A word from our CEO – 3SC into 2020


In 2019, 3SC continued to develop and grow new products, further evolving and diversifying our offer so we can support our members, contracted supply chain organisations and our sector more than we’ve ever been able to do before and we will continue to do this into 2020.


Our new membership programme, launched in 2019, is gaining more members month on month. We started the membership to enable more third sector organisations, not just those who we contract manage in our supply chains, to get support from us to improve their social business and their performance. We continue to add more resources to the members only part of our website including most recently risk management templates and processes to work alongside the policy and procedure templates already available. Our member events (available to non-members for a small fee), have proved to be a huge hit. We have already held events in Birmingham and Cardiff in 2019 with more to follow in 2020 on March 25th in London and then June in Leeds. The focus of these events is led by our members with sessions on how to improve your bid writing, improve the resilience of your staff and new business opportunities being on the programme in March alongside the ever popular speed networking session. If you are interested in attending or becoming a member, please contact us at membership@3sc.org.


We also added bespoke IT portals, work-based health assessments and consultancy to our offer in 2019 and we are looking to grow these through 2020. Although we’ve always done this work, being able to officially launch and provide them to the wider audience and not just to organisations we contract manage, was an important step.


Our nationwide coaching programme launched towards the end of 2019 will continue to grow both in numbers and delivery in more areas nationally in 2020. It provides individual mentoring and coaching to adults with neuro diverse conditions such as Dyslexia, Autism, Asperger’s and Dyspraxia to support them with their performance and wellbeing at work. We will be looking for new coaches shortly so keep an eye on our website www.3sc.org.


At the end of 2019 we undertook our annual surveys that ask our commissioners/primes, delivery organisations and customers about how they find working with us, the quality of service we provide and how it could be improved. The results from all our stakeholders were excellent. You can read the key highlights from each survey on the news pages on our website as and when they are published, and there will be links to the full reports. Results include:


  • 100% of our Specialist Employment Support customers rated the service provided by their adviser whilst on the programme as excellent or very good and 95% of respondents agree that the support, they have received has helped them move closer, or into, paid work.
  • 86% of the delivery organisations we currently contract manage gave positive responses to statements about 3SC’s approach to contract management.
  • 96% of the commissioners/primes who we deliver services for gave positive responses about working with 3SC.


These excellent results are, of course, due to the hard work of 3SC’s passionate, committed staff who work hard to ensure they provide much wider support than just contract management to the organisations they work with. They help their organisations to improve their performance and the service delivered to their customers. Our staff survey results show 3SC staff continue to enjoy working for 3SC and get a sense of personal accomplishment from their work.


The procurement of public services continues to be a challenging marketplace. Reduced levels of funding available continues to mean more and more competition between private and third sector providers alike. Over 100 providers turned up a a recent market warming event we attended for a £2m bid such is the competition for work at this time. We await with anticipation the new DWP Umbrella Framework and MoJ Dynamic Framework being launched. Both are now delayed and won’t now appear until late Quarter 1/April 2020 but 3SC will definitely be engaging with both.


Finally, apart from the challenges of wining new business, the wider challenges for our sector do not appear to be abating. I attended a ‘Getting into shape in 2020’ seminar recently where what lies ahead in terms of developments for our sector in the coming year were discussed. The areas for focus and consideration included not only the obvious Brexit but also new rules, regulations and guidance coming in, particularly for charities, for managing employees, fundraising, governance, data protection, safeguarding and serious incidents before you then throw new government policies into the mix. Managing all of these will be non-negotiable in 2020 alongside other important areas such as managing your reputation with the media.


3SC is in a strong position going into 2020 but like most of the micro and small partners that work with us, winning new business in 2020 going into 2021 is our number one priority. We have the expertise and resources needed to make the most of the opportunities coming in 2020 so if you are interested in working with us look out for our expressions of interest and/or sign up to our mailing list by visiting our website at www.3sc.org. We are always looking for partners both large, to enable us to apply for much larger contracts than we would be able to alone, and small to deliver services in our supply chains.


We always look forward to hearing from both old and new partners wanting to work with us. Please contact us at info@3sc.org. I, and the rest of the team, look forward to meeting and working with you in 2020.


Joanne Cholerton, CEO, 3SC