complete the request form and we will be in touch.
  • You can also contact us by email directly or request a call back from the team on 0141 332 2444.
  • Just Enterprise’s Crisis Review service has been designed to support those social enterprises who are facing significant financial difficulties and the potential failure of the business. 
  • For specific support around working with volunteers, please contact Volunteer Glasgow for guidance on managing your volunteers and volunteering programme. Email to get in touch.

​The Glasgow Makes Connections programme supports community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises in Glasgow with the core skills and knowledge they need to thrive and remain sustainable. The programme is coordinated by our Sector Development team and delivered in partnership with the city-wide Glasgow Third Sector Capacity Building Group. The group includes: Glasgow City Council , GCVS, Volunteer GlasgowCEIS , CEMVO Scotland and Glasgow Life.

Email us or request a call back from the team on 0141 332 2444.

image of Glasgow from above
GCVS Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector

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