The Third Sector Interface in Dumfries and Galloway(TSDG) decided to hold an event at the Rural Parliament to give third sector people in the South West the opportunity to discuss Brexit. Although the Brexit debate has been underway for over two years there has been little examination of the implications for community and voluntary organisations outside the central belt of Scotland.
The role of the third sector in rural communities is accepted as integral to the economy, services and social fabric of the area.There are over 2300 third sector organisations, including 854 registered charities, in Dumfries and Galloway. Rural voluntary organisations experience the same challenges as those in urban areas: shortage of funding and volunteers and difficulties with recruitment and retention. In addition to these challenges the rural third sector delivers services in the context of hidden poverty, poor public transport, an aging population and a low wage economy.
Brexit has now reached a critical point in the political process. Decisions will be taken shortly which are likely to impact on every aspect of the third sector in rural Scotland, yet the subject remains largely ignored. TSDG held an event to draw attention to this subject.