While 2020 will be known as the year of the pandemic, we must not forget it will also be a year defined by the change we have all witnessed in our communities.
Despite real challenges, communities and neighbourhoods have connected through kindness, resolve, and creativity like never before.
It has been a year during which we at tsiMORAY have both broadened and deepened our partnerships and collaborations. This has made it much easier for us to support the community-led responses which, for us, have been the defining feature of 2020.
The crisis has had, and continues to have, profound impacts not only on the most vulnerable members of our communities and on the volunteers who have stepped forward to help, but also on the groups whose support will be essential to the resilience and sustainability of our communities, and to their ability to thrive as the impacts of climate breakdown continue to increase.
The third sector – i.e. community groups, voluntary organisations, volunteers and social enterprises – responded to COVID-19 magnificently, helping to mitigate the worst effects of lockdown. Given enough support, the third sector can now lead the way in grasping the opportunity to transform our society through a just and green recovery.
Our aspirations for supporting this transformation are captured in our refreshed plan (the tsiMORAY Outcomes Framework 2020-2022), which is available through our website at here.
The plan includes our commitment to prioritise supporting our communities to lead a renewal of our economy and society, helping to focus our collective attention on building a kinder, fairer, more inclusive, better connected, more resilient, and more sustainable Scotland.
Our aspirations are also reflected in the Manifesto for Change we have published in partnership with our colleagues in the TSI Scotland Network, which is the network of independent local groups operating as TSIs (Third Sector Interfaces) in each of the 32 local authorities across Scotland. As a Network, we want to drive forward positive change for greater equality under four main headings:
an enhanced role for the third sector
implementation of place-based approaches
volunteering and the empowerment of people
a fairer wellbeing society
The Manifesto, downloadable at www.tsi.scot/manifesto, recognises that, to protect our communities and our people, we must tackle inequalities. It asks specifically for a refocusing of resources and investment into communities and grass-roots organisations, to make sure funding gets to the people who need it most.
As we leave 2020 behind and move forward into a new year, we will want to ensure that our third sector and our communities continue to have easy access to our support so that, together, we can build a fair and sustainable future for all.
We hope you will find the time to read, and be inspired by, our Outcomes Framework and Manifesto for Change, and we look forward to working with you and others during 2021 and beyond.