Communities Minister hears concerns of voluntary and community sector leaders

Department for Communities Minister Gordon Lyons has met with representatives from voluntary and community groups in Northern Ireland to discuss the ongoing issues facing the sector.

By Gordon Lyons MLA

East Antrim

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At the meeting, hosted by the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) the Minister heard about the challenges facing the Sector, including funding uncertainties, increased demand for services, and the ongoing pressures caused by increased costs.

Minister Lyons said: “Voluntary and community groups play a vital role in supporting communities across Northern Ireland.

“I have heard from leaders right across sector about the challenges of delivery at a time of increased costs and a rising demand for services.

“I want to pay tribute to the hundreds of organisations, their staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to deliver real and lasting change for people.

“I will continue to engage with the sector to ensure continued delivery of services to those who most need them in our communities across Northern Ireland.”

Welcoming the Minister to NICVA, Chief Executive Celine McStravick said: “I’m delighted to host discussions with the Minister for Communities Gordon Lyons and NICVA on the significant role the voluntary and community sector plays in underpinning economic and social well-being.

“Our sector faces immense pressures yet continues to step up through every crisis, providing a range of support and services to ensure that communities thrive and flourish. We look forward to working in partnership to move today’s dialogue into actionable solutions.”

The Department for Communities provides around £905,000 annually to NICVA and its partners through its Regional Infrastructure Support Programme to support organisations who play a supporting, co-ordinating or development role in relation to the voluntary and community sector through training, co-ordination, and guidance.

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