Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) doesn't have a Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) so in 2016 a group of local charities in Bath, Midsomer Norton, the Chew Valley and Radstock came together to form the B&NES 3rd Sector Group (3SG). We are a membership network for the charity, community, faith, social enterprise and voluntary sector (also known as VCSE's) operating in B&NES and our aim is raise the profile of our members and give them a chance to influence local strategic decision making. We run and share relevant events, training and information. The 3SG aims to:
· Consider and champion views and experiences of the local 3rd sector, ensuring that the 3SG is a key part of the public services decision making processes in Bath & NE Somerset.
· Act as a mechanism to raise issues and opportunities for the local 3rd sector as well as develop innovative joint responses.
· Support the 3SG representatives on partnerships and boards as appropriate.
· Encourage joined up communications across the sector as well as share resources and expertise.
· Be a focal point for receiving and disseminating strategic information.
· A platform to promote & raise awareness of the activities of volunteers & 3rd sector organisations operating in B&NES.
3SG is run by members for members. Our Core Group are all representatives of local third sector organisations who volunteer their time to 3SG. We have a part time Development Manager whose time is generously supported by Localgiving & St John's Foundation.
We are also grateful for the support of Quartet Community Foundation who have provided a grant to help pay for member events and our website.
Membership of the 3SG
There are four different ways to engage with the 3SG:
1. Organisational Members
One representative from any constituted third sector organisation working in B&NES can become an Organisational Member of the 3SG. The 3SG Coordinator maintains an active Organisational Membership list on this website and invites members to the annual open meeting.
2. Core Group Members
The 3SG has a ‘Core Group’ (of no more than ten people) who are elected annually by no more than one representative of each Organisational Member via attendance at the annual open meeting.
The Core Group members of 3SG meet quarterly at closed meetings. They represent the views of the local 3rd sector & their networks at meetings and disseminate information back out to members.
The elected members of the 3SG Core Group consist of senior representatives from a range of local third sector organisations that must be existing Organisational Members of 3SG. The current list is available by clicking here.
The 3SG works with Enablers whose role is to support the local 3rd sector but do not have 3SG voting rights and are not part of the Core Group or Organisational membership. The following enablers attend the closed Core Group meetings when possible:
Representatives of the following boards and networks attend the closed Core Group meetings when possible. They also feed in information and consult with the 3SG Core Group on a regular basis. Many of the Core Group members can also be Representatives and sit on other networks and boards:
Third sector definition
‘Third sector’ relates to organisations that are not for profit and non-governmental, in contrast to the public and private sectors. The terms ‘voluntary, community & social enterprise sector' (or VCSE), ‘civil society’ and ‘charities’ can also used but we prefer third sector because it encompasses a wider range of organisation types. 3SG consider the faith sector to be part of this definition due to the important role they play alongside charities in the Bath & NE Somerset community.