John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, addressed guests at leading social care charity Cornerstone's investors' dinner in Aberdeen on Wednesday.
Around 90 guests attended the dinner at the Foyer Restaurant and Gallery, which recognised the valued contribution the business community has made to the charity, through financial backing and hands-on support.
Cornerstone provides care and support services for more than 2,000 adults, young people and children across Scotland who live with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health problems and other support needs.
Supported by IFB and Petrofac, the dinner is an annual event to update corporate investors on the successes and achievements over the year.
These included the launch of Cornerstone's latest fundraising campaign, Home Is Where the Heart Is, to build a £1.2million social housing complex in Portlethen, as well as its thriving social enterprises, including the Gift Corner in Stonehaven, Woodview Embroidery Services and Bennachie Upholstery, which recently moved into new premises at The Arches, Palmerston Road.
Chief Executive Edel Harris said: "We are pleased that John Swinney could join us tonight to share his thoughts on the third sector and the vital role that businesses play in supporting the work of charitable organisations and investing in their local communities. The dinner gives us a chance to update our corporate investors on the work we do and to thank them for their ongoing support."
Mr Swinney said: "The Third Sector has an important role to play in Scotland, and I welcome Cornerstone's real commitment to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in Scotland.
"We recognise the pressures faced by the sector, which has a key role to play in helping driving forward public sector reform and prevention, and will continue to invest in supporting third sector capacity and sustainability.
"We are committed to ensuring the third sector is fully engaged with and involved in public service reform through effective representation on community planning partnerships and a greater role in the design and delivery of services, particularly where spend is focused on prevention."