From left: Alex Neil MSP, Chic Brodie MSP, Fiona Fawdry - CVO East Ayrshire, Susan Swann - Volunteer Centre Borders, Calum Irving - Voluntary Action Scotland.

The third sector is playing a crucial role addressing inequalities and poverty in our communities. That was the message from a reception in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday night.

The reception, hosted by Chic Brodie MSP on behalf of Voluntary Action Scotland, focussed on the role third sector interfaces (TSIs) are increasingly playing in building collaborations locally with public sector, third sector and other organisations to create innovative services that best meet the needs of individuals and communities.

Guests at the reception heard from Chic Brodie MSP, Calum Irving, CEO of Voluntary Action Scotland, and Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners Rights, Alex Neil MSP. Mr Neil talked about the huge role volunteering has played in the history of Scottish society and praised the work of third sector interfaces in building and supporting the third sector and volunteering locally.

A new booklet produced for the night called ‘Collaboration Works’ showed collaboration in action across Scotland, led by TSIs: from creating a social transport project in Aberdeen to help older people stay active, to working with young families in East Ayrshire to make sure they have the support to get on in life; from supporting people in the Highlands to manage their long term conditions independently, to reducing reoffending in South Lanarkshire. The booklet, alongside two video case studies which were shown on the night featuring projects in the Scottish Borders and East Ayrshire, demonstrated the significant impact TSIs are having across Scotland, particularly in building innovative, collaborative approaches to service design and delivery.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights Alex Neil said:

The reception was hosted by Chic Brodie MSP, pictured here with Calum Irving of Voluntary Action Scotland

“The third sector is playing a crucial role addressing inequalities and poverty in our communities.

“It is important that we continue to work closely at a national level with Voluntary Action Scotland, and at a local level with each of the Third Sector Interfaces, so we can take advantage of the sector’s experience, insight and perspective and recognise the significant contribution it is making to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Calum Irving, CEO of Voluntary Action Scotland, commented:

“Without the third sector interfaces bringing together public sector, third sector and others, much of the great collaborative working we see in communities across Scotland simply wouldn’t happen. By acting as a champion for the local third sector the TSI can help to give the sector a voice and challenge public bodies to work in a different, more facilitative ways.

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to take this message to MSPs and we were pleased to see so many attending the reception so they could hear first-hand from their local TSIs. It was great to hear the Cabinet Secretary talk of the huge impact TSIs are having across Scotland in supporting the local third sector and communities”

The new ‘Collaboration Works: Putting the third sector at the heart of collaboration’ booklet can be found here.

 

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