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Our third sector needs progress, not reset.

Our third sector needs progress, not reset.

Alan Webb, Chief Officer of Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway, outlines the distractions being created as we await a new First Minister for Scotland, reiterating the need for progress on fair funding and respect for the many thousands of community groups and enterprises which mitigate poverty and support health and wellbeing.

Alan Webb
Alan Webb, Chief Officer of Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway

The pending arrival of a new First Minister at Bute House has caught the attention of media everywhere, many analysts keen to tell us about the potential change, or otherwise, that’s to come.  It’s certainly distracted from the many crises facing our country, our world.  For most of my colleagues in the third sector, it has landed as a distraction from their important work or a further bump in the road on our route to being recognised and valued as a sector.

At a time when many organisations are still waiting for their promised investment for the new financial year,  the idea of a review or reset on the asks of the third sector across Scotland is unimaginable.  It would fail the thousands who work and volunteer in the sector, and the millions of people across the country who benefit from a strong sector in their community.

Today, and every day, charities, community and voluntary groups and enterprises – the vast majority locally based and run – are focussed on their impactful work; mitigating the worst of poverty and inequalities, supporting community health and wellbeing, creating opportunities for connection, building skills and readiness for work, supporting recovery, promoting creativity and the arts, developing our social economy and helping our public services.

All are giving hope, creating purpose. Many are filling gaps and navigating poor policy.

Whilst the new First Minister may be confirmed sooner than we thought, and as policy priorities and Cabinet posts are settled, our asks remain the same:

  • A commitment to our Fair Funding Charter – strategic, sustainable, multi-year and accessible investment in our sector;
  • Recognition of our impact and value – a £multi-billion sector, employing many thousands of people and reaching millions across Scotland should be involved in the big decisions facing our communities;
  • A direct meeting with Third Sector Interfaces to hear first-hand about local needs, work and impact.

Find out more about TSI Scotland Network asks in our Pre Budget brief here.  Alan Webb is Chief Officer of Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway.

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