Trust looks at independence of the Community and Voluntary Sector
The Building Change Trust is hosting an event, taking place at the NICVA offices in Belfast on Friday 5th July, looking at the independence of the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland.
Dr Nick Acheson of the University of Ulster will present a paper on the concept of independence as it applies for voluntary and community organisations in contemporary democracies and why those seeking to defend it consider it a defining principle, as well as looking at the current challenges to the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland.
This will be followed by a panel discussion with NICVA’s Seamus McAleavey, Bernadette McAliskey from STEP, John McMullan from the Bryson Charitable Group and the Rural Community Network’s Aidan Campbell, who will give their thoughts on Nick’s work and engage in discussion with the audience.
Nick’s essay considers what is currently happening to voluntary action in Northern Ireland, first discussing the concept of independence as it applies for voluntary and community organisations in contemporary democracies and why those seeking to defend it consider it a defining principle.
The essay then discusses the current challenges to the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland drawing on evidence from around the UK to illuminate the issues.
Nigel McKinney, Trust Administrator, said: “We are delighted to be launching Nick’s paper looking into what we at the Trust see as an increasingly pertinent and important issue in Northern Ireland’s Community and Voluntary Sector.
“There has been a big shift in how the sector is funded in recent years away from grants and towards contracting, which is likely to continue and with other changes may pose a threat to sector independence.
“The challenge is not only to consider the implications but more importantly set out what can be done to preserve and develop independence in this context. Our event on 5 July is important in that it will begin to consider what action needs to be taken”.
An electronic version of Nick’s essay can be downloaded from the Building Change Trust by clicking here, limited hard copies are available upon request.