Why working with the voluntary sector is part of our vision for Scotland

Why working with the voluntary sector is part of our vision for Scotland

Scottish Executive
December 2005

(The excerpt below is from the Scottish Executive’s ‘A Vision For the Voluntary Sector’)

6. Our approach as an Executive therefore needs to recognise the broad roles the sector can play and its contribution to Scottish life. In future, we want to support the sector in four key areas:

As a service delivery partner – delivering effective and efficient services in areas such as social housing and children’s services and in areas like recycling, community transport and alternatives to custody. However, to achieve improved outcomes, the sector also needs to be more involved in strategic planning of services locally, including Community Planning.

Its contribution to building strong communities – building on the sector’s strength in communities and its unique ability to build social networks between individuals and organisations, building community cohesion, encouraging civic involvement, participation and active citizenship through volunteering and by empowering communities.

Its role in advocacy and developing policy thinking – the sector’s independence makes the sector well placed to debate the big issues facing Scotland, advocating and speaking on behalf of groups of people. The Executive also makes extensive use of the sector as a source of advice and expertise on policy development. But for there to be better outcomes in policy implementation, the sector needs to be more involved at an earlier stage in the policy cycle.

As an agent of change – building confidence in individual’s own abilities and outlook through volunteering, supporting people to take positive lifestyle choices and individual responsibility. The voluntary sector also spearheads cultural and social change.

These roles are not static and can change and overlap; many groups use their experience of providing frontline services, for instance, to influence their policy and lobbying roles.

The full document is available to download here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/12/12103306/33070#2