We think 2017 and 2018 provides a timely opportunity to look at the future issues facing the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.
The recent and previous State of the Sector report from NICVA sets out the size scope and finances of the sector and demonstrates that it is a very dynamic sector when the data from previous research is considered.
The sector is not and cannot be isolated from external influence on its make up, but we think that the range of factors facing the sector has rarely been more complex; funding, concerns around Brexit, the impact of technology, new and more complex needs emerging all the time and how the sector can adapt to all this to still deliver social change.
We want to provide an opportunity for the people and organisations in the sector, its funders, and policy makers to think about what needs to be done to support the sector to make a difference for the people and places it works with into the future.
Through our programme of engagement, opinion pieces, seminars and other events between January 2017 and June 2018, we want to work with everyone with a stake in the future of the sector to help us develop and share:
- More understanding of key issues and opportunities facing the VCSE sector in NI over the next 5-10 years.
- Greater awareness of how the learning from the work of the sector, both here and further afield, can contribute to the future of the sector.
- Proposals for how everyone can help create the best environment for the sector to make more of a difference for people and places.
Our Director of Operations Nigel McKinney will be leading on this work , supported by a subgroup of our Trust Board comprising our Chairperson Bill Osborne and Directors Maurice Meehan and Catherine Cooke.
We’ve also appointed Dr Helen McLaughin, Dr Pamela Montgomery and Stevie Johnston and Louise O’Meara of Interaction Associates to help us roll out the programme.
Our programme success is dependent on deep and meaningful engagement with the diversity of sector organsiations right across Northern Ireland and with all the other stakeholders.