Better support for Bute third sector groups

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Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface (TSI) last week launched its new approach to service delivery in the area.

The TSI will offer direct support to all types of third sector organisations, including charities, social enterprises and community groups, in a number of new ways.

The new approach recognises that many people now find their information through digital means, and the need for information and assistance to be accessible across the whole of Argyll and Bute, not just the main towns.

The TSI’s new website, www.argylltsi.org , launched last week, which includes a ‘self serve’ section allowing groups access to a variety of local and national resources.

Katrina Sayer, deputy CEO of Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface said: “The TSI will be growing and developing self-serve over the coming months to become a ‘one-stop shop’ for information that third sector organisations need to set-up, govern and manage – everything from how to start a social enterprise to raising funding from major donors.

“The TSI can now be contacted through a central freephone number.

“By calling 0300 303 4141 between the hours of 9am -4pm Monday - Friday third sector organisations will be able to speak to one of the third sector support team members who can answer more in-depth queries.

“The team can also now be reached by emailing a central enquiry address - support@argylltsi.org.uk.

“Across Argyll and Bute there will now be regular ‘surgeries’, taking support closer to the organisations that need it on a face-to-face basis.

“These surgeries will be published in advance on the website.

“We currently have 96 surgeries planned for 2019, covering the main towns, more rural areas and the islands, and coverage will be adjusted in the future according to local demand.”

Kirsteen Murray, who took over as the Argyll and Bute TSI chief executive officer in 2018, explained: “Running a charity or a social enterprise, especially in these cash-strapped times, is incredibly hard work.

“Many organisations rely on a very small number of staff, supplemented by dedicated volunteers, and their time is very precious.

“Our role as a TSI is helping third sector organisations to thrive, and through our new support system we are making sure that help is available to them in a variety of ways, where and when organisations need it.

“We’ll be taking feedback on the new system from organisations in the coming weeks and months, and adding further information and support to match the needs of our client organisations.”