Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) have a vital role in enabling community voices to be heard in Parliament was a key message from a TSI Network meeting with the Scottish Parliament Community Outreach Team this week.
The meeting of TSI Senior managers at the Scottish Parliament, arranged by the Scottish Parliament Community Outreach Team in partnership with Voluntary Action Scotland, set out a new regional approach for the Team’s engagement with communities and local third sector organisations, with TSIs at the centre.
TSIs are a critical partner and are particularly valuable in engaging with people and communities which are difficult to access
Sir Paul Grice, Clerk and Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament
Reflecting on the strong history of the Scottish Parliament in listening and responding to the third sector; the discussion reflected the desire of both Scottish Parliament and TSIs to deepen this beyond the ‘usual suspects’, and to be more involving of lived experiences and community perspectives; TSIs being key to enabling this.
A case study of a TSI facilitating Parliamentary engagement at a local level demonstrated the value of the trusted relationships that TSIs have in helping individuals in challenging circumstances to share their experiences directly with Committee members, and of the influence and impact this had.
The new engagement approach will be rolled out from the spring and VAS looks forward to supporting the Network and the Scottish Parliament Community Outreach team with this.