Councillor Robin Tatler, the Independent Councillor for Tweeddale East, is aiming to become the voice of the third sector within Scottish Borders Council (SBC).
Robin, who has more than 20 years’ experience working and volunteering in the sector, knows first-hand how important it is for community groups, charities and social enterprises to have their views known in the council.
He is actively involved in many local organisations and projects throughout the Borders as a volunteer and board member.
Robin was appointed as voluntary sector champion for SBC following the election in May this year. He put himself forward for the special interest role as he wants to ensure that the sector is represented at SBC.
He is looking into what advice and support he can offer local groups, and also working to ensure the council involves the sector and recognises the issues that it faces.
Since his appointment, Robin has been meeting various organisations and finding out what matters to the them.
“I want to get around as many groups as I can, to get a good picture of what is happening within the local third sector and what their needs might be.
“Once local organisations realise that I do have a role to champion their interests, more and more will approach me for assistance, or to discuss how I can best represent them in the workings of the council.”
Robin’s background in the sector was primarily on the fundraising side. One of his main achievements was working with Esther Rantzen to set up Childline in Scotland.
He also campaigned for the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh, raising £11m in three years.
In the East of England, he was a fundraiser for the NSPCC, and back in Edinburgh he worked on the Dynamic Earth project.
Following a brief period in the private sector, Robin went on to work with Project Scotland and then with the Homeless World Cup.
His experience has enriched his knowledge and understanding of organisations in the third sector, from small community groups to larger charities and to international initiatives.
“My main interest continues to be in supporting young people who are disadvantaged,” added Robin, who lives in Peebles with his wife, son and daughter. The family settled in the Borders 17 years ago.
“We came here for the quality of life,” he explained, “moving firstly to Eddleston and then to Peebles.”
Robin is a former Chair of Peebles Community Council and was also a Trustee of the Peebles Community Trust. He has been involved on the Board of social enterprise The Food Foundation, formerly Kingsmeadows, for many years.
And until it closed, he worked closely with Up2You in Tweeddale, the young person’s peer to peer drugs and alcohol education charity.
Contact Robin on 0300 100 0220 or e-mail Robin.Tatler@scotborders.gov.uk