Resilient and empowered communities creating a stronger, fairer and more equitable Edinburgh with a thriving third sector at its heart.

Welcome to the Edinburgh Third Sector Interface (TSI) site. Here you can find out about our partnership, who we are and how, by working together, we are able to provide you with fully integrated support and help.

Our partnership starts from the principle that as the established experts in our respective fields, when we work together we are able to better support you - whether you are a volunteer, a voluntary organisation or a social enterprise. After all, without volunteers there is no voluntary sector, many social enterprises use volunteers and many voluntary organisations have social enterprise functions or aspirations. We all connect together.


Developing the capacity of volunteering, community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprise to achieve positive change.


Providing leadership, vision and coordination to the local third sector to better respond to local priorities, including through partnership and collaboration.


Ensuring a strong third sector voice at a strategic level within local planning structures and nationally.

Who are we?

Edinburgh TSI is a partnership of three organisations which help to support and develop the city's third sector:

EVOC’s mission is to be a leader and catalyst of social change and our values are: Enabling; Fairness; Collaborating; Excellence; Creating; and Supporting.

Our strategic plan sets out the priorities for 2020-2023:

  • Leadership We will articulate EVOC’s leadership role in the sector, manage the intricacies of our interface role, and make those interventions visible across all sectors. Our principles are to be inclusive and collective in all our work. At the same time, we will develop our leadership role both nationally and politically. We will also develop the leadership roles of our staff team.
  • Development EVOC will be a vehicle for changing social outcomes, driving and implementing solutions based on our own and others research findings. It is our intention to embed a broad-based 'Development Agency' approach, building capacity and skills across the sector, therefore raising the reputation and the profiles of many of Edinburgh’s voluntary organisations.
  • Advocacy EVOC has a key influencing role in working with the voluntary and community sector and in bridging and brokering the relationships with our public sector partners. EVOC’s unique role of informing, engaging and communicating these different interests and priorities is challenging and one which we aim to strengthen.

Edinburgh Social Enterprise’s mission is to create opportunities for Edinburgh’s Social Enterprise community to develop and thrive, recognising its positive impact on society and the local community.

Our vision is that Social Enterprise is central to delivering social and economic change in Edinburgh.

Through this vision and mission, we will continue to:

  • Increase recognition of the contribution of social enterprise to local and national strategic priorities
  • Increase the number of social enterprises based in Edinburgh, operating locally nationally and internationally
  • Support the sustainability and growth of the sector
  • Promote and increase awareness of the Voluntary Code of Practice for Social Enterprise in Scotland so that it is adopted as best practice for ethical, socially and environmentally responsible businesses
  • Increase membership of the network to build a strong, cohesive community influencing and informing local and national policy
  • Continue to establish Edinburgh Social Enterprise as the go to organisation for social enterprises, social entrepreneurs, enterprising third sector organisations, social enterprises, socially responsible businesses and social entrepreneurs
  • Create the conditions to develop and test new ideas and concepts to enable social enterprise in Edinburgh to thrive and contribute to Edinburgh and Scotland’s growing international reputation as leaders in social enterprise

Volunteer Edinburgh's mission is simple, to inspire more people to volunteer so they can enhance their lives, the lives of others and build resilient communities.

Our values are:

  • Everyone has the right to offer their time to volunteer;
  • Every volunteer has the right to have a great volunteering experience;
  • Volunteering is always a matter of free choice;
  • Volunteers must never be a direct replacement for paid workers;
  • True volunteering is for the benefit of the social community, the individual and Volunteer Involving Organisations; and
  • We believe that involving volunteers enhances organisations.

Our strategic outcomes are:

  • We inspire and enable people to volunteer;
  • We ensure that every volunteer involving organisation is able to offer an excellent volunteering experience;
  • Using our expert knowledge we inform, educate and inspire our leaders on the benefits of volunteering for Edinburgh and its citizens;
  • We inspire the development of volunteering opportunities which bring benefit to the community and enhance social capital; and
  • As an agency we are effective, well governed and managed and a great place to work or volunteer.

What difference does the Third Sector Interface make?

The national vision for TSIs is 'Resilient and empowered communities creating a stronger, fairer and more equitable Scotland with a thriving third sector at its heart*'.

By working together in partnership we:

  • Promote and develop volunteering
  • Support social enterprise development
  • Support and develop a strong third sector
  • Connect the third sector to the community planning process

Some useful resources:

Memorandum of Understanding and Governance Protocol here.
TSI Network Contacts here.
Partnership Work Plan here.

* Scottish Government's Third Sector Interface: Outcome Framework, September 2018.

The Edinburgh TSI has been awarded Committed to Excellence by the European Framework for Quality Management (EFQM).