NICVA Family of sites: | | |

eNews 31 May 2011

  1. Improving knowledge of the voluntary and community sector - State of the Sector 6
  2. CutsWatch NI - reporting the spending cuts
  3. Update your knowledge of the new Assembly with NICVA's Assembly guide
  4. Book your free place now for the Handling Redundancy Seminar
  5. Financial help available from Sector Matters
  6. Are you getting your message across?
  7. Collaboration NI courses make business sense
  8. Civic discussion on education reform
  9. Age awareness and working with older people training
  10. New code of practice clarifies disability discrimination regulations in transport vehicles
  11. Young men and suicide research - your help is needed
  12. INCORE Summer School - bursaries available
  13. Law Centre (NI) celebrates UN Refugee Convention anniversary
  14. Fundraise for free with BT
  15. BBC Audience Council NI - your voice at the heart of the BBC
  16. Interchange opportunity with the Ulster Scots Agency


  1 Improving knowledge of the voluntary and community sector - State of the Sector 6

NICVA’s sixth State of the Sector survey is underway and we need your help. Within the voluntary and community sector we are only too aware of the various issues and problems facing us. Now, we at NICVA want to gather information with a view to mapping the State of the Sector.

For those of you unaware of State of the Sector, it has over the past 15 years become the main way in which we inform government, funders and the media of the scale and impact of the sector in Northern Ireland.

For the sixth edition, the focus will again be on showing the contribution and impact that each part of the voluntary and community sector makes individually and collectively. We want to look at the different sub-sectors that make up the voluntary and community sector, where the funding comes from and how many people are employed. We know this targeted information will allow the sector to engage more effectively with government, funders and the media when demonstrating the relevance of the voluntary and community sector to society in Northern Ireland.

So no matter how small or large your organisation is, we need to hear from you.

NICVA can do none of this without your help. If you receive a questionnaire during May or June we would ask you to complete it as fully as possible and return it with a complete set of your last annual accounts (if applicable). A FREEPOST envelope accompanies each questionnaire.

If you require any additional information about this survey or State of the Sector in general please contact Stephen Bloomer on 028 9087 7777 or email

Back to top


2 CutsWatch NI - reporting the spending cuts

CutsWatch NI is a new project developed by NICVA which maps the impact of public sector spending cuts on voluntary and community groups in Northern Ireland. It is designed to highlight both the impact of cuts on groups and the communities they support. If you are involved in a voluntary or community group which has been told its statutory funding has been reduced or will be reduced, you can contribute to this project by sharing your story.

By visiting  you can fill in a simple form to share your experience and illustrate the impact the cuts will have on the people who use your services. Your contribution will be crucial to building a wider picture of the scale of the challenge ahead both in your local community and generally across the Northern Ireland. Cuts that you share here will be made available publicly and the information generated will be fed into the broader national picture.

Case Study

Artability reported a cut of £61,000 in its funding from the Children’s Fund (DHSSPS) which equated to 100% of the original funding or 45% of the organisation’s total income.

As a result the After Schools project, which catered for young people with disabilities, and had operated four afternoons and two evenings per week from April 2010 to March 2011, ceased to operate and the four staff members (66% of Artability’s total staff) were made redundant.

 Project activity included:

  • 48 individuals engaged in services during the above period
  • Over 1,000 hours of creative activities and respite periods were delivered to participants and parents
  • 39% of children got two sessions or more each week
  • 37.5% of children have been attending the project for five years or more. Three children have been with the project from 2003
  • 33 children were from North and 14 from West Belfast; the remainder coming from the East of the City

You can follow and contribute to the debate on Twitter @CutsWatchNI or by contacting NICVA’s Research Unit at: or

Back to top


3 Update your knowledge of the new Assembly with NICVA's Assembly guide

NICVA is continuing to update its new web based resources providing information on MLAs, MPs and MEPs, Assembly Committees and other useful information that will help you find out more about the political landscape.

Over the coming weeks we will be including:

  • MLA biographies and links to their questions and speeches made at the Assembly  
  • MP contact details and biographies
  • MEP contact details and biographies
  • Overview and contact details for all government departments and senior officials;
  • Non-Departmental Public Body contact details

You can view updated information on the Northern Ireland Assembly Constituencies and the Assembly Committees at:

Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister

Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development

Committee of Culture, Arts and Leisure

Committee for Education

Committee for Employment and Learning

Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Committee of the Environment

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Committee for Justice

Committee for Regional Development

Committee for Social Development

Don't forget that you can also keep up to date with what's going on in the Assembly with our Assembly Monitor newsletter. Published every Monday when the Assembly is sitting this e-newsletter keeps you informed about business in the Assembly chamber, committee business and All Party/All Party Assembly Group meetings.

If you have not yet subscribed to our Assembly Monitor email service, please contact Cathy Breslin at to add your name to the list.

Back to top


4 Book your free place now for the Handling Redundancy Seminar

Are you facing the prospect of redundancies? Are you aware of the legal requirements as an employer when dismissing employees due to redundancy or on the ending of a fixed term contract? If so, then why not attend this FREE seminar?

14 June 2011, 10.00am-12.00pm at NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GB

Eilis Murray of the Labour Relations Agency will be facilitating the seminar.  

The session is aimed at Staff, Managers and Senior Mangers who are responsible for Human Resources and may have to face or deal with a potential redundancy situation. 

For further information visit Contact Margaret Thompson at NICVA to register on 028 9087 7777 or email:

Back to top


5 Financial help available from Sector Matters

Do you need help with any of the following?

Planning and budgeting; financial reporting; grant management; basic accounting systems; internal controls; staffing

If so, Sector Matters can work directly with you to:

  • review your financial procedures
  • review your systems (time and motion)
  • review your accounts
  • and draw up an improvement plan which is tailored to your needs

 Further to this it will carry out amendments and improvement work with staff and Board

What do you need to do?

If you agree to become involved you will have to:

  • provide access to your financial management systems, policies and procedures
  • Sign up to implement a tailor made improvement plan for your organisation
  • Be willing to share information about your organisation with others – this will be anonymised
  • Pay for one day of direct expert advice and support out of six, ie £250 plus VAT

For more information contact Tom Coard at Sector Matters on 028 9087 5018 or email

Back to top


6 Are you getting your message across?

Are you successfully getting your key message across so as to highlight the achievements of your organisation and/or marketing your organisation effectively in tough times.

This interactive session will give participants the skills to build relationships with the press. They will draw up a press release, be interviewed and receive feedback on their performance. It will look at the good, the bad and the ugly of getting your message across. It will also guide participants through developing their key message that will sell.

14 June 2011, 10.00am-1.00pm, NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GB

Cost: £50 members/£70 non-members

For further information on this course or to book a place visit or contact Roisin Kelly on 028 9087 7777 or email

Back to top


7 Collaboration NI courses make business sense

Some places are still available on Collaboration NI's latest courses. Focusing on negotiation skills and scenario planning, these courses offer a valuable skill set for anyone working at senior management level. While these training sessions are aimed at those considering collaboration, the basic skills learned are evidently transferable to other aspects of your work.

Negotiation Skills: protecting interests and seeking collaboration

14 June 2011, 9.30am-4.00pm at CO3, Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DB

Cost: £25

This one day workshop covers the key skills, knowledge, and processes required for planning, preparing and executing a collaborative negotiation effectively. The workshop is designed to increase the delegate's capability to move from simple bargaining to multi-dimensional agreements which deliver for all parties, and give the delegates the confidence to engage in what may previously have been daunting negotiations.

Scenario planning: creating options for your organisation in difficult economic times

16 June 2011, 9.30am-3.30pm, at CO3, Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DB

Cost: £25

In this period of uncertainty setting strategy and considering options for the future can be very difficult. It can be hard to set a clear path when there are so many different possibilities. One option widely used to help organisations plan in these difficult times is scenario planning, where a number of possible futures are worked out, based on our knowledge of the present.

For further information on these courses and the work of Collaboration NI visit or contact Leeann Kelly on 028 9087 7777 or email

Back to top


8 Civic discussion on education reform

3 June 2011, 10.00am-1.00pm at NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GB

Integrated Education Fund (IEF), in conjunction with NICVA, has organised an event offering an opportunity to discuss the future of education in Northern Ireland. Chaired by BBC journalist and presenter, William Crawley, this debate will focus on the challenges and possibilities of building a shared education system in the context of budget cuts and the goals of a shared society.

To find out more about this free event visit

To book a place at this event contact Cathy Breslin at NICVA by email at or on 028 9087 7777.

Back to top


9 Age Awareness and working with older people training

Age Awareness and Working with Older People is an award winning training course developed by Advice NI in partnership with Age NI and Access to Benefits (A2B). It is useful for anyone working with older people or on age sector issues.

The aim of this course is to highlight issues of ageism and age awareness particularly in relation to older people; investigate policy issues facing older people; and learn how to implement good practice when working with older people.

The course will be delivered at Advice NI in Belfast. It is a 2 day course and will run from 9.30am to 4.00pm (approximately) each day:

  • Day 1:  Tuesday 21 June 2011
  • Day 2: Tuesday 28 June 2011

Fees vary depending on the organisation status and accreditation requirements.

For further information on the course and for details on how to book your place please visit

Back to top


10 New code of practice clarifies disability discrimination regulations in transport vehicles

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is pleased to announce that the Code of Practice on the Provision and Use of Transport Vehicles, which came into force on 25 May 2011, is now available. 

The Code provides guidance on the rights and responsibilities which exist as a result of the Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations (NI) 2009. The Code is available in Braille, audio, large print and Easyread versions. It can also be downloaded from the Equality Commission's website at

The Commission is planning a range of activities to promote awareness of the Code and the legislation it seeks to explain. Please see the website above or contact the Commission for more information on 028 9089 0890, textphone 028 9050 0589, fax 028 9024 8687 or email

Back to top


11 Young men and suicide research - your help is needed

The Men’s Health Forum in Ireland is currently undertaking research into the high rates of suicide among boys and young men on the island of Ireland.

The research is being jointly funded by the Public Health Agency and the National Office for Suicide Prevention. The purpose of the research is to develop and share best practice on how to promote positive models of mental health and to prevent suicide in this target group.

MHFI needs your help with this initiative, and invites you to take part in a short (5-10 minute) online survey. Please visit for more details.

Back to top


12 INCORE Summer School - bursaries available

INCORE International Summer School 13 - 17 June 2011

INCORE has 10 bursaries through the Community Relations Council for Northern Ireland candidates who live and/or work in Northern Ireland and represent the voluntary or community sector to attend their International Summer School. The following two modules have places remaining:

  • Interpersonal Reconciliation after Violent Political Conflict
  • Peacemaking and Peacebuilding: Exploring Lessons from Northern Ireland

To date numerous international applicants from over 17 countries, from a diverse range of organisations have confirmed their attendance.

INCORE would very much encourage potential Northern Ireland participants to apply as international participants benefit enormously from your expertise. Evaluations from previous Summer Schools have highlighted the value of this international networking.

To find out more about the bursaries, the selection criteria and how to apply visit

Deadline for completed applications is Wednesday 1 June with notification of decision by Friday 3 June.

Back to top


13 Law Centre (NI) celebrates UN Refugee Convention anniversary

The 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention is 60 years old and to celebrate the signing of the Convention Law Centre (NI) is holding a 60th birthday party on Monday 20 June 2011, 4.00pm-6.00pm, Crescent Arts Centre, 2 University Road, Belfast

Introduced by:

Les Allamby, Director, Law Centre (NI)

Justin Kouame, Chair, Northern Ireland Community of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Virginia McVea, Director, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Children are very welcome and refreshments will be provided

RSVP to Gemma Graham at Law Centre (NI) on 028 9024 4401 or email

This is a Law Centre (NI) event supported by Inclusive Neighourhood Project

Back to top


14 Fundraise for free with BT

BT has put its expertise and services to good use with the launch of an initiative to aid fundraising for the voluntary and community sector. MyDonate is a not-for-profit, online fundraising service for UK charities from BT. The service provides a secure, easy-to-use way for millions of people to raise money for their favourite charity.

MyDonate is a no fee, no commission, online fundraising service for UK based charities to raise money using BT’s own end to end, payment industry security compliant payment processing system, BT Buynet. The Service includes the operation of the MyDonate website, the collection of charity donations, management of the collection of Gift Aid from HMRC, and transfer of funds via BACS to your designated bank account.

Being on MyDonate highlights your cause to existing and potential new supporters, who can then set up their own web pages to raise funds for your charity. Their pages will provide additional advertising for your charity as they invite their friends to support them.

To find out more about BT’s new service visit

Back to top


15 BBC Audience Council NI - your voice at the heart of the BBC

The BBC Audience Council NI invites you to an informal discussion on BBC radio and television services, on 20 June, at the BBC, Blackstaff House, Belfast.

The event aims to bring together people with an interest in BBC services, in particular, BBC Radio 5 Live/5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC News Channel and BBC Parliament.

The Council would like to know what audiences value most about these services and where audiences think they might be improved.

It is interested in the views of occasional or regular listeners and viewers, whether speaking as an individual or on behalf of a particular group or interest. 

The discussion will be held in two sessions. Session One 12.00pm-1.00pm will focus on Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra, and

Session Two 1.30pm-2.30pm on the BBC News Channel and BBC Parliament, with a light buffet lunch served during an interval between the sessions.

The Audience Council would be delighted if you can attend to share your thoughts at either, or both, of these sessions – and join them for a buffet lunch. 
There will also be an opportunity to share any views you may have on other BBC programmes and services. 

If you would like to know more, or register a place(s) at the event, please call 028 9033 8856 (textphone 028 9033 8100), or email, or visit the website at:

Back to top


16 Interchange opportunity with the Ulster Scots Agency  

The Ulster-Scots Agency is seeking to appoint a Director of Corporate Services for a 1 year secondment opportunity (with the possibility of an extension of 12 months subject to the agreement by all parties). The secondment will begin in late June/early July 2011 and is an opportunity aimed at individuals at middle management level who have the relevant skills and experience to undertake the duties outlined. 

The Director of Corporate Services is a member of the Agency’s Executive team and has responsibility for ensuring effective Governance arrangements within the Agency and sound systems of internal control, financial management and accounting, human resource management, contracts and procurement management and grants administration. The Director of Corporate Services reports directly to the Chief Executive of the Agency and is required to attend all Board meetings and the Audit and Risk Committee. 

The closing date is Friday 17 June 2011 at 2.00pm.  Full details of the opportunity and how to apply can be obtained by visiting or by contacting Michael McCullough in The Ulster-Scots Agency on 028 9023 1113 or by e-mail at

Back to top


Pick of the Websites

Fresh Made Media will announce the winner of their competition to win £20,000 of web design this Friday 3 June.


Make Your Move – new jobs from CommunityNI

Project Coordinator at Youth Initiatives

Administrative Officers and Receptionist at Volunteer Now

Disability Development Officer at Ballymoney Community Resource Centre

Data Analyst at Oxfam Ireland

Deputy Director (fixed term) at CAJ

Criminal Justice Programme Officer (maternity cover) at CAJ

Campaigns Team Leader at RNIB