Third sector

Wakefield is home to a well-established third sector. There are 567 registered organisations in the district with an annual income of £78m. There are also an estimated 750 unregistered groups with the sector in total employing 2,800 people and involving many volunteers.

What do we mean by Third Sector?

The term ‘third sector’ refers to;

‘Not for profit independent, voluntary and community groups or organisations formed by local people, or those with a local interest, to improve the quality of lives for themselves and/or fellow citizens across the Wakefield district’.

These include registered charities; voluntary organisations; community groups; faith groups involved in social action; tenants groups, cooperatives and mutual parties, community interest companies and social enterprises.


Nova has been created to build a vibrant third sector in the district. It is a single point of third sector support offering:

  • Online and face to face support for groups and organisations.
  • Nova Assist - An online tool to enable a third sector organisation to better understand and grow the organisation.
  • The Nova Assembly - Creating a stronger voice for the voluntary and community sector.
  • Nova Contracts - providing opportunities for groups and organisations to deliver contracts in the statutory sector.
  • Nova Volunteering - helping groups to recruit and retain volunteers.

The Wakefield Assembly

The Wakefield Assembly (hosted by Nova) links groups and organisations to create a stronger voice for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in Wakefield District.
Through these links, the sector can influence and drive strategy and decision-making to bring about change. It aims to do this by:

  • Developing and supporting e-networks
  • Facilitating the representation and accountability of VCS sector representatives
  • Sharing information between organisations and groups
  • Working closely with statutory partners and across the sector

All voluntary and community sector organisations are encouraged to join Nova and the Assembly. A large membership that is representative of the sector has more authority and influence on behalf of the third sector.

Directory of Third Sector Organisations

Nova hosts an online directory detailing the third sector members of Nova and the Assembly.

Working With the Third Sector

Neighbourhood and area based working is a key part of our approach to ensuring that the services we provide are flexible and respond to local needs.
The Wakefield Together Partnership has identified seven areas covering the district:

  • Castleford
  • Normanton and Featherstone
  • Pontefract and Knottingley
  • South East
  • Wakefield Central
  • Wakefield North West
  • Wakefield Rural
Map of Wakefield together partnership areas

We are working together to listen to the views of local people in each of these areas to improve the targeting of resources and ensure that local concerns and issues are responded to more effectively.

The strengthening of the third sector will enable greater involvement of citizens within their communities and maximise its contribution to our local priorities.

Wakefield Together, Third Sector Strategy

Wakefield Together (which includes the third sector, as a key partner) recognises the need to ensure that third sector organisations, small and large, are able to continue to grow and develop. This will mean maximising opportunities for the sector to be involved in the design and delivery of local services; harnessing the capacity, skills and energies of local people to grow community based action; and fostering more strategic relations with the business and public sectors through a genuine programme of collaboration and joint working.

The Wakefield Together Third Sector Strategy has been produced to ensure that expanding activity continues to provide vital and valuable contributions to the district’s life and the delivery of the pledges and priorities of the District Plan.

Contact Us

Area Working Team Wakefield One PO Box 700 Burton Street Wakefield WF1 2EB

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