Category Archives: Third Sector First

Saltire Awards Recognise Young Volunteers

Five volunteers at a Mossburn community organisation have been recognised for their efforts.

Volunteers and their certificates

Sara Cummings, Rebecca Penman, Kayliegh Warwick, Juanita Wilson (Manager, Mossburn Community Farm), David Coulter (CEO, Third Sector First), Chireille Scott, Stacey Pointer (Saltire Ambassador, Third Sector First).
Photo credit: Bob Geddes

The young people volunteer at Mossburn Community Farm, Hightae, which looks after misused, abused, neglected and unwanted animals, ranging from the domestic to the exotic. Now their volunteering work has been rewarded with a Saltire Award.

Rebecca Penman, Chireille Scott and Sara Cummings have achieved awards for completing 500 hours of volunteering, while Emily Mears and Kayleigh Warwick have achieved their 100 hour awards.

Together the five young people have given over 1700 hours of their time to Mossburn Community Farm – that is equivalent to 212 working days.

Says Juanita Wilson of the farm: “As a voluntary organisation, volunteers are essential to us. They make the charity what it is and without them we wouldn’t be able to care for all the animals we do.”

The time given by the young people helps to improve the quality of life for the animals by ensuring they are fed, watered and cleaned out. Rebecca says the most memorable moment for her was when she found Treena, a one hour old foal in the field one morning. For Kayleigh, her most memorable moment was when she met Treena and was able to help her learn to suckle.

Volunteering has brought all of the young people greater confidence and has allowed them to make new friends.

David Coulter, Chief Executive of Third Sector First in Dumfries, which delivers the awards in Dumfries and Galloway, said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of voluntary organisations and charities and we are proud to support these awards which recognise all the hard work put in by young people. Without volunteers many community organisations simply couldn’t carry on their essential work and Dumfries and Galloway would be very much poorer for that.”

The Saltire Awards recognise the contribution of young volunteers in Scotland and are open to all young people aged 12 to 25. To find out more and to enter visit www.saltireawards.org.uk.

Find out more about Mossburn Community Farm at www.mossburn.org.

Anyone interested in volunteering in Dumfries and Galloway can contact Third Sector First to find out more about local opportunities at www.thirdsectorfirst.org.uk.

 

Supporting the Connect2013 conference

John Swinney MSP

John Swinney MSP speaking at the Connect2013 conference in Dumfries

At Ethos public relations we were very pleased to be able to help Third Sector First with their recent Connect2013 conference in Dumfries.

As well as attending on the day and helping to tweet updates from the conference, we managed the production of a printed programme for the event and media relations in advance.

Over 200 people came along to the conference – probably the largest gathering of the third sector that there has ever been in Dumfries and Galloway.

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government, gave the keynote speech and explained that he wanted to see a broader range of social enterprises in the Scottish economy.

Organised by Third Sector First in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Connect2013 brought third sector organisations in Dumfries and Galloway together with the public sector and provided a forum for voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises to influence public policy. Connect conferences are set to become an annual event in the Third Sector First calendar.

We wish Third Sector First well for future conferences.

Promoting the Community in Langholm and Eskdale

The local community in Langholm and Eskdale will have a stronger voice with the Scottish Government in future, thanks to a new link-up.

Signing the agreement

Chick McKenna, Chair of Third Sector First (standing), and David Yarrow, Chair of Langholm Initiative, signing the agreement.

The Langholm Initiative and Third Sector First have agreed to work together in a move to help promote Langholm and Eskdale to the Scottish Government, strengthen the local community and provide more investment in the area.

Together they have created the Eskdale Third Sector Pathfinder, which will be the local agent for Third Sector First in its work to help establish and develop new community groups, such as social enterprises, charities and co-operatives.

Third Sector First is funded by the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council to support and develop a strong third sector in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Langholm Initiative was formed in 1994 to improve the business, social and physical environment of Langholm and the surrounding areas.

David Yarrow, Chair of Langholm Initiative, said: “The Langholm Initiative fully supports the important role that Third Sector First will play in Langholm and Eskdale in future and we are pleased to be working with them to strengthen our community.

“We look forward to Eskdale Third Sector Pathfinder helping to develop and shape the future localism agenda within Dumfries and Galloway.”

One of the key priorities of the Eskdale Third Sector Pathfinder will be to encourage the formation of more social businesses in the area, as a way of delivering quality services, especially in areas such as in the care sector.

According to David Coulter, Chief Executive of Third Sector First: “Many of the services we rely on are provided by third sector organisations, such as community groups, charities and employee run businesses. Working with the Langholm Initiative we want to raise the profile of the Langholm and Eskdale area within the Scottish Government, to help attract more investment that will benefit local people.”

For more information about the Pathfinder and how it can help your local community group, contact the project manager at The Langholm Initiative: Judith@langholminitiative.co.uk.

 

Young volunteers recognised in Stranraer

Four young people from the Stranraer area have gained recognition for their volunteering work through The Saltire Awards.

saltire Awards logoAimee McCracken, Jack McQueen and brothers David and Alistair Stuart have all been presented with certificates in recognition of their efforts volunteering for local organisations.

The Saltire Awards recognise the commitment and contribution of young people volunteering in Scotland and are endorsed by the Scottish Government and by First Minister Alex Salmond.

The awards enable volunteers between the ages of 12 and 25 to gain new skills and practical experience through volunteering placements provided by local and national voluntary organisations. They  are designed to encourage more young people to volunteer within their local community, benefitting both the community and the young person. Jack McQueen received an award certificate for 200 hours’ volunteer work, which is a tremendous achievement.

Certificate presentation

Jack McQueen with Vivien Smith of Third Sector First (left) and Gillian Templeton (right), Service Manager of Stranraer Skills Station.

Jack volunteers as an administrative assistant at Stranraer Skills Station, a social business that offers support services to people with a variety of needs, and since September has attended the John Niven Centre, studying business admin. Jack attends college three days a week and volunteers on the two days when not at college, which provides him with valuable experience to enhance his education.

Saltire Awards presentation

Aimee McCracken (centre) with Vivien Smith (left) of Third Sector First and Elaine McCourtney, Service Manager of Stranraer Skills Station

Aimee McCracken received award certificates for achieving 10 hours and 25 hours of volunteer work. Aimee is supported by Stranraer Skills Station to complete voluntary placements in the local community. One of her placements is within a childcare establishment and another in a local school. In both placements Aimee helps the young people with their activities, demonstrating how to play games, assisting with arts and crafts and keeping the children on task.

David and Alistair Stuart from Stranraer also each received certificates for their 10 and 25 hours awards. David volunteers with Wigtownshire Animal Welfare Association and Alistair volunteers with Active Schools Wigtownshire. Positive feedback was received from Wigtownshire Animal Welfare Association about David’s dedication and enthusiasm to help the animals in their care and from Active Schools about Alistair’s commitment and determination to support other young people taking part in sporting activities. David and Alistair both thoroughly enjoy volunteering and would recommend it to other young people.

Saltire Awards presentation

David (right) and Alistair Stuart pictured with their certificates.

Speaking about The Saltire Awards, David Coulter, Chief Executive at Third Sector First, the organisation which co-ordinates the awards in Dumfries and Galloway, said: “It is always a pleasure to see the positive contribution made by young people to our communities and I am really pleased to see their efforts recognised by these Saltire Awards. Well done to them all.”

More details about The Saltire Awards can be found at www.saltireawards.org.uk

Brochure for Connect2013 now available

The brochure wPhoto of Connect2013 programme brochuree have been working on for our client, Third Sector First, which will be used to promote the Connect2013 conference in Dumfries next week, is now available.

The brochure contains the Connect2013 programme as well as full details of all the workshops for the event and will be printed and handed out to delegates on the day. Highlights of the conference will include a keynote address from John Swinney MSP and guest speaker Calum Irving, Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Scotland. Information about the exhibitors taking part in the Funding Providers’ Village is also included in the brochure.

Connect2013 takes place on Friday 8 November at the Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries and over 200 people are expected to attend. It is being organised by our client Third Sector First, Dumfries and Galloway’s third sector interface.

A copy of the Connect2013 brochure can be downloaded from our publications page.

 

Survey shows surge in demand for third sector services in Dumfries and Galloway

Third Sector First logoOrganisations in Dumfries and Galloway that provide advice and support to the most vulnerable people in our communities have reported a significant increase in demand for their services as a result of the UK Government’s welfare reforms.

A survey of third sector organisations in Dumfries and Galloway, carried out by Third Sector First, showed that, over the last twelve months, almost 94% of organisations that responded said they had seen an increase in demand for their services. All those organisations that responded said they expected demand for their services to increase in the coming year.

The results suggest that that more people are living in fear of change and people are increasingly worried about their employment prospects, whether they can afford to meet housing costs or simply make ends meet.

David Coulter, Chief Executive of Third Sector First, said: “Many of our members are the organisations that people turn to when they are in difficulties. Not only have many of these organisations experienced an increase in demand for their services over the past year, but they predict a further increase in demand in the next twelve months.

“Inevitably what this means is that some of the most vulnerable people in our communities are experiencing increased levels of stress and mental health problems.”

The results of Third Sector First’s survey will be revealed in full at Connect2013 – a conference being held in Dumfries on Friday 8 November that will bring the third and public sectors together to explore issues that affect the people and communities of Dumfries and Galloway. Visit www.connect2013.org.uk for more information and to book a place.

Third Sector First is funded by the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council to support and develop a strong third sector; develop social enterprise; develop volunteers and volunteering; and connect the third sector to community planning.

Connect2013 puts third sector first

Photo of John Swinney MSP

John Swinney MSP to speak at Connect2013

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Communities, is to give the keynote speech at the first annual Connect2013 conference on Friday 8 November to promote and develop the third sector in Dumfries and Galloway.

Organised by Third Sector First in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Connect2013 will bring third sector organisations together with the public sector. The event will provide a forum for voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises to influence public policy.

David Coulter, Chief Executive of Third Sector First, said: “Across Dumfries and Galloway there are literally thousands of community organisations. Until now these organisations haven’t had as strong a voice as they should have and Connect2013 is all about changing that.

“Connect2013 will provide the community sector in Dumfries and Galloway with a valuable opportunity to meet with and influence decision makers from across the public sector.”

Connect2013 is aimed at all third sector organisations operating in Dumfries and Galloway, their employees and volunteers, as well as members and employees of public sector bodies.

Subjects to be covered in a series of workshops include: welfare reform, community shares, care for older people and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

Connect2013 takes place on Friday 8 November at the Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries. Visit www.connect2013.org.uk for more information and to book a place.

Calling all Voluntary Organisations in Dumfries and Galloway

Third Sector First, the Dumfries and Galloway wide organisation set up to promote charities, voluntary organisations and community-led groups, is holding two training sessions in Castle Douglas.

Third Sector First logo

Third Sector First supports the third sector in Dumfries and Galloway

Volunteers play an important role in many organisations and these workshops will give local organisations help in developing programmes and policies for the involvement of volunteers in their organisation.

Speaking about the courses, David Coulter, Chief Executive at Third Sector First, said: “There are hundreds of voluntary organisations locally which are doing some fantastic work with local volunteers. Many organisations that help to make Dumfries and Galloway the place it is rely on volunteers and it is only right that they receive the best support possible.”

These two workshops are designed to help those organisations consider the important role volunteers play. Topics to be covered include: who volunteers and why; what motivates volunteers; recruiting & selecting volunteers; supporting volunteers and equal opportunities & diversity.

Added David: “Without volunteers our communities would be so much poorer in terms of charity and social cohesion. That’s why we are helping to give local organisations the skills and practical support to help them work with their volunteers.”

The courses run at Castle Douglas Fire Station on Thursday 31 October 2013 and Thursday 5 December 2013, from 9.30am to 4pm.

To find out more or to book contact Third Sector First on 0300 303 8558. Alternatively the workshops can be booked online at http://thirdsectorfirst.eventbrite.co.uk.

Official opening of new Third Sector First centre in Dumfries

Third Sector First logo

Third Sector First is officially opening its brand new centre in Dumfries on Friday 27 September, providing a unique space for charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and individual volunteers to work and meet.

The centre at 16 Queensberry Street will give voluntary and community organisations across Dumfries and Galloway a modern office location in which they can meet and network with other similar organisations. Within ground floor premises, the new centre has a high profile shop front and excellent provision for disabled access.

Third Sector First is funded by the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council to support and develop a strong third sector. The third sector is made up of organisations that have a social purpose and exist to improve the lives of people and communities. This includes community groups, charities, social enterprises and cooperatives and everyone who works or volunteers for them.

Across Dumfries and Galloway there are literally thousands of people working or volunteering for third sector organisations. Until now these organisations haven’t had as strong a voice as they should and Third Sector First is all about changing that.

Third Sector First is holding an Open Day at its brand new centre and all are welcome to come along.

When: Friday 27 September, 10am – 3pm
Where: Third Sector First, 16 Queensberry Street, Dumfries DG1 1EX

Putting the Third Sector First

Third Sector First logo

Third Sector First supports the third sector in Dumfries and Galloway

We are pleased to announce that we are to work with Third Sector First in Dumfries and Galloway to help develop its communications over the next couple of months.

Third Sector First is funded by the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council to support and develop a strong third sector, develop social enterprise, develop volunteers and volunteering, and connect the third sector to community planning.

Over the next two months we will be working with Third Sector First to raise its profile amongst charities, voluntary and community organisations. We will be working with the in-house team there to develop a website for its forthcoming conference for the Third Sector, Connect2013, as well as offering communications and media training.

Ethos public relations has worked with a wide range of Third Sector organisations over the years, including charities, co-operatives and social enterprises and is well placed to help Third Sector First get the message across that Dumfries and Galloway has a dynamic, varied Third Sector, that delivers real value and benefit for local people.

Find out more about Third Sector First here.