Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire helps to bring the Third Sector in South Lanarkshire Together During COVID-19

Every three months South Lanarkshire’s Third Sector Interface travels to the four localities for to facilitate Third Sector Forums. This is a chance for organisations to network, expand their knowledge and ask their burning questions.

Due to COVID-19 June’s forum was brought to a stand still however, it was clear that the Third Sector had an incredible response to this unprecedented and frightening time.

It is at the core of these organisations to support to those who are most vulnerable in society and here in South Lanarkshire this became ever more apparent. It was clear that now more than ever the sector needed somewhere to vent their thoughts and ask the much needed questions.

VASLan Chair, Nancy Barr, reflected upon the outstanding response “Our communities are very fortunate to have so many amazing people with great ideas, commitment and passion to make life better for others.

You are doing great work and I personally feel very encouraged for the future of our sector in South Lanarkshire.”

On Friday 19th May the sector was represented by a wide range of voluntary and community organisations from across South Lanarkshire

Third Sector organisations responded to the tremendous need in communities by collaborating and many attendees suggested this was a very simple process for the sector as relationships were already formed.

Margaret Halbert CEO of Liber8 in Blantyre emulated, “Organisations have not been afraid to pick up the phone to ask how we can work together.

Due to this openness the shift to collaborative working has been straightforward and efficient.”

In Larkhall, 12 third sector organisations have pulled together to form a magnificent community response which has been a lifeline to those who have been shielding/self-isolating. The formation of the Larkhall Rainbows has highlighted the value that social media has in modern-day society.

Anne Marie Neil, Community Links, stated “Communication and partnership working is key to success for the sector and the communities.”

It is not only social media that organisations have found to be useful but there is a newfound way of working that people do not want to lose such as, Zoom Meetings and new-found flexibility.

Margaret Finlay, Home Start, is moving their services online, “We have delivered an add on training to our core training. We use zoom google hangouts and also volunteers can phone from their own mobiles.

We are also in process of completing the development of our online core training for the next phase of recruitment so we can deliver telephone support to online groups as well as returning to face to face contact when the time comes.”

Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire cannot believe the incredible response they have had to the forum. Charlie Duffin, Operations and Strategic Manager, stated “We cannot thank everyone enough for taking time out of their busy schedules to take part in this forum. We have been overwhelmed by the feedback.

We have already started to look into future virtual events and we look forward to future engagement in the next steps”

News Date