Members of the Age Scotland team attended The Gathering in Glasgow last week. Rebecca Dickson from our Information and Advice department summarises the day.
noun: gathering; plural noun: gatherings
1. An assembly or meeting, especially one held for a specific purpose.
2. A group of leaves taken together, one inside another, in binding a book.
The Gathering is an annual event run by the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) bringing together representatives of the third sector with a view to share ideas, network and show of the work we do.
The Gathering 2015 ran over two days, and welcomed stall holders, as well as delegates to attend a variety of workshops. From Children in Scotland, to Keep Scotland Beautiful, to Citizens Advice Scotland, the third sector was very well represented.
And we were there! Age Scotland was also very well represented, with staff members from a range of departments either answering questions at our information stall, or attending workshops. Attending were colleagues from Community Development, Fundraising, Human Resources, and Communications, as well as both the Volunteer Development Worker and myself, the Power of Attorney Project Officer, from Information and Advice.
Given Age Scotland has not attended The Gathering in a good many years, we were unsure what to expect and how best to prepare. So, we went along, armed with a selection of our many publications, promotional posters for Silver Line Scotland, information for enquiring volunteers, and chocolates.
Feedback from our colleagues who attended the workshops and talks was positive and they came back with ideas and the enthusiasm to implement them.
A common question from delegates attending the stalls was “What does Age Scotland do?”. This gave us a perfect platform from which we could take individuals through the range of services we provide: from our work in local communities, to the Silver Line Scotland, to our campaign work. These two days proved to be somewhat of an awareness-raising exercise. However, it was also a valuable opportunity to liaise with representatives from other third sector organisations and talk about ways that we can collaborate, prevent the duplication of resources and generally help each other out.
Looking ahead, we will be reflecting on our learning from the Gathering 2015 and see how best we can maximise our time if we decide to attend The Gathering 2016. Perhaps we could involve our volunteers, have a wider selection of publications and promotional materials, or we could even promote the event with Age Scotland member groups. Indeed, it was an absolute joy to see three gentlemen from one of our groups, to whom I had delivered a talk the week prior, attend the event.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you!