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Consultation launched on strategic support to the Voluntary and Community Sector

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Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA today launched a consultation on proposed new arrangements for strategic support to the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) for the period 2017-2021.

The proposed long-term vision for new support arrangements for the sector is to support an efficient, effective, sustainable and inclusive VCS which will work collaboratively with Government to effectively deliver against agreed Programme for Government outcomes over the next four years.

Minister Givan said: “A key priority for me is to ensure that this sector is empowered and supported appropriately to enable it to shape and better inform government policy and improve the delivery of public services. The shared vision of government and the sector is to work together as social partners to build a participative, peaceful, equitable and inclusive community in Northern Ireland.

“I hope the proposals for strategic support for the sector spark a helpful and constructive debate about how we develop our trusted partnership in working to deliver more for all our people in the future. I look forward to receiving the comments and suggestions from the consultation process to help inform my Department’s future thinking and approach.”

The current VCS support arrangements relate to important areas to many organisations such as training for board members, capacity building, handling governance issues, income generation, support to women in disadvantaged and rural areas and support to faith communities. Another important area is support and promotion of volunteering activity across Northern Ireland.

On behalf of the NI Executive, the Department for Communities has lead responsibility for supporting the VCS at a regional level across Northern Ireland – support that enables the sector to function efficiently and effectively across urban and rural areas. This support complements, but does not include, project related funding to individual VCS groups provided through central or local government in the delivery of services.

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