HTSI Highland Third Sector Interface
HTSI Redesign October 2018
Mhairi Wylie, HTSI Chief Officer, emailed members
I am writing to update you on some important changes that are happening to the Highland Third Sector Interface services in the coming twelve months.
Since their establishment in 2011 the policy and legislative landscape in Scotland has changed significantly. The Community Empowerment Act and health and social care integration are only two examples of these changes.
In 2016 the Scottish Government published an initial independent review of TSI services in Scotland. This review made recommendations for the enhancement and development of the role that TSIs play in facilitating and developing capacity for the Third Sector to engage in Community Planning and Integration forum.
In July 2018 the Highland Third Sector Interface Board agreed changes to the TSI services here in Highland which will support a stronger platform for Third Sector engagement in Community Planning and Integration forum, allowing the Sector to directly represent itself and not through the HTSI. This is part of a broader restructuring of HTSI, to enable the sector’s stronger and better participation in Community planning and the discharge of the support to the wider third sector which we are charged to provide, strategically and across the whole of Highland.
This means that from October 2018 the HTSI will be looking to develop the following activities and services:
Third Sector Representation Pathway:
From later August 2018 nominations will be sought for the first phase of elected representatives from within the Sector to join the new CPP delivery groups, other thematic activity and initial integration groups. Elections will take place at the HTSI AGM and Highland Third Sector Assembly on the 2nd of November. More details around the Pathway will be published in the coming weeks but the approach is underpinned by the principle that ‘representation’ from the Sector needs to be democratic, visible and accountable within the wider Highland Third Sector. HTSI will support, train and provide a network of peer support to representatives, searching for opportunities to strengthen the pathway as it develops.
Third Sector Forum Structures:
To support thematic policy influence, Sector co-production and support our Sector Representatives the HTSI will expand and diversify the current thematic forum structures to include, but not restricted to; Adult Health and Wellbeing; Children’s Services; Transport and Connectivity; Community Learning and Development, Community Justice and Employability. This will be supported by thematic information bulletins and training to meet the individual needs as identified by members from each of the thematic groups.
Online Information, Resources and Toolkits
We will enhance our digital platform, developing a ‘one stop shop’ website that will provide guidance on a wide variety of areas including running an organisation, policy templates, finance, engagement, checklists and many other areas. The website will also link to external support through other quality assured providers for community groups and Third Sector organisations, while new resources and toolkits will complement these ensuring that access to support and advice is available 24/7.
In addition to traditional in person training the HTSI will explore establishing an online training platform(s) which will provide access 24/7 to key areas of training that someone can then complete as and when required at home or in their office. Training is likely to cover a wide range of topics from very practical operational things through to organisational development and strategic planning.
These will combine with a more general commitment to explore what additional members services the HTSI may be able to develop and a broad discussion with members is planned for the period after October 2018.
To allow these changes to happen several things will change from October 2018. First of all the HTSI has agreed an initial twelve month budget which sees an additional one off £20k investment on top of the Scottish Government investment of £683k. For the period from October 2018 to October 2019 the HTSI will redistribute approximately 5.3% of the Scottish Government investment towards funding the above services and others.
Although there will be a reduction in funding for locally based TSI services, the HTSI Board are still committed to providing those services and the majority of the Budget (£520k) will continue be invested in local areas. Discussion will be held in each area over the next six weeks around the implications of these changes and on an individual organisational level this does represent challenges which we are sensitive to.
It is the sincere hope of HTSI that these changes will progress the development of the TSI services in Highland so that they continue to manage the balance of need between local services delivery, strategic capacity and influence and regional interests. If you or a colleague have any questions about these proposed changes then we would be happy to speak to you.
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