NICVA meet Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to discuss Manifesto for Change
The Minister was very keen to explore the issues raised in the Manifesto and to commit to developing the dialogue with community and voluntary organisations on the future.
Much of the issues raised in the paper resonate with the Minister and she is committed to ensure they do not slip of the agenda again as the pandemic crisis passes. She recognised the power of community and voluntary action in the crisis and how critical it was to so many people in need of immediate help.
NICVA Chief Executive Seamus McAleavey said “this was a very positive meeting with the Minister committing to take forward these discussions across her department and those of her Executive colleagues for a whole government response. We also spoke to the Minister about our work with our sister organisation in Dublin, The Wheel.
NICVA has collaborated with The Wheel for nearly 20 years on north/south issues affecting the voluntary and community sector. The two organisations are now developing a Shared Island project to promote greater collaboration and sharing of ideas and solutions on social and economic issues. Deirdre Hargey was also very supportive and encouraging of this initiative”.
Themes that will be discussed and explored for their potential for collaborative shared island joint working include:
- Enhancing digital connectedness and supporting shared-island communities-of-interest.
- Remote-working in a shared island labour market and developing the cross border labour market
- Addressing and learning about what works in transitioning (fairly) to sustainability and implementing the SDGs and responding to the climate crisis
- Ensuring rural connectivity and supporting rural social and economic life.
- Releasing the potential in social enterprise to show the way and model a sustainable economy and society into the future.
- Supporting shared endeavour, shared experience, and shared learnings about “what works” - especially in the Covid-19 context - for older people, younger people, people of working age, and people with disabilities, and supporting their efforts to encourage policy change in this regard.
The Minister agreed that her officials would work with NICVA on both of these topics as they progressed.
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