The third sector in Dumfries and Galloway has the ambition to be a powerful partner in a recovering economy, a new report states this week.
The sector across the South of Scotland demonstrated an agility and resilience during the Covid-19 crisis to take a lead role in efforts to help communities.
Many organisations operated throughout to serve the immediate needs of those requiring help, while others used the time to adapt their services to be purposeful in the future.
Now, the report – South of Scotland Third Sector: A partnership approach to Covid-19 response and recovery planning – details the findings from a series of interviews with organisations across the area, and wider talks with the sector and partners.
It details an “unprecedented opportunity” to create lasting partnerships between the third sector, local communities, the statutory agencies, and funders.
The third sector interfaces in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders wanted to identify common themes and lessons learned from the crisis.
Those themes have been now translated into seven key principles and recommendations to help shape a collective approach of Scottish Government, local statutory partners, and the sector, towards the ‘new normal’.
They will also be used to support and empower the third sector in its ambition to be a vital person-centred service provider, as it moves towards its recovery, and play a key role in helping to build the South of Scotland’s wellbeing economy.
The sector noted a very positive partnership working during the Covid-19 crisis and hoped that this would be sustained during the recovery period and beyond.
The recommendations include equal input for the sector in strategic decision making; exploring new funding models to sustain and develop third sector organisations; and investment in locality hubs.
Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway’s CEO Norma Austin Hart said: “I am grateful to the many charities and voluntary organisations that participated in our consultation. One thing is very clear: there is no lack of ambition in the sector. There is a huge appetite for working with the councils and other statutory agencies to find creative responses to the Covid-19 crisis, to be an equal and valued partner and to meet the needs of local communities.”
The full report can be read here: Response and Recovery Planning