Governance Support for East Belfast

15 Jan 2018 Helen McLaughlin    Last updated: 23 Jan 2018

Groups in East Belfast are being offered free governance support as part of the East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership programme.  

The East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme is delivered by a partnership of NICVA, TIDES Training, Interaction Institute and Youth Action, and managed by East Belfast Community Development Agency. 

This programme, funded by the Northern Ireland Executive’s Social Investment Fund as part of the Delivering Social Change programme, aims to work with community groups and individuals in East Belfast to improve their capacity and leadership. It will help groups identify solutions to address the challenges and issues that they face in their local communities. The programme aims to improve leadership skills and confidence and provide the chance to work together and network with others. 

One area of support on offer is governance – but you may wonder what does that actually mean, and why do it?

Here we answer some questions about the governance support on offer.  This should help you to decide whether governance support is something your group would like to take advantage of.

What is governance?

Governance means how your group or organisation is constituted and run.

What is governance support?

Governance support means that we can provide you with an expert – at no cost to you – to work with your group or organisation on governance and ensure that you’re getting it right.

Which kinds of groups or organisations should have governance support?

Any group or organisation, however large or small, can benefit from governance support. Even the smallest groups need to be well run and keep themselves right, and even the most well-run organisation can find ways to improve.

How would governance support benefit our group?

If your group is able to demonstrate that it is well run and has good governance in place, it makes it easier to get people involved – whether committee members, volunteers or participants. It will re-assure current funders and make you a more attractive organisation to new funders – and potentially make your group and its services more financially sustainable.

With good governance in place, your group is less likely to be at risk of fraud, conflict or reputational damage.

What kinds of issues can governance support help us with?

Governance can help you with a range of issues and challenges. A governance review could be right for you if:

  • Your group was set up a long time ago - and your constitution now needs need to be updated. You may not even be sure whether you have a constitution at all;
  • Your group is new and just getting to grips with how to run things;
  • It could be that your organisation is facing particular challenges in how it is run.  For example, you may have skill gaps on your committee - or you might be finding it difficult to recruit new committee members - or fill the role of Chair, Treasurer or Secretary;
  • You think that your committee meetings could be better run;
  • Your committee members need training to better understand their roles and responsibilities;
  • You might not be sure whether your group is fully compliant with all the requirements of company law or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or other statutory requirements relating to key areas such as child protection, the protection of vulnerable adults or data protection;
  • You want to reduce the risks faced by your group;
  • You are concerned that conflicts of interest are not being properly dealt with;
  • You want to make your group more attractive to funders.

If any of these ring a bell with your group or organisation, you could benefit from governance support.  

What does it involve?

Our governance expert will:

  • meet with your Board or committee and work with you to identify governance strengths and weaknesses and complete a Governance Health Check;
  • review your constitution and your governance arrangements and check that you have appropriate systems in place;
  • prepare a brief written report for you – which will be presented to your committee or Board;
  • Identify areas where your governance could be improved and sign-post you to other support and training which might be available under the Programme.

We’re interested – who do we contact?

Just get in touch with me at [email protected] or ring me on 028 90 877 777.

Helen McLaughlin's picture

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