The Dundee Third Sector Interface (TSI) is a partnership between Dundee Social Enterprise Network, Dundee Voluntary Action and Volunteer Dundee and is recognised as an equal partner in the delivery of the City Plan. The Third Sector in Dundee employs over 2,600 people and spends almost £130 million each year.
Dundee TSI’s key priorities are to develop and support social enterprises and voluntary organisations and to promote and support volunteering. They aim to provide a coherent and collective voice for the Third Sector by strengthening engagement with community planning partners.
The TSI increases the Third Sector’s input in key areas of public policy in the city and impact on the delivery of public services by engaging with third sector organisations, community groups and citizens in Dundee. When communities are at the heart of local decisions, their needs can be better addressed. The Dundee Partnership recognises the third sector as full partners, sharing in the decision making and in the provision which delivers local outcomes.
The Dundee TSI influences partners’ decisions with the views and contributions of the third sector in order to meet wider community needs across a range of topics from health and social care, early years provision, community transport, community safety and other areas of work determined locally or by national policy priority.
This is demonstrated by TSI staff co-chairing strategic planning groups in Health & Social Care, staff commissioned to work in multi-agency roles such as Learning and Organisational Development, Technology Enabled Care, Respite Care Development, Preventing Under-nutrition, secondment to the Children & Families Team and collaborating on funding applications.
The TSI does not fulfil all of the third sector engagement requirements itself. It increasingly provides a bridge that connects local decisions to the local third sector and ensures that the value of increasingly limited public expenditure is focussed on local need.
As part of its ongoing development, the Dundee TSI has decided to recruit an independent chair and to look at reviewing its overall partnership structure. It has also taken steps to strengthen the representative role played by the third sector on Dundee Partnership groups to ensure that it is effectively connected at both a city wide and local level.
Strong partnerships have been forged with the private sector in the city over the years. These include joint working and funding partnerships that are enabling us to improve the city and close the inequality gap. Together we have produced creative and sustainable solutions to some key challenges across the entire community planning agenda. These include developing our biggest tourist attractions; creating businesses and employment and training opportunities; mentoring pupils and working in partnership with whole schools; delivering holiday programmes and responses to food poverty; and supporting people recovering from substance misuse or offending behaviour. Much of this takes place behind the scenes but, although their profile may be lower, the contribution of the private sector partners – led often by the Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce - is significant and crucial.