SURF Sustains

As Scotland’s Regeneration Forum, SURF is making sure it can continue to be fully effective in its key role of connecting partners, places, policies and priorities. That seems all the more important in this present, and still evolving, crisis.

Like those in many of its member organisations across all sectors, SURF’s staff are now working remotely but collaboratively. All SURF staff remain contactable via their normal email addresses and mobile phone numbers. We are rearranging the busy schedule of participative events that we had programmed in for April and May. That includes the SURF Debate and the four Shared Learning workshops based on last year’s SURF Awards process. Thanks to all of the venues and partners involved for their understanding and cooperation.

Similarly, we are making alternative arrangements for continuing our extensive consultations towards the first draft of the 2021 SURF Manifesto for Regeneration. We still expect to be able to present it for debate and voting on its main recommendations at the SURF Annual Conference at the end of August.

More specific details on all of SURF’s amended plans and activities, and how to stay involved, will be made widely available via the upcoming SURF E-Bulletin at the end of the month. There will also be lots of ongoing updates, links and relevant information via our Twitter feed (@SURFscot).

All Together for a Better Scotland

Internationally, nationally and locally, the scale and nature of the crisis is exposing deep underlying fragilities in our economic and social systems. It is also providing a much needed boost for essential fresh thinking on alternative approaches and enhanced cooperation towards addressing the interconnected challenges of poverty, inequalities, sustainability and collective wellbeing.

National agencies, local government, businesses and community and voluntary organisations have to actively collaborate more effectively. That is not easy at the best of times. SURF is already having discussions with Scottish Government colleagues on how it can do even more to help to connect varied perspectives, roles, resources, information sources and capacities. The primary shared aim is to support resilience in Scotland’s most disadvantaged and disconnected places. We hope that, with the support of our members and networks, SURF can also play an important role in promoting fundamental shared interests and practical transferable learning, in a way that will help the more resilient, inclusive and successful Scotland that we all desire, to emerge from what will inevitably be a highly challenging experience for us all.

As always, but more than ever, we will welcome all the varied views and insights from right across the SURF network.

Andy Milne, Chief Executive, SURF