All posts by Nicola Sykes

RNLI – Water Safety, Message and Resource Training

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is offering free Water Safety Message and Resource Training workshops in February and March. The workshops will cover the following:

  • Introduction and background: What we do and how it works.
  • The Scottish Context of Water Safety
  • Key Messages: What is the core RNLI messaging for young people? What does RNLI Water Safety offer to the public?
  • Focus 1: Third/Fourth Level Resource: ‘Challenge Passport’
  • Focus 2: Senior Phase: Overview of the senior phase resource, ‘Tales from the Edge’.
  • Summary and Questions

The workshops are taking place on Teams on the following dates:

  • February: 7th and 14th (1 – 2.30pm)
  • March: 7th and 14th. (1- 2.30pm)

You can book your place through the following  Eventbrite link and the Microsoft Teams meeting link can be found below:

Join on your computer or mobile app – Click here to join the meeting

For further information contact Laura Erskine, Water Safety Education Manager Scotland by email at:

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea

Webinars – How good is our community learning and development? (4th edition) (HGIOCLD4)

A new draft framework for the community learning and development (CLD) sector, How good is our community learning and development?’ (4th edition) (HGIOCLD) has been developed in consultation with the CLD sector. A Gaelic version of the framework is also available. This iteration of HGIOCLD reflects changes in CLD and the wider education sector landscape. It recognises the wide range of practitioners and organisations adopting CLD methodologies. The draft framework sets out the standards HM Inspectors will use to evaluate and report on quality and improvement in CLD. It will also support the sector to engage in self-evaluation for continuous improvement.

HM Inspectors are offering a number of webinars between November and December 2021. These webinars are aimed at those using CLD methodologies, including CLD practitioners, the third sector, public services and those with strategic responsibility for CLD. These webinars will be organised around specific regions in Scotland (Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC) areas) as detailed below. In addition, there will be two sessions targeted at national organisations. It is suggested that you should register for the area that you are attached to but if the dates do not suit you, you can register for any of the other sessions. Each webinar will last no longer than 1 hour and 15 minutes, which will include an opportunity for questions and feedback. Please register using this link –


Date Time Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC)
Mon 1st Nov 10-11.15am South West
Mon 8th Nov 10-11.15am National Organisations
Fri 12th Nov 10-11.15am Tayside
Mon 15th Nov 10-11.15am North
Mon 15th Nov 4-5.15pm South East
Fri 19th Nov 2-3.15pm Forth Valley/West Lothian
Mon 22nd Nov 10-11.15am West
Mon 29th Nov 11.30-12.45 West
Fri 3rd Dec 2-3.15pm North
Mon 13th Dec 10-11.15am National Orgs


CLD Planning Webinar Series – Registration now open

National partners are collaborating to offer a series of webinars focussed on tools and resources available to complement CLD planning processes.  

The webinars may be of interest to local authority officers, teams, and partners involved in producing CLD plans locally, and will commence in early May.

 Sessions will be hosted on Teams, and will be recorded. To register follow the links below.


CONSUL – Tuesday 4th May, 13:30 – 15:00

In Scotland CONSUL is being used by local authorities for digital participatory budgeting, community engagement and participation – allowing citizens to collaborate on plans and proposals and communicate in an open and transparent environment. The COSLA CONSUL team will offer an introduction to the platform, and offer insight to examples of implementation in a local authority context. Register here.

Place Standard – Thursday 6th May, 13:00 – 14:30

The recent Scottish Government guidance on Community Learning and Development Plans (2021-2024) identifies a range of resources and well-established online tools available to support engagement at a local level, including the Place Standard. In this webinar Place Standard implementation team will highlight key resources available, and showcase recent practice examples. Register here.


Embedding youth awards in CLD Planning 2021-24 – Monday May 10th, 14:00 – 15:30

An opportunity to engage with the Awards Network to consider how to support young people’s achievements through youth awards in their plans. The session will look at: the contributions of participation in youth awards to key priorities – e.g. in education, employability and community involvement; and will include an opportunity to discuss what ambitious outcomes and measures for youth awards might look like. Register here.


Simple digital tools for online participation and engagement –Wednesday 12th May, 09:30 – 11:00

In many places the pandemic has been a catalyst for online delivery of CLD services, resulting in increased digital capacity of practitioners, learners and communities. This session, led by Education Scotland will offer a walkthrough some digital tools to support online participation and engagement including Jam Board, and Microsoft Forms.  Register here.


Workforce Development – Tuesday 18th May, 15:00 – 16:30

This session, led by the CLD Standards Council, will focus on the requirements set out in the Workforce Development component of  CLD Plans Guidance Note (2021-24) with particular reference to: Providing practice placements for CLD students; Recruiting qualified CLD practitioners; and, Supporting the CLD workforce to benefit from engaging with the CLD Standards Council through registered membership.  Register here.


Mental health information and support – SAMH


At times over the last 12 months we will all have felt changes in our mental health and witnessed changes from those around us.

SAMH (The Scottish Association for Mental Health) has a range of information and publications to help you support your own mental health and those around you by increasing knowledge, understanding and highlighting positive coping mechanisms. There are also a range of supports and services available at national level if you experience levels of distress.

When does low mood become depression?
We all feel low sometimes, but these feelings may become a problem if they’re interfering with your life, don’t go away after a few weeks or keep coming back.
SAMH’s information covers what you need to know:

Anxiety is something we can all experience at times. It’s okay to feel this way but it’s important to remember that there’s lots of things we can do to look after ourselves.
SAMH’s information guide covers what can help reduce anxiety to a manageable level:

Stress is a normal part of life, but sometimes it can become overwhelming and difficult to cope with.
SAMH’s resource explains what might cause it and how it can affect you. It includes information about ways you can help yourself and how to get support:

5 Ways to Better Wellbeing
We all have mental health, just as we have physical health, and it’s important that we take the time to look after it.
Evidence suggests there are five ways to improve our mental wellbeing:
• Be active
• Connect
• Learn
• Give
• Take notice
Find out more:

We all feel angry at times – it’s part of being human. But anger becomes a problem when it gets out of control and harms you or others. SAMH’s resource is full of practical suggestions as well as info on support available for you and your loved ones:

National Distress Brief Intervention Service
Since June 2020 third sector partners have been working closely with NHS24 to provide a national Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) service. By calling 111 and accessing the NHS24 mental health hub any adult age 16 and over in Scotland has access to this service. The DBI programme is built on the vision of connected compassionate support with the national programme consisting of two parts, with part 1 supported by NHS24 to help ease any individual. If further support is required they are referred to the DBI service with a promise of contact within the next 24 hours to start providing support.
Part 2 is provided by commissioned and trained third sector staff who contact the person and provide problem solving support, wellness and distress management planning, supported connections and signposting. Support is offered for up to 14 days.
Call NHS24 on 111 to access this service.

Community Learning and Development (CLD) COVID-19 recovery guidance webinar series 

Community Learning and Development (CLD) COVID-19 recovery guidance webinar series

  • In partnership with the Scottish Government, leaders from key national CLD organisations are collaborating to provide a series of webinars focussed on the recently updated CLD COVID-19 recovery guidance, and other relevant government guidance and related third sector advice on assessing risk and planning for re-opening safely.
  • The series is designed to address a range of audiences in the CLD sector, both generic and practice specific. The webinars will be of most interest to managers and practitioners in the public, and third sector including community representatives planning the recovery of services, or adjusting recovery plans in light of ongoing changes in local circumstances.
  • The webinars will offer a walkthrough the latest Scottish Government CLD guidance, highlight other related guidance, and provide an opportunity to learn from others’ experiences of interpreting and applying guidance in their context. Insights to the webinars will inform ongoing Scottish Government monitoring and review of the guidance.
  • Delegates are invited to contribute a question in advance of the session, and we will aim to respond to as many of the emerging themes as we can.
  • Please sign up  to the event of most relevance to your area of focus at the link below.


20th November, 3-4pm – CLD COVID-19 recovery guidance webinar for universal CLD audience  [additional places now available]


24th November, 5.30 – 6.30 pm – CLD COVID-19  recovery guidance webinar for youth work


25th November, 3-4pm – CLD COVID-19  recovery guidance webinar for adult learning


26th November, 10-11:30am – CLD COVID-19  recovery guidance webinar for Community development [Session full – waiting list in operation]

***New additional date for adult learning added***:
27th November, 10-11am – CLD COVID-19  recovery guidance webinar for adult learning