Uist Council of Voluntary Organisations


Uist Council of Voluntary Organisations (UCVO)

UCVO is  a partner in Third Sector Interface Western Isles (TSI WI) 

Our four key functions are:

  • Volunteering Development

  • Social Enterprise Development

  • Supporting and developing a stronger third sector

  • Building and representing the third sector within community planning and community health partnerships Represent the voice of the third sector, with clear links to Community Planning Partnerships.

  • UCVO represents the voice of the Third Sector in Uist with clear links to Community Planning Partnerships

  • UCVO provides support to third sector in Uist through advice, information and practical support on running charitable and voluntary groups and social enterprises. 

  • UCVO offers other services, including e-bulletins and up-to-date information on events and relevant training, as well as space for occasional meetings and training.

The Uist Third Sector Forum


Uist Council of Voluntary Organisations (UCVO) organises and hosts meetings of the Third Sector Forum, an independent group comprising representatives of the voluntary organisations in Uist that are members of UCVO.


The purpose of the Uist Third Sector Forum is to:



To engage and consult with the Third Sector to identify common needs and take these forward in order to influence and contribute to the design and delivery of policies and services in Uist.


To provide an opportunity for the Third Sector to increase connections and understanding between organisations and to encourage partnership approaches in Uist. Information exchange, sharing of good practice that can be adopted by others, with a view to all organisations becoming more effective and efficient.


To identify training needs among Third Sector organisations and encourage collaboration between statutory and voluntary training providers when appropriate. Governance, legislation and funding information is shared to improve the ability of organisations to fulfil their statutory obligations and objectives effectively.


To provide a platform for Third Sector organisations to have a stronger voice in shared planning and action. Ensure Third Sector concerns and issues are collectively and individually represented to the appropriate authorities, decision-makers, planning groups and agencies, ensuring that feedback is part of this process.


To systematically gather evidence from the membership about their successes and challenges, and report these taking into account how well the Third Sector is progressing against the National Performance Framework (NPF) outcomes and the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP).

Benbecula Thrift Shop

UCVO operates a busy thrift shop at Airport Road, Balivanich, Benbecula.

Run by a dedicated team of hard-working volunteers, the thrift shop offers clothing, shoes, books, toys, crockery and glassware for sale. Items for sale are donated by members of the community, who in turn provide valuable support to the thrift shop as customers.

Profits generated through sales are used to finance the UCVO Trust Fund which provides grants to elderly and disabled individuals resident between Berneray and Eriskay. Please email office@ucvo.org.uk to enquire further about the terms of the trust fund and whether you, or somebody you know, may be eligible for support.

Surplus items of clothing donated to the thrift shop are collected and donated to the Blythswood Care charity, which provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief to people all over the world.

UCVO is always delighted to hear from anyone interested in volunteering with Benbecula Thrift Shop. Please email office@ucvo.org.uk for an informal discussion about what is involved and how you can help.

Benbecula Thrift Shop is open Monday - Friday (11am to 3pm). Please note the shop is closed at present due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Check out the latest bargains available on the Benbecula Thrift Shop Facebook page.

Am Pàipear

UCVO owns and publishes the community newspaper Am Pàipear.

Still based in the community in which it was established more than forty years ago, Am Pàipear has a strong reputation for thorough, impartial journalism and across-the-board coverage of news and events in the islands.

In addition to being much enjoyed by its readership, Am Pàipear is also widely respected by colleagues in the industry. It is a record six-time winner of the title ‘Highlands and Islands Community Newspaper of the Year’, in addition to awards and nominations received for journalism and the use of digital media.

Please contact the Am Pàipear team direct on 01870 603 299 or visit the social media channels (facebook.com/ampaipear and twitter.com/ampaipear) for up-to-date news.

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© UCVO (2017)