What is the Third Sector?

The Third Sector consists of voluntary and community groups, faith groups, social enterprises, charities, co-operatives and mutuial organisations working on a not for profit basis.  The main aim of these organisations is to work to meet specific needs and improve either the quality of life or life chances for the communities or groups they work with. 

They are:

  • Non-governmental organisations (sometimes termed NGOs)
  • Value driven (social value not monetary gain)
  • Principally re-invest any financial surpluses to further social, environmental and/or cultural objectives.

Some organisations have trading functions within their work but profits are used to further the organisation's work

The third sector is diverse, active and passionate about the work it does, with a principle of social justice and equality.  Whilst organisations are diverse in their type and activity, they all share important principles of fairness, social action and helping vulnerable people and communities.

The Third Sector in Cheshire West

The Third Sector in West Cheshire is also diverse and well developed, with large national and regional organisations working in the area as well as smaller local groups.  In 2011 the publication of the Hidden Power Report detailed the diversity of West Cheshire's Third Sector and placed it within the sub-regional and regional context in terms of activity and impact.

PDF Icon Hidden_Power_Report_-_Cheshire_West.pdf

The New Challege Report also looks at potential and challenges for the sector in the future and across the sub-region.

PDF Icon Hidden_Power_Report_-_New_Challenge.pdf