The Third Sector Scheme

The Third Sector Scheme is a statutory piece of legislation setting out how Welsh Government and the voluntary sector will work together and communicate with one another.  

It offers the sector formal routes for talking to Government and raising the concerns of our members and service users. These include biannual meetings with the Third Sector Partnership Council, as well as biannual ministerial meetings between sector networks and each Welsh Government Minister. These meetings are among the key tools the sector uses to influence Welsh Government.

The Third Sector Partnership Council

The Third Sector Partnership Council (TSPC) is a key mechanism for the voluntary organisations to talk to, and hear from, Welsh Government.

It’s chaired by Jane Hutt AM and is made up of representatives of voluntary sector networks working across 25 areas of sector activity along with Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of WCVA.

The main purpose of the TSPC is to make sure that the principles set out in the Third Sector Scheme are put into practice. It also provides an opportunity for the sector to raise issues of interest or concern.

Elections to the TSPC take place every two years. Current members and the networks they represent are:

Name Area of interest Network
Helene Hayes Advice and Advocacy Independent Advice Providers Forum
Claire Lawson Animal Welfare Animal Welfare Network for Wales
Gareth Coles Arts, Culture and Heritage Voluntary Arts Wales
Andrea Cleaver Asylum Seekers and Refugees Welsh Refugee Council
Sean O’Neill
Children and Families Children in Wales
Chris Johnes Community Building Communities Trust
Bernie Bowen Thomson Community Justice Community Justice Cymru
Rhian Davies Disability Wales Disability Reference Group
Cath Hicks Education and Training Adult Learning Wales
Clair Brick Employment Siawns Teg
Karen Whitfield Environment Wales Environment Link
Patience Bentu Ethnic Minorities BAME Alliance
Rocio Cifuentes Ethnic Minorities  BAME Alliance
Catherine Fookes Gender Women’s Equality Network Wales
Kate Young Health, Social Care & Wellbeing Health, Social Care, Wellbeing and Sport Planning Group
John Puzey Housing Homes for All Cymru
Carl Cooper Local and Regional Intermediaries CVC Cymru
Susie Ventris Field International Welsh Centre for International Affairs
Victoria Lloyd Older People Age Cymru
Gethin Rhys Religion Interfaith Council for Wales
Iestyn Wyn Sexuality Stonewall Cymru
Derek Walker Social Enterprise Social Enterprise Network
Matthew Williams Sport and Recreation Welsh Sports Association
Sandy Clubb Volunteering Volunteering Wales Network
Elin Maher Welsh Language Mentrau Iaith Cymru
Paul Glaze Youth Council for Wales Voluntary Youth Services
Ruth Marks WCVA Chief Executive WCVA representative

Ministerial meetings

As part of the Third Sector Scheme each Welsh Government Minister is committed to meeting with representatives of the relevant networks of voluntary organisations covering their areas of responsibility at least twice in any one calendar year. WCVA has responsibility for arranging at least two network planning meetings to prepare for each meeting, and also ensures that the issues raised from the voluntary sector are of broad relevance to the whole sector in order to maximise the effectiveness of the meetings.

Ministerial portfolios and WCVA leads

Portfolio Minister WCVA lead
Finance Rebecca Evans Ruth Marks
Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething David Cook
Environment Lesley Griffiths Anna Nicholl
Housing and Local Government Julie James Anna Nicholl
International Relations and the Welsh Language Eluned Morgan Anna Nicholl
Education Kirsty Williams Ben Lloyd
Economy and Transport Ken Skates Matt Brown

Ministerial Meeting papers, agendas and minutes

Portfolio Minister/Deputy Minister Planning group papers Final meeting papers
Finance Rebecca Evans Agenda_Finance 06.07.20

Notes 06.07.20_Finance


Agenda 13.02.20

The impacts of short term funding on the voluntary sector in Wales

Notes 13.02.20


Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething
Julie Morgan
Minutes 20.05.20 Agenda 22.01.20
Environment, Energy
and Rural Affairs
Lesley Griffiths  

Notes 09.06.20

Agenda 20.01.20

Responding to the Ecological Crisis

Notes 20.01.20

Housing and Local Government Julie James
Hannah Blythyn
Notes 03.09.20 agenda 16.03.20

Paper 1

Paper 2

Paper 3

International Relations and the Welsh Language Eluned Morgan Agenda_International Relations_WL 01.07.20

Notes 01.07.20_IR_WL

Economy and Transport Ken Skates
Lee Waters
Agenda 10.09.20

Notes 10.09.20



Minutes 09.07.20

Education Kirsty Williams Agenda 01.04.20

Notes 01.04.20

Agenda 05.02.20

New Welsh Right to lifelong learning

Qualifications to suit the new curriculum and the role of the third sector

Question re early years learning

Notes 05.02.20

Culture, Tourism and Sport Dafydd Elis-Thomas . .
Deputy Minister – responsibility for
third sector and equalities
Jane Hutt . .

Papers from meetings with the previous Cabinet

Copies of papers from meetings with the previous Cabinet are available on request. Please contact Fiona Harris by emailing or call 0300 111 0124.

The Equality and Human Rights Coalition

The Equality and Human Rights Coalition is a network to enable organisations who work in the equalities and human rights field to engage with each other, share information and good practice and influence policy which impacts on the experiences of people who face unequal and discriminatory treatment in Wales.

WCVA facilitates this network. Please contact Jessica Williams for more information on or 0300 111 0124.