Building Change Trust takes Agenda for the Future to Westminster

11 June 2018

Building Change Trust has shared its ‘Agenda for the Future’ report with MPs and other stakeholders at Westminster, asking for their future commitment to the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in Northern Ireland.

The report outlines the challenges currently being faced by the sector and identifies seven key areas where the sector itself, its funders and policy makers must act if society is to continue to benefit from its work into the future. 

Through the report, the Trust challenged the sector to embrace change and stressed the key role that independent funders and government have in supporting and resourcing the sector to navigate change 

The seven areas for change were identified by the Trust through an 18 month long process of engagement of research and engagement with all stakeholders across Northern Ireland. This process was supported by the Big Lottery Fund and this culminated with last month’s VCSE Futures conference where the ‘Agenda for the Future’ report was launched.

Building Change Trust is a life limited charity which will conclude its work and wind up in December 2018;  the Agenda for the Future is part of its legacy and sets out a framework for others to intervene to support the continued development of voluntary organisations here. 

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP said, "I welcome this event at Westminster and the opportunity it provides to brief MP's and Peers on the excellent work being undertaken by BCT to empower communities in Northern Ireland to deliver change in their localities.  This is a crucial part of the peace process as we need to build peace from the ground up, supporting the work of communities and community leaders to deliver the transformation that will ensure the next generation has a future free from the instability and insecurity of the past."

Conor McGinn MP said, “Huge challenges face Northern Ireland’s voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. This valuable report by Building Change Trust outlines the challenges and identifies possible solutions to help the sector continue improving the lives of thousands of people. 

It is vital that funders and policy makers work together with these organisations to preserve and enhance the immensely important work they do in the community.”

Bill Osborne, Chair of Building Change Trust said at the event, Our Agenda for the Future identifies 7 key areas for future support and development.  Whilst the Agenda is ours, it’s also yours – this has emerged from a thorough engagement process.

Each of the 7 themes – Voluntary Action, Civic Activism, Innovation, Making a Difference, Resilience and Renewal, Collaboration, Leadership all require consideration and action in their own right.  We also believe however that there is merit in strategic and focused initiatives to consider them in the round and take forward a piece of work that continues to create the opportunity for change.”

There is no single solution , simple or complex to be taken forward by any single entity to support the development of our sector in order that it can make more of a difference to people and places.

A collaborative effort is not only an ideal – it will be absolutely essential.”

To review the report online visit https://www.buildingchangetrust.org/VCSE-Futures/agenda-for-the-future

Ends

For further information contact Julie Sherlock, Building Change Trust, 07834 776519,

Claire Flynn or Adam Newton at Stratagem 02890872800