Contact:  Christine Clarke, Development Officer, Stewartry Locality; and Membership Officer

Address:   71 High Street, Dalbeattie

Telephone:    0300 303 8558



What is the Third Sector?

The third sector comprises organisations that have a social purpose – organisations that exist to improve the lives of the people and communities of Dumfries and Galloway. It includes voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises, co-operatives, credit unions and mutuals, and of course all of those people who work within these organisations.

An organisation is generally regarded as being in the third sector if it has a positive community purpose; is run by an unpaid committee or board of trustees/directors; is not set up to distribute profit to private shareholders; and is not run by or affiliated to a political party or a statutory body of government.

What does Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway do?

We are funded by the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council to promote, support and develop a strong third sector; develop social enterprise; develop volunteers and volunteering; and connect the third sector to community planning. These are roles that are fundamental to the continued success of the third sector.

Our vision is of a strong and sustainable third sector that can make a lasting contribution to the wellbeing of the people and communities of Dumfries and Galloway.

Our mission is to work together with the third sector in Dumfries and Galloway to be its voice; and to become a centre of excellence for the promotion of the sector and the provision of support and services to the sector.

Who is Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway?

Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway is a membership organisation with charitable status. Membership is open to all third sector organisations operating in Dumfries and Galloway. The members elect a Board of Trustees who are entrusted with our governance; setting our strategy; with ensuring that we are well managed and inclusive; and that we communicate effectively with all of our stakeholders.

Can my organisation become a member?

We welcome applications from all third sector organisations working in Dumfries and Galloway. Membership is free. There are no barriers to membership of Third Sector First, Dumfries and Galloway. One of our principles is that membership is at all times open and voluntary – and that we will place members at the centre of our decision making.

Community Councils are statutory bodies of government. They are however made up of unpaid members of the local community who give their time voluntarily and are an important conduit for community development. Community Councils may become Affiliate members of Third Sector First, Dumfries and Galloway

Third Sector First, Dumfries and Galloway also welcomes applications for Associate Membership from organisations that share our vision and mission.

Saltire Awards

Saltire Awards are the Scottish awards designed to formally recognise the commitment and contribution of youth volunteering to voluntary organisations.

Supported by the Scottish Government the Saltire Awards enable young volunteers to record the skills, experience and learning gained through successful volunteering placements provided by local and national voluntary agencies.

The Awards are split in to four sections – The Challenge, The Approach, The Ascent and The Summit and achievement is recognised in the form of Saltire Award certificates and Young Scot reward points.

Saltire Awards are designed to encourage, enable and reward youth volunteering and to make it easy for organisations to support young people to take part.

For more information about the Saltire Awards please contact Christine Clarke on 0300 303 8558 or email:

Volunteering in 2014

Are you looking for a fresh challenge this year? Ever thought about volunteering? Volunteering has a meaningful, positive impact on your community. But did you know that it can have many benefits for you too? Here are some reasons to volunteer:

Meet new people - volunteering can bring you into contact with like-minded people as you volunteer together for a cause. It is also a good way to meet people from different backgrounds.

Your chance to make a real difference to someone’s life – by volunteering even 1 hour a week you can have a positive impact on someone else’s life.

It can be a tool for personal development and increased self-esteem –being convinced of your own abilities and learning to value yourself can lead to a more fulfilled life.

Build confidence - while volunteering you will experience challenges and develop new skills. This can help you to build confidence.

Boost your employability - volunteering is a great way for you to develop skills such as communication, organisation, teamwork and time management that many employers look for in today's competitive market.

Who Can Volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer. You do not need to have previous experience or qualifications. Your own particular skills and interests will be appreciated.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering is a two way process. By donating your time and skills to an organisation you're providing them with a much needed service. However, there are lots of benefits to the volunteer as well. Volunteering can be fun, it can be a way to make new friends and it can be a route to future employment. Voluntary work can form an important part of a Curriculum Vitae, new skills can be learnt and valuable work experience can be gained.

A volunteer needs to be: 

Respect privacy and confidentiality
Non judgemental
A volunteer will:
Receive appropriate training
Be respected
Have a safe working environment
Be appreciated

Volunteer-involving organisation in Dumfries and Galloway

There are over 280 organisations that need volunteers registered with us. These range from fund raising to driving, conservation to counselling and advocacy to adult education. Most organisations are charities that depend on volunteers for their existence and are always looking for new volunteers to help them with their work. 

For more information about any of our services please contact Christine Clarke on 01556 612518 or email: