The Scottish Independence Convention has launched Voices for Scotland as its campaign organisation ahead of the second independence referendum.

The new organisation will aim to engage voters on independence, mainly targeting people who voted No in 2014 but may be prepared to change their minds.

Voices for Scotland will be a non-party, civic organisation whose aim is to facilitate conversations about Scotland’s future through discussion and engagement.

The organisation will seek to engage with people using a different voice – with the aim of listening to what people need to help them become supportive of independence, as well as to persuade them of its merits.

Launched in Edinburgh yesterday by Convention convener Elaine C Smith, the new group stated: “Voices for Scotland will give people from all walks of life the opportunity to tell their stories and have their voices heard about the country they want to live in.

“There’s particular intent to listen to people who haven’t made up their minds about Scottish independence or who support the union but have had their faith undermined by recent events.

“Voices for Scotland must not, and does not, assume it knows what matters to all the people of Scotland and their fears or hopes for the future. Neither can it assume what sort of country we want to build. We want to act as a catalyst for wider conversations about Scotland’s future, and how we can make our country a better, fairer, happier place to live.”

The grassroots organisation has been funded by many, mainly small, donations from members of the public and will be headed by Chris Hegarty who has been appointed as its Coordinator. A small team will be hired to develop and run campaigns, carry out research and to support and facilitate the many grassroots independence organisations across Scotland Elaine C Smith said: “The UK is in the middle of a political crisis and we’re launching because, important as the views of politicians are, there are many more voices in Scotland which need to be heard as we debate our future.

About a third of those voices are definite independence supporters and about a third are definitely not. We’re all about opening conversations with the third of people who are in the middle, who are undecided or are doubting their previous opinions.

Voices for Scotland is about listening to and engaging respectfully and constructively with them, finding out what they need to help them make their decision and hopefully giving them some things to think about which will help them feel more confident about Scotland’s future as an independent country.”

Dave Thompson, Chair of the Board of Voices for Scotland said: “To win independence, our movement needs to open conversations with people who are unsure about our constitutional future. We need to listen to their fears and hopes for our country. The more we listen, the better we will be able to provide answers, reassurance and build confidence. That’s what Voices for Scotland is all about. We also want to support those already campaigning for independence with materials and resources which will help people to have the most impactful interactions possible.”

Chris Hegarty, coordinator of Voices for Scotland said: “It’s a genuine privilege to be involved in a grassroots organisation that’s all about listening to the aspirations and concerns of the people of Scotland, and especially one that’s committed to having these open conversations in such a respectful way. I look forward to hearing many of those conversations, and to working with such a talented and committed group of people as those involved in Voices for Scotland.”

Linda Somerville, Board Member of Voices for Scotland said: “The Scottish Independence Convention, from which Voices for Scotland is being born, represents the amazing range and diversity of groups and individuals already committed to independence. There is evident appetite for change across Scotland and the ambition of Voices for Scotland will help to achieve this vision.”