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Cabinet Office Third Sector


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About us


The Office of the Third Sector was created in May 2006, incorporating the responsibilities of the Active Communities Directorate in the Home Office, and the Social Enterprise Unit in the Department for Trade and Industry. The decision to place the Office of the Third Sector at the centre of government in the Cabinet Office was taken in recognition of the increasingly important role the third sector plays in both society and the economy.

What is the third sector?

The third sector is a diverse, active and passionate sector. Organisations in the sector share the common characteristics of being non-governmental organisations which are driven by their values and which principally reinvest any financial surpluses to further social, environmental or cultural objectives. It encompasses voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals both large and small.

Our vision

A thriving third sector, enabling people to change society.

Our aims

Our overarching aim is to:

Our thematic aims are to work in partnership with the sector to:

Our role

We deliver on our aims by: