The Third Sector (Voluntary Organisations)

Voluntary organisations, now known as Third Sector organisations, play a significant role in communities across the Highland area.  The scope of the sector is considerable.  It is estimated that there are around 8-9,000 Third Sector organisations operating in Highland.  Some will consist purely of volunteers working within their local community, others are operating with budgets of over £1million and bringing significant sums into the local economy.

The High-Societies website enables you to find up to date community information in your area, create and maintain information for your own group, promote events and highlight your own website. Local organisations can receive support from their local Council for Voluntary Services.

Whether Third Sector organisations are small and local or providing services on behalf of public sector bodies, all play a significant role within Highland communities, which the Council welcomes and values.

Recognising the importance of the Third sector the Council, along with its partners NHS Highland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, have developed a Compact with the Third Sector in Highland.  A Compact is an agreement between Third Sector organisations and public sector organisations setting out how they should work together for the benefit of Highland communities.

Following a pan-Highland launch event in March 2008, five regional consultation events  have taken place across Highland in order to consult on the development of a Highland Compact. 

The events were an opportunity for Third Sector organisations to have their say on how they can contribute to the Single Outcome Agreement, which is an agreement between the Highland Community Planning Partners and the Scottish Government to deliver better outcomes for the people of the Highlands.

A further pan Highland event took place in November 2009. This event shared the learning from the regional events and provided participants with an opportunity to finalise the draft Compact and associated actions.

Following the November event The Highland Compact went into a final period of consultation until its launch in March 2010. An event will take place to review the first year of the Compact in April 2011.