In the run up to this year's Remembrance Day, the Sacro Veterans Mentoring Service, together with other staff and managers from Sacro were joined by Sacro Board member, Eric Fraser (who was also Scotland's first Veterans Commissioner) on a tour of the Poppy Scotland factory.
Fighting with Pride support LGBT+ Veterans, serving personnel and their families, particularly those who were affected by the ‘gay ban’, ultimately lifted in January 2000. Before then, thousands of LGBT+ service personnel were removed or forced from service and abandoned, after serving with pride.
Sacro is currently looking for three Trustees to join its Board. Our Board sets the strategic direction of the organisation, safeguards the use of resources and ensures the highest standards of governance, management, propriety and conduct for the organisation.
To bring some cheer this Christmas, the Aura team reached out to family and friends, asking for donations via an Amazon Wish List; created to provide gifts to the children and young people of Aura service users.
As part of international Restorative Justice Week and to further spread awareness of Restorative Justice in general, Sacro held a Restorative Justice workshop hosted by Restorative Justice Manager, Liam Gale during “Sacro’s Big Day.”
Every year, on the third week of November, individual pioneers and well-established organisations working in the field of restorative justice across the world organise a series of events and campaigns to raise awareness about restorative justice.
For 14 weeks from August to November, serving personnel from 6SCOTS joined staff from Sacro’s Veterans Mentoring and Forces of Nature services, to complete the John Muir Way. They were accompanied along the way by armed forces veterans who have received Sacro support.
Sacro is delighted to welcome three new members to its Board of Trustees: Jon Beck, Alistair Brown and Jayne Laidlaw. The new Trustees bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Board at an exciting time for Sacro as it implements its progressive new strategy.
Many congratulations to Sacro's Muriel Hanlon on completing Cancer Research UK's Race for Life. Muriel is an administrator with our Aura service in North Lanarkshire and completed the Glasgow 10k run yesterday (22/05), raising £1,125 for the charity.
Sacro has received funding to continue delivering its Veterans Mentoring Service (VMS) throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians for a further three years. The award from The National Lottery Community Fund, made possible by National Lottery players, comes at a time of increased demand for the service.
In partnership with Glasgow City Council, Land Environment Services and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Sacro are delivering the Garden Project in Bellahouston Demonstration Gardens and Tollcross Park.
Sacro's Forces of Nature Service is delighted and honoured to accept a donation of £2,000 in the name of the late Lance Corporal Brodie Gillon, a Reservist Combat Medical Technician, Royal Army Medical Corp, of the Scottish and Northern Irish Yeomanry. Brodie was tragically killed aged 26 years, on 11 March 2020 whilst out in Camp Taji, Iraq
Sacro is delighted to welcome three new members to its Board of Trustees: Howard Elliot, Zahra Hedges and Sheriff David Mackie. The new Trustees bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Board at an exciting time for Sacro as it celebrates its 50th anniversary with a progressive new strategy and brand identity.
A group of armed forces veterans serving community sentences in West Dunbartonshire have devised a PTSD-themed stage play which they recently performed online for a small, invited audience. The time they spent in these workshops counted towards the community sentence hours they had been issued by the court.
Thanks to our charity partners at St Andrews Fashion Show for this fabulous opportunity to win some goodies and support our FearFree service: helping support male and LGBT+ people affected by domestic abuse. Although FS2021 have been unable to hold physical events this year, charity remains at the heart of FS and they have arranged an online raffle to raise funds for our FearFree service.
Sacro is a national charity working with people who are caught up in the criminal justice system in some way, or simply struggling to get support. We work in a holistic way with people locally, in partnership with local authorities and other providers to provide help and hope.
Our Veteran’s Mentoring Service is about to embark on the new and exciting challenge of beekeeping! The idea originated during a visit to Sacro by author Alexander McCall Smith CBE FRSE when it was brought to his attention that one of the people using our service – who was present at the time – mentioned that he looked after the beehives while in prison.
School’s Out Moray is a new, Moray-wide LGBTQI service run by Sacro for young people and those who work with them. Our key aim is to bring together the various strands of support available for LGBTQI people in the Moray area, as well as plugging the gaps in service provision for young LGBTQI people within Moray. Our services include:
At the YourHome Service in Edinburgh, we have been successful in securing funding from the Scottish Government Wellbeing Fund to purchase tablet computers and internet access for up to 20 people who use our service. YourHome supports those in the Edinburgh area who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Volunteers’ Week takes place every year from 1 – 7 June and is a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. Volunteers are absolutely vital to the work Sacro does so we thought this week, we would ask them to explain in their own words, why they decided to volunteer with Sacro and what volunteering means to them.
Sacro fully understands the need to implement an early release of individuals from custody; for their safety and that of prison staff. We are also acutely aware that – although there is a need for urgency – any arrangements put in place must be robust and have community safety at their heart.
We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the temporary measures we have put in place to allow us to continue to deliver the service during restrictions placed on us by the Coronavirus pandemic. YourHome staff have been continuing to work hard to ensure that our focus and priority is supporting individuals who are at risk of losing their home or who are currently experiencing homelessness in Edinburgh. In line with government advice, the YourHome office has been temporarily closed and staff are working from their own homes.
The Scottish Government has published information on the new social security benefits which are being devolved to the Scottish Government under the Scotland Act 2016. These include a range of powers over disability and carers, as well as powers to make administrative changes to Universal Credit and vary the housing costs element. The toolkit has been produced by the Scottish Government and provides resources and information about the significant changes happening in the field of social security in Scotland.
The current global public health situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is placing unprecedented challenges on us all and we recognise this has the potential to impact on the services we deliver. With this in mind, I would like to set out some of the steps Sacro is taking to minimise disruption to services.
Following an extensive search and selection process I am pleased to be able to announce that Sacro’s next Chief Executive will be Annie Mauger-Thompson. Annie is an experienced leader in the not for profit sector and currently runs her own consultancy company supporting different organisations in the charity sector. She has recently been working as an interim Chief Executive with ACOSVO and has been interim Chief Executive for Inverclyde CVS.
Sacro's Fearless domestic abuse service for men and LGBT+ is being rebranded to become FearFree. The service provides specialist domestic abuse support for: Any man
Any LGBT+ person
Any trans or non-binary person
FearFree can provide one-to-one support in the following areas:
Following the announcement to temporarily suspend the Scottish Prison Service’s Throughcare Support Service on 13 September, the Shine Public Social Partnership is responding to work with women released from short-term prison sentences of up to four years who were previously supported by the Scottish Prison Service. Shine is a Public Social Partnership led by Sacro with third sector partners: Wise Group, Apex, Access to Industry, Turning Point Scotland, Barnardos, Circle and Venture Trust, supported by Scottish Government, Scottish Prison Service and Social Work Scotland.
Sacro regards the proposed extension of the presumption against short-term prison sentences from three to 12 months as a welcome development with the potential to reduce Scotland’s prison population safely and with a greater focus on effective rehabilitation through the use of community sentences.
Sacro's Garden Project offers individuals aged 18+ who face barriers to employment and social inclusion the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. The project allows participants to increase self-confidence and improve mental and physical health whilst improving amenities within the community. In partnership with Glasgow City Council, Land Environment Services and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Sacro are delivering the Garden Project in Govanhill Park and Tollcross Park.
Sacro is delighted to receive significant financial support from the UK Government's "Tampon Tax" to increase the availability of support to women involved in prostitution who use online services to find clients. The Scotland-wide project will reach out to women online, provide basic safety information and support and signpost them to specialist one-to-one support services.
Sacro's Lanarkshire services held an event for the local community on 21 February. "Wellfest" was held in Kings Church and highlighted Sacro's services in the area as well as representation from many community groups, partner organisations and local agencies. The event offered advice and support to the local community as well as providing lunch, and food/household goods/clothes donated by local businesses and collected by Sacro staff.
Sacro Edinburgh services held an open day on 19 February to showcase its volunteering opportunities. Aimed at recruiting volunteers for its services, the event attracted over 50 people on the day and included representation from all Sacro services in the area. Sacro staff and volunteers were on hand all day to promote the rewards and benefits of volunteering and advise on available opportunities. They also helped potential volunteers to complete applications on the day.
Fearless has successfully completed an external accreditation process with SafeLives. The ‘Leading Lights’ programme is an accreditation process that assesses domestic abuse victim services across four key areas: service provision; multi-agency working; HR; and governance.
The release of reconviction figures for 2015/2016 have shown a continued fall in reconviction rates in Scotland. Commenting on the figures, Sacro's Chief Executive, Tom Halpin said: "Sacro welcomes the progress being made in tackling reconviction rates which are a real indicator of persistent offending within our communities.