Better Together conference launches new £1million CollaborationNI project

30 Mar 2011     Last updated: 20 Jun 2014

A new service to support charities to collaborate more effectively has been launched today at a conference attended by over 100 third sector leaders. CollaborationNI will serve the Northern Ireland voluntary and community sector on behalf of the Buildi

CollaborationNI will engage the sector in the debate around the need for collaborative approaches. It will do this by providing the sector with a wide range of resources in all aspects of collaborative working, from partnership through to merger.

Úna McKernan, Deputy Chief Executive of NICVA, welcomed the launch of the CollaborationNI project commenting:

"The voluntary and community sector plays a vital role in supporting some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society. But it too, is feeling the pinch of these hard, economic times. In response, organisations have been considering various different ways of collaborative working to ensure a high quality service can be provided to service users now and in the future. This investment from Building Change Trust will enable organisations to fully explore their options and to be supported as they embark on collaborative working"

Speaking at the launch Bill Osborne, Chairperson of Building Change Trust, also welcomed the new project:

"In these austere times, we understand the sector is under pressure to meet increased demand to support our community with reducing resources. Building Change Trust is delighted to be able to support the voluntary and community sector to consider new collaborative approaches to meet these demands. We believe the outcome of this project will be a stronger sector, more effectively positioned to meet the demands of the future".

With an investment of approximately £1million from Building Change Trust over three years, the CollaborationNI project provides a comprehensive range of support which includes training, study visits, mentoring, legal advice and information to ensure organisations can overcome obstacles to working together. CollaborationNI is being delivered by three leading organsiations, NICVA, CO3 and Stellar Leadership, combining a range of expertise to support individuals and organisations to collaborate effectively in service of the community in Northern Ireland.

Majella McCloskey, Chief Executive of CO3 said:

"The third sector plays a very significant role in our community. This project is a timely investment in the future of the sector. By working together we can be more effective in facing off the significant challenges of reducing funding and increasing demand, creating new ways of working which will make the sector stronger and fitter for the future".

Today's conference heard from key speakers from across Britain and Ireland and used local case studies to inform and support organisations and leaders working towards mergers and collaborations. Presentations from the conference are available from the project's website

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