Chief Executive's October Statement

Prior to my arrival at 3SC just over three years ago, it was my privilege to work for an extraordinary organisation, run by extraordinary people for extraordinary people.  My boss was Kevin Geeson, a truly original thinker who has gone on to head up Dyslexia Action as their CEO. His boss was Lesley-Anne Alexander, who now, as then, is one of the sector’s true leaders. Around them was a collection of inspirational people – staff and trustees – whose role was to create widespread and lasting change for blind and partially sighted people. The organisation of course is RNIB, one of the largest disability charities in the country and an organisation we are proud to have in our consortia for Access to Work assessments. In my two and half or so years with RNIB I witnessed campaign victories, tremendous awareness campaigns and the development of innovative products. These initiatives were designed to prevent unnecessary sight loss, help fundraising and enable blind and partially sighted people to be included in society. For me it was the start of my journey into an awareness of disability and the enormous barriers faced by disabled people in just being part of the world. For some it is a question of being able to work and travel, for others is it is just a question of being able to go down the pub and get back home safely again, or have access to books or other media. RNIB helps in all of these aspects, though even this giant cannot reach everyone, and they lead in sight-loss prevention. Through RNIB I became involved as a volunteer in what was to become Disability Rights UK – a charity fighting for disability inclusiveness in government policy, in enabling disabled people to better access public services and in fighting disability-related poverty and disability-hate crime.

RNIB and DRUK are, of course, just two examples of the innovation, drive and expertise that we find all over the charity and social enterprise communities – I just happen to know them well. 3SC’s job is to help bring fantastic work such as this into the realm of public services. We know that many third sector organisations and Registered Social Landlords want to increase the reach to their communities through market oriented programmes. We know the opportunities are there. And we know the third sector is far readier that many would have you believe.