February saw 5 local organisations take to the road to bring an information roadshow and networking lunch to the communities of the Western Isles. The 5 organisations that together create the Western Isles Third Sector Interface – Co-Cheangal Innse Gall (C-CIG) - visited Castlebay, Balivanich, Tarbert and Stornoway . The roadshow, targeted at voluntary organisations, volunteers, social enterprises and community groups, was attended by over 80 people. Its aim was to raise the profile of the partnership C-CIG and explain the range of services offered by the partners.

Terri Davies from the Volunteer Centre Western Isles explained: “Together with our partners in CCIG (Voluntary Action Barra and Vatersay, Harris Voluntary Service, Outer Hebrides Social Enterprise Partnership and Volunteering Hebrides) we were pleased to be able to visit a range of communities in the Western Isles, to explain our services and hear from volunteers and voluntary organisations about their needs, successes and challenges. The networking lunches were particularly well received with participants enjoying the opportunity to share information not just with us, but with each other.”

CCIG prides itself on offering the best possible support to voluntary groups, social enterprises and volunteers throughout the Western Isles. The development and support of voluntary organisations is one of our key purposes and as a partnership we are able to offer a local office in each of the main island areas. Each of our partner's offices, whether it be Harris Voluntary Service in Tarbert, Voluntary Action Barra and Vatersay in Castlebay or Volunteering Hebrides in Stornoway and Balivanich can help with all manner of organisational matters. We also operate a Social Enterprise forum, which is for anyone thinking about starting a new social enterprise or  already involved in one. The forum is operated by Outer Hebrides Social Economy Partnership (OHSEP), a community interest company based in the Third Sector Hebrides office in Stornoway but offering support throughout the Western Isles.

The Volunteer Centre Western Isles offers free, confidential information and advice on volunteering to individuals, groups and organisations and provides a brokerage service; matching volunteers to volunteer roles in hundreds of local organisations. If you require help with recruiting volunteers or advice on managing volunteers the Volunteer Centre Western Isles also have offices in each of the main island areas and would love to hear from you.

Because CCIG is made up of independent locally run organisations, we are able to tailor our services to local need, providing services where they are most needed e.g.community newspapers, care attendant schemes, youth cafes, which run in some but not all areas.

 “One of the areas of our work we wanted to promote is our role in supporting the third sector to contribute to the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership (OHCPP),” explained Terri. “CCIG holds two seats on the OHCPP and is often asked to pass on information to the wider third sector. The roadshow, which we hope will become an annual affair, is just one way we aim to better connect and communicate with the voluntary sector locally. We have also developed a new website and would encourage interested individuals to visit www.c-cig.org.uk and sign up to our new mailing lists.”