Third Sector Plus™ is a model designed to engage local people, businesses and other stakeholders in the running of local services, particularly landscape maintenance and improvement work. It responds to the challenge by central government to localise services, whilst ensuring statutory requirements are always met. It also helps to release local authority resources at a time when they are facing ever-increasing funding challenges.

Volunteers and full-time employees are co-ordinated locally by our local management teams. This means the synergies of using volunteers to add value to local authority managed greenspaces is fully explored, to the benefit of the communities that use them. Guidance and support on local initiatives is provided by our national team of biodiversity, conservation management and community relations specialists.

We deliver a range of high-quality in-house training courses, providing our staff, volunteers and client managers easy access to relevant recognised skills and safety qualifications. This approach allows for a consistent approach to contract management by having client and contractor share the same formal skills training, and provides our volunteers with real-world qualifications that will benefit them outside of their volunteering role.

An important issue for all landowners, be they public, private or third sector, is biosecurity, including invasive non-native species (INNS). It is estimated that the annual cost of INNS to the British economy is around £1.7 billion pounds. There are around 2000 non-native species recorded in the UK. Although only a small number of these are invasive, or have a negative effect on the natural environment, the effect they do have can be devastating.
As a grounds maintenance contractor, we regularly undertake control works for INNS for our clients, the most common being Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam removal. We are aware, however, that there are other species which are not as widespread at present, which may ultimately appear on the sites which we maintain. In response to this, we have introduced training and guides to help inform and educate our staff.
These methods, in conjunction with our development of a new company biosecurity policy, will ensure that we maintain a responsible approach to site management, provide our client with a knowledgeable and well-equipped workforce and help protect our natural environment from an ever-growing threat to biodiversity.

Budget constraints are a constant issue for many organisations and public bodies. Increasingly third sector organisations are utilised to assist with the management and delivery of community services with volunteers playing a vital role. We support a range of groups and local causes by donating time and resources to assist these organisations in their activities.

With projects spearheaded by our Biodiversity and Community Champions, we have assisted with the following schemes:

  • Donation of bedding plants and assistance with planting
  • Donation of stripped out perennial bedding plants
  • Removal of white goods from residents’ homes
  • Free school holiday family fun sessions for local residents
  • Refurbishment of shrub bed into a flower beds and teaching flower planting to local school children

We regularly support local causes across the company by sponsorship and donations although our preferred method of support and engagement is by the assistance of our skilled staff supporting the community in which they live and work. We also offer training, often certificated, to the volunteers who work with us, improving their skills to support their personal and professional development.