The Role of the Third Sector Interface

Each of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland has a Third Sector Interface (TSI) to support, promote, develop and represent the Third Sector:

  • Community groups
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Social enterprises
  • Volunteering

In addition, the Interface is the vital connection between the Community Planning Partnership (CPP) and the Third Sector.  CPPs are made up of public, private and third sector bodies including the local authority, health board, fire, police, enterprise agency and others.  They are tasked with ensuring that “public services in the area of the local authority are provided and the planning of that provision takes place” (Local Government in Scotland Act 2003).

Local authorities have a duty to initiate, maintain and facilitate this process and Scottish Ministers have a duty to promote and encourage the use of Community Planning.

The role of the Third Sector Interface is to:

  • support voluntary organisations operating in the area, both local and those national organisations that deliver services at the local level;
  • support and promote volunteering;
  • support and develop social enterprise;
  • provide the connection between the Community Planning Partnership and the Third Sector.

In the Scottish Borders our TSI is the Borders Third Sector Partnership and comprises of –

Collectively, we support the development of the Third Sector Forum, a ‘network of networks’, which appoints from its members a number of representatives to attend the various theme groups of the Community Planning Partnership.

Third sector Interfaces are funded by The Scottish Government, through a specially designed formula against a strict set of criteria which are reported on half annually.

In cases where the Interface is a partnership of organisations, like Scottish Borders, one agency is asked to take the lead role and in this case it is The Bridge.