News & Blog

EqualiTEA & Cake is back!

We are delighted to say that our second EqualiTEA & Cake drop-in is taking place on Thursday 26 July from 12.30pm-3pm at North Edinburgh Arts, 15a Pennywell Court, EH4 4TZ.

The aim of these relaxed, informal sessions is to encourage conversation about equality and what it means to you and your community. As well as supplying the all important tea and cake, EaRN staff and volunteers will be on hand to help guide the discussion.

Hope to see you there!

Human Rights Update

In this blog Equalities Ambassador Luke Padfield provides an update on the legal status of international human rights treaties in Scotland.

It is well known that in March 2018, the Scottish Parliament passed the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill, and that this bill, which expressly retains the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, has been passed to the Supreme Court.

What is less known is that in October 2017, the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) advertised an invitation to tender to look at issues associated with the incorporation of human rights treaties.[1] Specifically, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Human Rights is a devolved matter for the Scottish Parliament. It therefore has the power make these rights legally enforceable.

The SHRC advocated support for ‘incorporation’ defining it as “domestic justiciability of international standards, particularly economic and social rights”.  Broadly speaking, justiciability is the difference between immediately enforceable rights (justiciable) and rights that are progressively realised over time (non-justiciable).

The tender was awarded to Dr Katie Boyle of the University of Roehampton who is due to produce a report in the coming months. The research was supported by 5 thematic workshops held on the subjects of:

  • Right to Social Security
  • Right to Food
  • Right to Housing
  • Right to Health
  • Strengthening Economic and Social Rights Protection in Scotland.

More recently, the Equalities and Human Rights Committee in the Scottish Parliament held an inquiry asking what the Scottish Parliament can do to develop its role as a Human Rights Guarantor.[2] It is understood that, among other things, they are considering human rights training for all MSPs and MSP staff.

Further, the First Minister has recently appointed an Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership. It is understood that the group is currently considering the possibility of incorporating human rights treaties into Scots Law.[3] The group is specifically considering the incorporation of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. The incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is also being considered. The findings of the group will be delivered in Dec 2018 and will be based on a participative process.





EqualiTEA and Cake

The Equality and Rights Network is delighted to announce a series of drop-in events that will create a space to think and talk about what equality means to you and your community.

Our EqualiTea and Cake events will take place around the city and will be open to anyone who’d like to drop in for a cup of tea, a slice of cake, and a chat.

You can join in a discussion, ask questions, share your story, start a new conversation…or you can sit and listen too!

We’ll be there to help guide the conversation, answer any questions, and keep the tea and cake topped up.

Our first event is taking place on Saturday 23 June from 12.30pm-3pm at Volunteer Edinburgh, 222 Leith Walk, Edinburgh. This event is part of The Great Get Together which was inspired by the late Jo Cox MP and her belief that we “have far more in common than that which divides us”.

We would love to see you there for tea (or coffee), cake and a chat.

Funding Update

We are delighted to announce that EaRN has secured funding from the City of Edinburgh Council for the next year.  This is great news, allowing us to make concrete plans for the next twelve months, across our four main areas of work:  raising awareness, community engagement, research, and dialogue. EaRN exists to enable partnership working between the people of Edinburgh and our public services, with the overall aims of advancing equality, promoting human rights, and tackling poverty and inequality, and we are looking forward to progressing this work, and helping more voices be heard, in the coming weeks and months.

You can read our 2017-2018 Progress Report here: EaRN Progress Report 2017-18

Community Transport in Edinburgh – Tell us what you think

Use of Community Transport in Edinburgh Survey

The Edinburgh Community Transport Public-Social Partnership (PSP) have asked EaRN to undertake a survey in order that people using community transport in Edinburgh can say what their experience is and suggest ideas for improvement.

This survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. It would be most appreciated if your response could be submitted by Thursday 31 May .


Please click HERE to complete the survey


What is this survey about?

The PSP partners are keen to better understand from those using community transport, how these services are currently used, the barriers to greater use, and what can be improved in order that more vulnerable people within our localities can make use of these community-owned services.


What will happen with responses?

All information gathered by this survey is completely anonymous and information will be gathered and collated by EaRN (further details below) before being passed on to the PSP. A summary of responses and findings will be provided and used in any public reporting.


Why is the PSP collecting this information?

The PSP is considering Edinburgh’s first long-term strategy and action plan for community transport and is compiling a range of evidence to help inform the content. How people use these services is a key element of data which will help grow and develop these services for the future. This Survey is taking place alongside a series of small group and focus group discussions that will take place over the next few months. Should you wish to get in contact, the following email address has been set up;;


For more information on Community Transport please see this factsheet.

 In Edinburgh, there are five key (community-owned and operated) providers of community transport services, however there are also many other community organisations that operate transport within localities on a casual basis.

 These services provide a range of transport for example; those travelling to day centres or social care facilities, requiring transport for hospital appointments, hospital-to-home transport, travel to the supermarket or a social event, etc.


I’m Still Here

We are pleased to launch a new project by our Equalities Ambassador Esther on the effects of loneliness. Called “I’m Still Here” we would love to hear as many different experiences as possible, please get in contact if you are interested in taking part. 

Hello, my name is Esther and I am a volunteer Equalities Ambassador with the Equality and Rights Network (EaRN). I am interested by issues that affect a diverse range of people living in today’s society, issues that cross sections, are indiscriminate in who they affect, and often go unnoticed when the people involved have more “obvious” problems to deal with. We are all living in an era which, at times, seems to have forgotten what the word “society” really means and the repercussions of that amnesia can be felt quite severely by people who often see themselves as less able to speak out about their own experiences and even less hopeful that anyone will hear them.


In a world where life seems to have no time to pause and think, where social media and digital connectivity are increasingly sweeping away face-to-face human contact, do we really think that our innate needs as “social animals” are being met? Do the busy people ever consider those whose lives might be less fully occupied? And, if they do, what attitudes do they adopt? Do the people who feel excluded, marginalised or isolated from “mainstream society” think that they are even visible?


I am looking for people who might be interested in talking to me about their personal experiences of loneliness and their views on why and how this affects them. I hope to collect recorded testimonies from participants and use these as the basis for a piece of theatre aimed at raising awareness and promoting discussion around this topic. All statements would be anonymised and no words would be used without the agreement of the speaker.


If you are interested in talking with me and making a contribution to this project, or if you’d just like to find out more, contact us on


I look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories.


Esther Quinn

EaRN Equalities Ambassador