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© UCVO (2017)

Uist Council of Voluntary Organisations


Uist Council of Voluntary Organisations


UCVO provides support and representation for third sector organisations in Uist.


We work to assist the development of voluntary groups in Uist and support third sector organisations to deliver quality outcomes through being well governed and well managed.

Through our activities we aim to support third sector organisations in Uist to feel better connected and able to influence and contribute to public policy.

We are always looking for ways to support collaborative activities between voluntary groups and local statutory bodies including the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership.

Third Sector Forum


UCVO organises and hosts the local Third Sector Forum, an independent group made up of representatives from voluntary organisations based in the surrounding area.


Some of the objectives of the Uist Third Sector Forum are:

To consult with the third sector, to provide opportunities for feedback, and to agree consensus on particular issues related to the third sector in Uist.

To provide an opportunity for the third sector to identify needs and bring these to the attention of planning groups and agencies.

To provide an opportunity for information exchange, bring to the attention of third sector organisations examples of good practice adopted by others, and help all organisations become more effective and efficient.

To identify training needs among third sector organisations and encourage collaboration between statutory and voluntary training providers whenever appropriate.

To consult the third sector about who can best represent them on particular bodies, and to appoint representatives.


To act as a filter for information, both upwards to higher planning authorities and downwards to individual organisations and their members.

To lobby on issues affecting the third sector in Uist.

To take a supporting role in progressing, monitoring and reporting progress against all national outcomes in the new Locality Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP), which will by the end of 2017 replace the current Single Outcome Agreement (SOA).

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)

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.