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July 10, 2009

Community Sector is distinct part of Third Sector

Supporting Voluntary Action, jointly funded by the Lottery and Scottish Government, is a major SCVO initiative aiming to shape the future support infrastructure for the Third Sector. At a recent away day, a draft vision was considered which delineates the Third Sector into three subsets: Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise. This accords with LPL’s view – that the community sector has distinct needs within the broader third sector. Now we need Scottish Govt and the Lottery to get on board

The Purpose of the Away Day

The Think Tanks Project is one of the cross-cutting strands of the SVA Programme portfolio of work. This project is designed to bring senior staff from across local and national third sector infrastructure to consider the key aim of the SVA programme which is:
“to develop a shared vision, purpose and direction for the voluntary sector support infrastructure in Scotland”.

The Think Tanks comprise two small groups from local and national infrastructure support agencies. These two groups have therefore been tasked with a far-reaching aim and remit. They are taking this forward through residential meetings where the participants are truly engaged in a process which encourages exploration out with the boundaries and constraints of the day job. To support this, the Think Tank participants hosted an Away Day with senior staff and board members from community, voluntary, social enterprise, intermediary and infrastructure organisations. The purposes of the Away Day were to:

* Share information and insights into the Think Tank project;
* Consider what a vision and purpose for local and national support for the third sector should look like; and
* Get ideas and insights into purpose and direction of infrastructure in Scotland.

Purpose and Vision Statement for Third Sector Support Services

The Think Tank participants have been discussing vision and purpose and have produced a draft vision and purpose statement to encapsulate the current and future vision and purpose of third sector support infrastructure. This was presented to the delegates at the start of the Away Day and insight and comment invited.

The draft statement is as follows:

An independent infrastructure which has the capacity, capability, and confidence to lead a strong and thriving voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector, in Scotland.

To provide an enabling and supportive environment, where voluntary organisations, communities and social enterprises can flourish.

The discussions in the workshops elicited feedback on this and no major comments were received.

Download full report here