A NEW organisation to promote, support and represent the third sector in the Scottish Borders will come into being on April 1 this year.

Borders Community Action is the name of the new Third Sector Interface (TSI) for the region and will work with charities, social enterprises, community groups and volunteering.

It has four main functions in the community: to act as a source of local intelligence, to enable the sector’s voice to be heard, to connect leadership, vision and coordination and to build capacity.

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Chair of Borders Community Action, Jan Dowlen Gilliland, said: “We are delighted to announce that we will be up and running soon and supporting the sector in these challenging times.

“The third sector played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now working hard in communities to support local people through the cost of living crisis, for example by opening up warm spaces, food banks and community larders.”

TSIs were formed in 2009 in Scotland, to act as intermediaries between the third sector and statutory partners.

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Until now, the Borders has delivered the TSI function as a partnership involving The Bridge, Volunteer Centre Borders (VCB), Berwickshire Association for Voluntary Sector (Bavs) and the Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber.

Borders Community Action will take on the TSI remit as an organisation in its own right and is seeking charitable status.

Relevant functions of The Bridge, Bavs and VCB, along with staff, will transfer to the new organisation.

Support for social enterprises will be reviewed separately.

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In the meantime, Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber will continue to offer support.

Jan added: “After a robust recruitment process, we are pleased to have appointed Juliana Amaral, currently Chief Officer of Bavs, as our Chief Executive Officer to lead the organisation.

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the partners, trustees, staff, and others who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get the new organisation in place.

“With the support of partners, Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council and our membership, we aim to promote and develop a dynamic third sector.”

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Juliana said: “I am honoured to have had the opportunity to work with the Board and the team in developing this new entity.

“I look forward to working with the wider third sector in the Scottish Borders and with partners in the region and across Scotland.

“I am confident that with the trust and support of the sector, partners, and the Scottish Government, we will strive to be a strong voice representing the sector while creating spaces in our Borders communities where everyone can thrive.”