Over a hundred community, business and charitable groups are joining together tomorrow (Friday 14 March) to celebrate the vital role of the third sector and partnership working in Moray.
'Join the Dots 2014' has been organised by Third Sector Interface Moray (tsiMORAY) at the Alexander Graham Bell Centre.
The event incorporates an awards ceremony, marketplace, workshops, presentations and the launch of the Social Enterprise Strategy for Moray.
tsiMORAY and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have developed the strategy in consultation with the community and its priorities have been endorsed by the Moray Community Planning Partnership. The Join the Dots conference also provides an opportunity for delegates to participate in the next steps of the plan - to develop action points.
The Moray Social Enterprise Network (MSEN) Awards have attracted around 40 nominations and will recognise the achievements of groups and individuals across six 6 categories: Innovation; Growth; Partnership; Young Entrepreneurs, Environmental Impact and Community Impact.
Fabio Villani, Chief Officer of tsiMORAY, commented: "The range of groups we have attending the meeting gives an indication of why the third sector is so important to Moray life. We have over 140 participants signed up to the event, representing groups working with people at every stage of life and with a range of challenges and interests. This event offers a great opportunity to 'join the dots' and develop new connections and partnerships between third sector organisations and between them and public sector bodies"
- The term Third Sector describes all organisations that provide social or environmental benefit and do not distribute profits. The term covers voluntary & community organisations, volunteering bodies, charities, social enterprises as well as some co-operatives and mutuals.
The Social Enterprise Strategy for Moray was formally endorsed by the Moray Community Planning Partnership at their meeting on 22 August 2013, recognising that the social economy is one of Moray's key strengths and that enabling the sector to flourish will benefit Moray as a whole.
The third sector in Moray is vibrant and diverse. Previous research estimates that the third sector comprises around 1,400 organisations ranging from small locally focused organisations with little or no regular income, to major charities and social enterprises.
Support for the development of social enterprises locally is shared between Third Sector Interface Moray (tsiMORAY), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Business Gateway and The Moray Council. tsiMORAY has two part-time social enterprise development managers; these are funded by HIE and a Scottish Government Core Grant. A thriving fellowship exists in the form of Moray Social Enterprise Network, which currently has 60-plus member organisations.
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tsiMORAY is a company limited by guarantee, No. SC416994 and a registered charity, No. SC042954