A new Scotland wide inquiry into how communities can hold the power to lead on change from within has appointed two independent Co-Chairs with extensive experience of supporting people who are most excluded in society.

The Social Action Inquiry will support communities to take action together, create change and share power, whilst working alongside them to understand what helps and what gets in the way of progress.

Led by people living and working in Scottish communities, this three-year independent inquiry will:

  • Provide money and power to communities to undertake activity, which they direct and lead on.
  • Support people to find their voices, take action and use what they learn to create wider change.
  • Try to make change as it goes along, partly by bringing together people who hold power, and those currently furthest from it.
  • Build evidence for longer term change in Scotland.

Sam Anderson and Catherine-Rose Stocks-Rankin join the Inquiry as the newly appointed Co-Chairs. They will be passionate advocates for participation, collaboration and shifting power so that change is led by the knowledge held by communities.

Sam is the Founder of The Junction (Young People, Health & Wellbeing), an award-winning charity based in Edinburgh which works with and for young people on a range of health issues.  Sam brings extensive experience as a coach, mentor and facilitator supporting people furthest from power to feel understood and heard amongst systems that might otherwise exclude them.

Sam said:

Social Action has been a significant part of my life journey. I am therefore delighted the need for an Independent Social Action Inquiry for Scotland has been recognised and invested in.

I feel honoured to be able to contribute to this important Inquiry through the role of Co-Chair and to see the potential of Social Action unleashed in our journey towards an equitable Scotland.”

Catherine-Rose is a social researcher with a wealth of professional, research and personal experience of care. Her experiences of kinship care and as an informal carer have inspired her to build a career that explores how the systems we live within could be reimagined.

Catherine-Rose said:

I am honoured to take up the role of Co-chair of the Social Action Inquiry. As someone who has tried to build community around every significant challenge in my life, I’m thrilled to contribute to an Inquiry that will help us galvanize the ways we take action together.

I’m particularly delighted that we can shine a light on the work that people and communities are already doing in Scotland, to have the resource to strengthen that activity and the support to think about where power can be redistributed to making meaningful change.”

Catherine-Rose and Sam will shortly be recruiting an Inquiry Panel, along with an Inquiry Lead. If you’d like to apply to join the Inquiry Panel to help direct the Inquiry’s activity, or be part of the team as the Inquiry Led, please keep an eye on our website for announcements: https://socialaction.scot/

The Inquiry will also build on the findings and recommendations from the Together We Help research that explored social action in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Find out more about the Social Action Inquiry vision and background here: https://socialaction.scot/about/

Speaking on behalf of the partners who have founded the Inquiry – Carnegie UK Trust, Corra Foundation, Foundation Scotland, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), The National Lottery Community Fund, and The Robertson Trust – Fiona Duncan (CEO of Corra Foundation) said:

“This inquiry starts from the idea that social action is a vital part of the solution to the challenges we face as a society – now and in the future. The issue is not whether community-led action should be at the heart of creating lasting change, but how everyone can help create the conditions for this to happen, and to flourish.

Collaboration is at the heart of this, and it’s down to the collective efforts of the partners that we’ve reached this point. The partners are delighted to welcome Sam and Catherine-Rose and look forward to the Inquiry taking shape and beginning to help bring about change.”

 ENDS

For further information about the Social Action Inquiry please contact curious@corra.scot

Notes to editor:

  1. The Inquiry is being set up by a partnership of organisations: Carnegie UK Trust; Corra Foundation; Foundation Scotland; the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); The National Lottery Community Fund; and The Robertson Trust.
  2. In July 2020 Social Action Inquiry partners commissioned The Collective to lead on a short-term piece of research to capture the stories and lessons learned from communities coming together to help. Read the final research report here: https://www.togetherwehelp.scot/
  3. The Social Action Inquiry’s vision is a Scotland where social action is valued and is able to make change happen. To read more about the Social Action Inquiry, including the founding document visit: https://socialaction.scot/about/